Down Memory Lane – U16 A
By: Caimin Barrett
Although Sixmilebridge won two U16 B titles in the 60’s, 1963 and 1967, it was not until 1981 that they claimed a first ever A title at this grade. After a number of near misses they defeated a fancied Feakle that day which started the drive for three-in-a-row. Their attempt at four in a row ended in defeat in the 1984 final before they returned to the winners’ enclosure the following year. A few lean years at this level followed, with a few final appearances ending in losses, before they bridged an eight-year gap in 1993. Another few titles came along in 1997 and 1999 before we had to endure another dry patch at this level. A U16 A shield win in 2004 was followed by a final appearance the following year where Clonlara won after a replay. Then came the historic four-in-a-row, 2007-2010, with this Saturday seeing another final appearance. Next Saturday sees the Bridge go in chase of title number 12. Here is a look back at previous championship winning years.
Some pictures of the winning teams can be seen in the Gallery here >>>
1981 - First Ever U16 A Title
Sixmilebridge 2-2 v Feakle 1-2
After a number of near misses 1981 was the year that Sixmilebridge finally claimed a first ever U16 A title. This particular bunch of players faced up to defending champions Feakle in the final with an exciting game in prospect. The Clare Champion headline of this final described it as “’Bridge triumph in tense thriller” in what was a low scoring final, 2-2 to 1-2. Sixmilebridge started the brightest with points from a Mike Corry free and John O’Connell along with a goal from thirty metres by Kevin Murray giving them a 1-2 to 0-2 half time lead. To quote the reporter “At half time it seemed imminent that the three point lead the Bridge had gathered for this half after playing with a strong breeze was going to be at their demise. They had outstanding defending in the second half and continually harassed the Feakle attackers into hurried shooting“. In the end Colm Reidy proved to be the Bridge hero, with Feakle reduced to fourteen men and less than six minutes on the clock a Seamus Cusack free was doubled on by Reidy to the net with the report labelling it as a “golden goal”. According to the reporter “Brendan Flynn was outstanding in goals for the winners and was well supported by Seamus Cusack, John Chaplin, Henry Hehir and Michael Egan, John O’Connell and Brian Barron got the better of the midfield exchanges while up front team captain Kevin Murray, Colm Reidy, Mike Corry and Declan McInerney on his introduction” were crucial to this first ever U16 A title.
Sixmilebridge: Brendan Flynn; Gerry Keogh, Michael Egan, Mike Twomey, John Chaplin, Seamus Cusack, Henry Hehir; John O’Connell (0-1), Brian Barron; Kevin Murray (Captain) (1-0), Eamonn Healy, Mike Corry (0-1); Noel Casey, Pat Keane, Colm Reidy (1-0).
Subs: Declan McInerney for Keane, Leo Mulready, James Collins, Mike Sheedy, Sean Flynn, Conor Loughnane, Richard Flynn.
Click here to see the 1981 Team Photo >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 1981 - Back: Gerry Keogh, Leo Mulready, John Chaplin, John O’Connell, Seamus Cusack, Pat Keane, Michael Corry, Eamonn Healy. Middle:Brian Barron, Michael Egan, Kevin Murray (Captain), Henry Hehir, Noel Casey, Brendan Flynn, Mike Twomey, James Collins. Front: Mike Sheedy, Declan McInerney, Richard Flynn, Conor Loughnane, Seán Flynn, Colm Reidy.
1982 – Bridge Coast To Victory
Sixmilebridge 3-14 v 0-3 Clarecastle
A chance of first ever back-to-back titles at this grade came upon this side when on Saturday 30th October 1982 at Tulla they faced Clarecastle. Having emerged from a championship with the likes of the ‘Magpies, Ruan, Tubber, Feakle, Eire Óg, Wolfe Tones, Newmarket and Scariff the Bridge eventually qualified for the final. The Clare Champion report stated that “at Tulla on Sunday last the Bridge coasted to victory”. And had this to say about the display “Sixmilebridge were well balanced and their forwards were quick to capitalise on changes while their rearguard seldom came under pressure.” Aided by goals from Eamonn Healy and Declan McInerney they held 2-6 to 0-1 lead with McInerney and John Chaplin also scoring some points. Mike Corry got the third goal for the Bridge in the second half which put them out of sight. The following were mentioned as playing well“The winners were best served in defence by Noel Casey, Seamus Hennessy, John Chaplin and Leo Mulready. Brian Barron and Kevin McInerney won the midfield battle while all the forwards played their part particularly Mike Corry, Christy Morey, Declan McInerney and Eamon Healy”. It did not list the two teams but it is save to say that other players involved in this success included a number of the U15 title winning side of 1982 (picture is below). A list of those involved, in no particular order, is listed underneath.
Sixmilebridge panel: Noel Casey, Seamus Hennessy, John Chaplin, Leo Mulready, Brian Barron, Kevin McInerney, Mike Corry, Christy Morey, Declan McInerney, Eamonn Healy, Brendan Flynn, Henry Hehir, Mike Twomey, Mike Sheedy, Conor Loughnane, James Collins, Sean Flynn, Martin McAuley, Kieran McInerney, Declan Cullinan, Jody McDermott, Noel Keogh.
Click here to seem the victorious 1982 Team >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U15 Champions 1982 – Back: Brendan Flynn, Christy Morey, Henry Hehir, Jody McDermott, Leo Mulready, John Chaplin, Mike Twomey, Kevin McInerney, Noel Casey, Martin McAuley, Kieran McInerney. Front: Mike Sheedy, Mike Casey, Sean Flynn, Declan Cullinan, Joseph Murphy, Declan McInerney (Captain), Noel Keogh, John Flynn, Frank McAuley, Conor Loughnane.
1983 – First Ever Three In A Row
Sixmilebridge 3-6 v 1-3 Wolfe Tones
With three in a row within the sights of this Bridge team they came up against Wolfe Tones in the final with a fine game expected between these two neighbouring rivals. This was the Clare Champion’s assessment of the display “Although reduced to fourteen players five minutes before the interval plucky Bridge battled against the odds and in the end ran out worthy winners, thus capturing their third consecutive under-16 county title at Cusack Park on Saturday”. According to the report Mike Sheedy was unlucky to be sent to the line on twenty-five minutes for the Bridge with the report stating it was “trivial” in comparison to a number of other incidents. Wolfe Tones elected to play a “loose defender as a second full back to curb the menacing threat of Declan McInerney who, despite this, ended the day with a personal tally of 2-5”. The final had more drama with two more players sent to the line near the end “While the game itself produced some fine passages of play and well executed scores it had an unsavoury ending when Bridge star Declan McInerney, was felled near the sideline. A skirmish ensued and two players, John Forde (Wolfe Tones) and Martin McAuley (‘Bridge) were sidelined by referee Michael Leahy of Ruan”. The first half was a low scoring affair highlighting the closeness of the half, with two points from Declan McInerney giving his team a slender 0-2 to 0-1 interval. Having the aid of an extra man was sure to be of an advantage to the Tones and they took the lead on the resumption but the Bridge fought back strongly with goals from John Chaplin and Declan McInerney (2) giving them the initiative before the two sending off’s. In that year’s Clare GAA yearbook the Bridge club view on the U16 was as follows: “History was in the making when the Bridge fielded in the under-16 county final against Wolfe Tones of Shannon, in a repeat of last years decider which the Bridge captured. Shannon’s bould bid failed to stop inspired displays from Declan McInerney, John Chaplin, Brendan Flynn, Henry Hehir, Mike Twomey and Mike Casey. The Bridge were crowned champions for the third successive year in this grade.” While, in the report of the final Martin McAuley was also listed as playing well.
Click here to see the 1983 U16A winning team >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 1983 – Back: Noel Casey, Henry Hehir, Mike Twomey, Kevin McInerney, Leo Mulready, Martin McAuley, John Chaplin. Front: Sean Flynn, Mikey Casey, Declan McInerney, Christy Morey (Captain), Brendan Flynn, Mike Sheedy, Conor Loughnane, Declan Cullinan.
Sixmilebridge: Brendan Flynn; Leo Mulready, Mike Twomey, Sean Flynn; Kevin McInerney, Noel Casey, Conor Loughnane; John Chaplin (1-1), Mike Sheedy; Declan Cullinan, Martin McAuley, Henry Hehir; Mikey Casey, Declan McInerney (2-5), Christy Morey (Captain).
Subs: James McInerney for Cullinan, Joseph Murphy, Kieran McInerney, Frank McAuley, John Flynn, Noel Keogh and Jody McDermott would have been some of those involved in this success again judging by the picture of the U15 three in a row team of 1982.
Interestingly, Bridge keeper Brendan Flynn along with many of this team mates picked up minor medals in ’83 while he was also part of the U21 and senior panels that contested county finals. Furthermore, he created another bit of history when along with his brother Sean, John Chaplin, Noel Casey, Declan McInerney, Henry Hehir, Leo Mulready, Mike Sheedy, Mike Twomey and Conor Loughnane they all won their third U16 A medal.
Management: Noel Murphy (RIP), Tony Ryan, Mickey Quinn, Johnny Flynn (RIP).
1985 – Bridge Overcome Blues For Title Number Four
Sixmilebridge 1-10 v 3-4 Newmarket
Sixmilebridge 1-11 v 2-3 Newmarket (Replay)
It took two games to separate rivals Sixmilebridge and Newmarket in the U16 final of ’85. Cusack Park played host to both games with the Bridge requiring a last minute pointed penalty from Mikey Casey to ensure a second day out. The report in the Clare Champion states “The Bridge showed great character in hauling back a four point deficit in the final ten minutes having a short time earlier drawn level after being six points down on the changeover”. Newmarket were two goals to the good at the interval, 2-2 to 0-2, with the report giving praise to ‘Blues keeper Michael Mulqueeny for denying the Bridge goals with fine goalkeeping. It goes on to say that Sixmilebridge dominated the first quarter of the second half and eventually drew level thanks to an Ian Mulready goal from a 65 and a point from Mikey Casey. However, Newmarket edged into a four-point lead before points from sharp shooter Casey (3) and Murphy tied matters at 1-10 to 3-4 with Frank McAuley, James O’Dowd, Ian Mulready, Christy Chaplin, Niall Keogh, Michael Casey and Joseph Murphy mentioned as the O’Garney boys best performers on the day. The following week produced another good game with the Bridge making sure of a first title since 1983. “Bridge on top in replay” was the headline with the winners having to play most of the second half without Mikey Casey who according to the match report was harshly dismissed. Here is a snippet from the report “The game was just as exciting as the drawn encounter, but the winners were much more committed and sharper and with Ian Mulready and Eric McGrath ruling the roost at midfield they dominated the opening half.” They led by 1-3 to 0-1 at the break with Mikey Casey getting the all-important goal. After Casey’s dismissal in the early moments of the new half the report says that this “galvanised the winners and James McInerney shot three points without reply”. Those mentioned, as doing well in this 1-11 to 2-3 win were Christy Chaplin, team captain Joseph Murphy, Ian Mulready, Eric McGrath, James McInerney, Corey Downes, Padraig McNamara and Niall Keogh. The report did not give the teams in full but it does include a picture of the victorious team. Below is the list of the panel in no particular order.
Sixmilebridge panel: Joseph Murphy (Captain), Christy Chaplin, Ian Mulready, Eric McGrath, James McInerney, Corey Downes, Padraig McNamara (RIP), Niall Keogh, David Nihill, David Fitzgerald, Geoffrey Flynn, Frank McAuley, Jason Phelan, Alan Morey, Mike Keogh, Brian Darcy, John Flynn, Stephen Murray, Brendan Conlon (RIP), James O’Dowd, Mike Quinn, Pat Kearney.
Click here to see the 1985 team >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 1985 – Back: Corey Downes, David Nihill, Niall Keogh, Joseph Murphy (Captain), Ian Mulready, John Flynn, Frank McAuley, James McInerney, Jason Phelan, Alan Morey, Mike Keogh, Brian Darcy. Front: Geoffrey Flynn, Stephen Murray, Brendan Conlon (RIP), Eric McGrath, David Fitzgerald, Mike Casey, James O’Dowd, Padraig McNamara (RIP), Mike Quinn, Pat Kearney, Christy Chaplin.
1993 – Eight Year Wait Is Over
Sixmilebridge 2-8 v 2-1 St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield
In 1993 Sixmilebridge ended an eight-year wait for the U16 title with a 2-8 to 2-1 defeat of St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield at Cusack Park. The Clare Champion report of the game tells us that Joseph’s got off to the best possible start “the losers got off to a great start and had two goals on the scoreboard before the winners opened their account with a S.Fitzpatrick point”. This point from Stiofán Fitzpatrick settled the Bridge with other scores mentioned in the report coming from Brian Casey (1-0), Greg Deegan (1-1) and Patrick Hogan (0-1), unfortunately not all scorers are accounted for. From reading the report it is evident that the Bridge deserved their win as “In the second half the losers had the aid of the breeze but they failed to score as the Bridge continued to dominate and regained the title after an eight year lapse”. Greg Deegan, Barry Murphy, Barry Downes and Brian Casey were mentioned in the report as being the standout players for the new champions while Brendan Bohannon and Noel Brodie were Joseph’s best.
Sixmilebridge: Mikey Corbett; Jim Spaight, Declan Murphy (Captain), Cathal Walsh; Barry Downes, Barry Murphy, Oliver Fitzpatrick; Kevin Phelan; Stiofán Fitzpatrick; Johnny Swords, Greg Deegan, Colm O’Loughlin; Brian Casey, Patrick Hogan, Noel Flannery.
Subs: Gregory Earls for O’Loughlin, John O’Meara for Hogan, Errol Tuohy for Swords. Jude Kearney, Ian Chaplin, Nigel Quane, Tom Keogh, James Liddane, John Reddan, Ed Corry, Gerry Maxwell, Barry Keogh, Ultan Heffernan.
Management: Corey Downes (manager), Pat Chaplin and Noel Murphy (RIP) (selectors).
Click here to see the 1993 team >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 1993 – Back: Corey Downes (manager), Ed Corry, Barry Murphy, Errol Tuohy, Stiofán Fitzpatrick, Jim Spaight, Barry Downes, Gerry Maxwell, Noel Flannery, Cathal Walsh, Oliver Fitzpatrick, Pat Chaplin (selector). Middle: Jude Kearney, John O’Meara, Tom Keogh, Patrick Hogan, Johnny Swords, Declan Murphy (Captain), Mikey Corbett, Greg Deegan, Nigel Quane, John Reddan, Barry Keogh. Front: Gregory Earls, James Liddane, Ian Chaplin, Brian Casey, Colm O’Loughlin, Ultan Heffernan, Kevin Phelan. Missing From Picture: Noel Murphy (selector).
1997 – Fitzpatrick Captains Bridge To U16 Title
Sixmilebridge 1-11 v 2-6 Clarecastle
Back in 1995 this bunch of up and coming hurlers won the All-Ireland Féile na nGael (U14) tournament. It was no surprise that two years later they would enter the U16 championship as favourites and qualified for the penultimate stage courtesy of a 4-12 to 0-6 semi final defeat of Inagh, who had current Bridge player Tony Carmody in their ranks. This set up a intriguing clash with Clarecastle on Sunday the 9th of November in Cusack Park, Ennis. These two great rivals all the way through the underage ranks played out an exciting game of hurling with the Bridge emerging the victors with a 1-12 to 2-6 win. Sixmilebridge had a few positional changes from what was listed on the programme while there were also three changes in personnel with Damien Loughnane, Brian Glynn and Christan Meehan coming in for Ronan Hayes, Sean Chaplin and Michael Hogan. Clarecastle had the better of the opening half and they led at the break by 1-5 to 1-2, Brian Culbert had the Bridge major in the opening quarter before Micka Malone raised a green flag for the ‘Magpies. The Clare Champion attributed that a strong third quarter from Sixmilebridge proved crucial in deciding the destination of the cup. “A powerful third quarter which saw them score seven points without reply proving decisive for the winners”. Amongst the scorers for the champions were Robert Conlon, Brian Culbert, Tadgh Keogh and Rory Liddane. Not all scorers were listed but from reading the report Conlon got at least 0-6, Culbert at least 1-1 and both Keogh and Liddane were listed as raising white flags as well.
Sixmilebridge: Gerry O’Halloran; Brian Glynn, Rory Liddane, David O’Meara; Paul Murphy, Paul Fitzpatrick (Captain), Terence Chaplin; Brian Culbert, Damien Loughnane; Tadgh Keogh, Robert Conlon, Mark Culbert; Joe O’Halloran, Padraig Flannery, Christan Meehan.
Subs: Ruairí Walsh for Meehan, Ronan Hayes for Loughnane. Michael Hogan, Sean Chaplin, Shane Murphy, Kenneth McGrath, Jonathan Downes.
Management: Noel Murphy (RIP), Seamus O’Halloran, Tom Culbert, Michael Hayes, John Chaplin.
Click here to see the 1997 winning team >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 1997 – Back: Mark Culbert, Joe O’Halloran, Rory Liddane, Damien Loughnane, Gerry O’Halloran, Ronan Hayes, Brian Culbert, Paul Murphy, Ruairí Walsh, Kenneth McGrath. Front: Sean Chaplin, Terence Chaplin, Tadgh Keogh, Robert Conlon, David O’Meara, Paul Fitzpatrick (Captain), Padraig Flannery, Brian Glynn, Michael Hogan, Christan Meehan. Kneeling: Shane Murphy, Jonathan Downes.
1999 – Sixmilebridge Just Shade It
Sixmilebridge 3-5 v 1-9 Clarecastle
(researched by Paul Corbett)
A seventh U16 A crown visited the parish in 1999 when this bunch of players got the better of Clarecastle in a close contest. Indeed, it was a busy few weeks for the club with three titles within their grasp around October/November. Unfortunately, both the senior and minor hurlers came up short in their efforts to clinch respective honours with defeat at the hands of St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield and Clarecastle. Thus it was left to the U16 team to stop this losing streak when they met the ‘Magpies in early November. In the Clare Champion report of the final it stated that it was a closely fought final with the three Bridge goals coming from Sean Chaplin, with a speculative effort from distance that evaded the keeper, Brendan Walsh and Cyril Crowe.
Sixmilebridge: Paul O’Halloran; Ronan Donnellan, David O’Meara, Jonathan Downes; Billy Maxwell, Shane Murphy, Sean Chaplin; Donald Devanney, Tommy Morey; Brendan Walsh, Damien Keogh, Mark Lonergan; Cyril Crowe, Mark Culbert, David O’Connor.
Subs: Ciaran Dunne, Michael Liddane, Anthony Liddane, John Fahy, Dermot Conlon, Daniel Collins, Damien Murray, Patrick Punch, Graeme Stewart, Stephen O’Meara.
Management: Tim Crowe (manager), John Lynch, Pat Keane, Mike Deasy.
* In 2001 Sixmilebridge won the minor A title (picture below) so we can assume all bar Roy Kennedy, who was back then a Parteen player, were part of this winning U16 panel in 1999.
Click here to see the 1999 winning team >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U18 Champions 2001 – Back: Ronan Donnellan, Sean Chaplin, Billy Maxwell, Mark Culbert, Paul O’Halloran, John Fahy, Damien Keogh, Mark Lonergan, Cyril Crowe. Front: Ciaran Dunne, David O’Meara, Tommy Morey, Jonathan Downes, Daniel Collins, Michael Liddane, Roy Kennedy, David O’Connor. Also: Damien Murray, Brendan Walsh, Dermot Conlon, Patrick Punch, Anthony Liddane. Management: Pat Morey, Sean Corbett, Pat Chaplin.
2007 – Crowe’s Goals Clinch Title In Thriller
Sixmilebridge 3-8 v 3-8 Inagh/Kilnamona
Sixmilebridge 5-10 v 1-9 Inagh/Kilnamona (Replay)
The year of 2007 saw a first U16 A title come to the parish in nearly ten years. Indeed, it did not look likely mid way through the second half against Inagh/Kilnamona above in Newmarket. However, a great second half come back gave them a second bite of the cherry, which they duly took. The campaign started for this side back on the 24th of June when they beat Newmarket (1-12 to 2-6). Next up was Smith O’Brien’s where the spoils were shared (1-13 to 4-4) before they made the trek to Inagh to play the combination of Inagh/Kilnamona where after an exciting contest the Bridge emerged victorious (2-11 to 2-10). Another victory, this time over Kilmaley (4-9 to 1-10) set up a semi final clash with Cratloe where they comprehensively overcame our neighbours (3-12 to 0-4) to set up a final clash with the Combo. They did not start this game as they had hoped and trailed Inagh/Kilnamona at half time by 2-4 to 0-2. On the resumption Niall Arthur and Timmy Crowe swapped points before a goal from Arthur seemed to put his side in the driving seat, 3-5 to 0-3. The Bridge needed some divine intervention which arrived in the shape of a goal from team captain Shane Golden before Cathal O’Connor got his sides second goal. Further scores were traded which eventually saw the lead reduced down to four with just minutes left on the clock. With team captain Shane Golden pulling the strings for the Bridge he gave them the score they needed with a goal from a twenty metre free before Cathal O’Connor tied up matters at the death to force a replay.
Sixmilebridge: Stephen Fleming; Aidan Hyland, Noel Purcell, Barry Donnellan; Ray McNamara, Trevor Purcell, Seadhna Morey; Pa Sheehan (0-1), Kevin Lynch; Alan Mulready, Shane Golden (Captain) (2-4), Jamie O’Gorman; Cathal O’Connor (1-1), Timmy Crowe (0-1), Sean Lynch (0-1). Subs: Kieran Quinlan for Mulready, Daniel Larkin, Kevin Murphy, Brian O’Connell, Eanna Burns, Eamon O’Donoghue, Barry Corbett, Pa Connors.
In his report of the replay Eoin Brennan of the Clare People wrote this piece, which defined the game “Sixmilebridge rarely let the opportunity of a second chance pass them by. After snatching a draw late on to set up this replay, this time Sixmilebridge had their homework done and tactically they dominated Inagh/Kilnamona for the full hour. Inagh/Kilnamona made a number of positional switches from their last meeting but it was the Bridge’s employment of Ray McNamara as a man marker on dangerman Niall Arthur that was the real masterstroke. That and the constant threat of full-forward Timmy Crowe who amassed a stunning total of 4-1 over the hour.” The Cyril Crowe managed side led by 3-3 to 1-4 at the short whistle with his brother Timmy pouncing for two of these in between an effort from Alan Mulready, they carried on in the second period where they left off in the first to seal the win. The Clare Champion report by Michael O’Connor mentions the following as doing well “Apart from Crowe they had strong performances from Stephen Fleming, Seadhna Morey, Ray McNamara, Trevor Purcell, Pa Sheehan, Cathal O’Connor, Shane Golden and Alan Mulready”. It proved to be a unique double for Shane Golden, Cathal O’Connor, Pa Sheehan and Kevin Lynch who were part of the Cratloe team that won the U16 A football earlier in the season.
Sixmilebridge: Stephen Fleming; Aidan Hyland, Ray McNamara, Noel Purcell; Seadhna Morey, Trevor Purcell, Barry Donnellan; Pa Sheehan (0-1), Kevin Lynch; Alan Mulready (1-0), Shane Golden (Captain) (0-2; 0-1f), Jamie O’Gorman (0-2; 0-2fs); Cathal O’Connor (0-2), Timmy Crowe (4-1), Sean Lynch (0-2).
Subs: Kevin Murphy for Lynch, Brian O’Connell for O’Connor, Eanna Burns for Hyland. Daniel Larkin, Pa Connors, Kieran Quinlan, Barry Corbett, Eamon O’Donoghue.
Click here to see the 2007 winning team >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 2007 – Back: Kevin Lynch, Pa Sheehan, Timmy Crowe, Ray McNamara, Jamie O’Gorman, Daniel Larkin, Kevin Murphy, Stephen Fleming, Pa Connors, Noel Purcell, Brian O’Connell, Alan Mulready. Front: Ronan Keane (team attendant), Barry Corbett, Barry Donnellan, Cathal O’Connor, Shane Golden (Captain), Aidan Hyland, Seadna Morey, Sean Lynch, Kieran Quinlan, Eamon O’Donoghue, Trevor Purcell, Eanna Burns.
Management: Cyril Crowe (manager), John O’Meara Jnr, Tim Crowe, Gerry O’Halloran, Donald Devanney, Declan Murphy (Derra) (selectors)
2008 – Sixmilebridge See Off Combo
Sixmilebridge 5-15 v 1-12 Inagh/Kilnamona
With a number of the previous years’ team underage again in ’08 many people were predicting a repeat of that said final and it proved to be correct as both sides reached the final. Sixmilebridge got their campaign off to a winning start at the end of June with a 1-13 to 0-12 defeat of Newmarket before recording similar results over St. Joseph’s Doora/Barefield (3-14 to 2-6), a fancied Ballyea (1-9 to 0-10) and the Combo (0-16 to 0-11). Then on the 31st of July in a downpour at O’Garney Park they drew with a Daire Keane led Kilmaley side (2-10 to 3-7) before seeing off neighbours Wolfe Tones a week later (4-14 to 1-5) to qualify for the semi finals with one group game left to play. Perhaps what happened next was a blessing in disguise as in their final game they were duly sent crashing down to earth when they met Eire Óg who won the day on a 3-16 to 1-10 score line. Onto the last four and a clash with Doora/Barefield ended victorious (3-16 to 1-9) as they went in search of a second title on the trot. As predicted Inagh/Kilnamona came in from the other side of the draw as these two teams renewed their rivalry at Knocklisheen Park in Meelick. The Bridge lads went into this game without the injured trio of Kevin Lynch, Darragh Fitzgerald and Eamon O’Donoghue. In the end a fine game of hurling saw Noel Purcell accept the cup on behalf of a jubilant Bridge team in what was a complete team performance. While it would be unfair to single out anyone in this display Clare People journalist Eoin Brennan had this to say about the game “Just like Timmy Crowe’s haul of 4-1 in last year’s final, the Bridge conveyor belt of talent unearthed another impressive full-forward in Alan Mulready whose total of 3-2, ultimately drained Inagh/Kilnamona’s spirit. However, they weren’t just reliant on Mulready. Sean Lynch, Seadhna Morey, Jamie Shanahan, Cathal O’Connor, Patrick Sheehan and Noel Purcell to name but a few were all influential in this win.”
Click here to see the winning team of 2008 >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 2008 – Back: Eamon O’Donoghue, Darragh Fitzgerald, Conleth Agnew, Eoin Hogan, Brian Carey, Andrew Hogan, Kevin Murphy, Pa Sheehan, Kieran Quinlan, Sean Lynch, Aidan Hyland, David Ahern, Jamie Shanahan, Pa Connors, John Mulready, Mark Hehir, Cathal O’Connor, Alan Mulready, Barry Corbett, Kevin O’Connor (manager). Front: Stephen Fleming (selector), Brian Culbert (selector), Ronan Keane (selector), Dylan Fleming, Barry Donnellan, Noel Purcell (Captain), Eanna Burns, Seadna Morey, Pa Freeman, Shane Lynch, Ian O’Sullivan, Evan McInerney, Kevin Lynch, Tom Sheehan (selector).
As a result of this success, Pa Sheehan, Kevin Lynch, Cathal O'Connor, Conleth Agnew and Mark Hehir did the U16 A double having won the football equivalent earlier in the year with Cratloe.
Sixmilebridge: Kieran Quinlan; Mark Hehir, Noel Purcell (Captain), Aidan Hyland; Eanna Burns, Pa Sheehan (0-1; 0-1’65), Eoin Hogan; Cathal O’Connor (0-2), Brian Carey; Conleth Agnew (0-1), Barry Donnellan (1-0), Seadna Morey (0-4, 0-2fs); Sean Lynch (1-5), Alan Mulready (3-2), Jamie Shanahan.
Subs: Pa Connors for Donnellan, John Mulready for Hogan, Kevin Murphy for Sean Lynch.
Management: Kevin O’Connor (manager), Tom Sheehan, Brian Culbert, Stephen Fleming, Ronan Keane (selectors).
2009 – Lynch Captains Bridge To Three In A Row
Sixmilebridge 1-16 v 1-12 Ballyea
The chance of a first three in a row of U16 titles since 1983 was achieved at Fr. Murphy Park, Newmarket in October 2009. A strong team with nine survivors from the previous year meant that the Bridge were tipped as the team to beat. However, their great rivals Ballyea were also being touted for glory along with Parteen/Meelick. After the group stages and a semi final win over Smith O’Brien’s hurling followers were proved correct in their prediction of a Bridge and Ballyea final with an excellent finale in progress. And this is certainly what was given by both sets of players that day in Newmarket with a four-point win securing a three in a row. Sixmilebridge showed one change from the team named on the programme, Darragh McNamara came into the side for Mark Hehir after the latter was ruled out through illness. In his report in the Clare Champion Seamus Hayes had this to say about the final “The winners turned in a powerful second half display, which proved decisive in a game in which there were a number of good performances.” The defining moment of this contest came with ten minutes left to play when a Kieran Quinlan delivery around the square ended with Sean Lynch netting to give the O’Garney boys a three-point lead to set them on their way. The Lissycasey club man concluded by signalling out the following Bridge players as playing well “Best for the winners were Darragh McNamara, the brilliant Brian Carey, Dylan Fleming, Seadna Morey, Conleth Agnew, man of the match Jamie Shanahan, Sean Lynch and Alan Mulready.”
Click here to see the winning team of 2009 >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 2009 – Back: Jamie Shanahan, Brian Carey, Alan Mulready, Darragh McNamara, Darragh Fitzgerald, Conleth Agnew, Sean Lynch (Captain), John Mulready, Dylan Fleming, Evan McInerney, Eoin Hogan, Kevin Fennessy, Mikey Lynch, Derek Enright, Tomas Sheehan. Front: Brian Corry, Barry Fitzpatrick, Pa Freeman, Alex Morey, Kieran Quinlan, Seadna Morey, Stephen Mulready, Paul Finnan, Conor Deasy, Ian O’Sullivan, Jamie Williams. Missing From Picture: Mark Hehir.
It was a fitting end to a year that produced victories over Parteen/Meelick (1-18 to 1-10), Clooney/Quin (5-16 to 1-6) with a walkover given to us by Eire Óg in the final game. It is worth noting that in the third game Smith O’Brien’s with assistance from Broadford beat the Bridge by 2-11 to 1-6 and in the process avenged their defeat in the U15 final the year before. For this group game the Bridge were missing a few regulars but that is not taking away from the Killaloe sides win which they fully deserved. Thus a tight contest was expected when both clubs were drawn to face each other in the semi final. This was a game which saw Sixmilebridge hit top form recording a landslide 3-29 to 0-6 win to set up that gripping game with rivals Ballyea. Interestingly, this victory meant a third medal at this grade for Alan Mulready (who emulated his father Leo, 1981-83), Kieran Quinlan, Seadna Morey and Sean Lynch.
Sixmilebridge: Pa Freeman; Darragh McNamara, Brian Carey, Dylan Fleming; Eoin Hogan, Seadna Morey, Evan McInerney; John Mulready (0-1), Conleth Agnew (0-2); Seán Lynch (Captain) (1-2), Darragh Fitzgerald (0-1), Jamie Shanahan (0-9; 0-5fs, 0-1 65); Kieran Quinlan, Alan Mulready (0-1), Alex Morey.
Subs: Paul Finnan for Morey. Mark Hehir, Ian O’Sullivan, Mikey Lynch, Derek Enright, Brian Corry, Jamie Williams, Conor Deasy, Tomas Sheehan, Barry Fitzpatrick, Stephen Mulready.
Management: Tom Sheehan (manager), Pat Morey, Leo Mulready, Brian Culbert, Stephen Fleming (selectors), Carmel Morey (first aid).
2010 – Historic Four In A Row
Sixmilebridge 3-11 v 3-11 Clarecastle
Sixmilebridge 1-19 v 0-11 Clarecastle (Replay)
An historic four in a row was achieved last year after a brilliant year for this bunch which also saw them narrowly fail to Blackrock of Cork in the Carlow Town Hurling Club organised U16 All-Ireland tournament. This gave the players a number of testing games ahead of the championship. First up were the east Clare amalgamation of Feakle/Killanena who were put to the sword on a 4-16 to 1-14 score line. Next up were Clarecastle, the first of three gripping games between these two, where we had to settle for second best on the day (3-5 to 3-6) despite the efforts of Jamie Shanahan who hit 3-4. Then came victories over neighbours Newmarket (4-15 to 3-6) and Ballyea (8-18 to 0-17), who we beat in the U14 final of 2008. As a result of this they qualified to meet Feakle/Killanena in the semi final where they shared the spoils on a 2-11 to 2-11 score line with Sixmilebridge having a good half time lead only for the combination to storm back into it. In the replay the management team of John Lynch, Cyril Crowe, Mikey Russell and Thomas Liddy had their homework done as their side made no mistake with a 6-18 to 2-8 win to set up a duel with great rivals Clarecastle. These two had met at U10, U11, U12 and U15 finals with the Bridge winning all these clashes bar the U12 final of 2006. It would be fair to say that anytime they met there was very little between the two at the final whistle so another good contest was in the pipeline. Just like 2007 this final required two games to produce a winner, first day out it was stalemate at Newmarket, 3-11 to 3-11. Michael O’Connor’s headline of his match report in the Clare Courier captured it well “Clarecastle and Sixmilebridge serve up a thriller”. In this game the Bridge held the advantage at the interval, 1-6 to 1-5, before they started to kick on in the second half only for the ‘Magpies to fight back to force a replay with Bridge captain and county minor Jamie Shanahan hitting 1-7 in a man of the match performance. In his report the Crusheen man concluded with this “Sixmilebridge had solid displays from Darragh McNamara, Jamie Shanahan, Mark Hehir, Brian Carey, Alex Morey, Brian Corry, Kevin Fennessy and Paul Finnan”.
Sixmilebridge: Gavin Whyte; Stephen Mulready, Darragh McNamara, Barry Fitzpatrick; Kevin Fennessy, John Mulready, Dylan Fleming; Jamie Shanahan (1-7; 0-2fs, 0-1'65) Brian Carey (0-1); Mark Hehir (0-1), Alex Morey (0-1), David Murphy (1-0); Brian Corry (0-1), Conor Deasy, Paul Finnan (1-0).
Sub: Shane McInerney for S.Mulready
Click here to see the winning team of 2010 >>>
SIXMILEBRIDGE – U16 Champions 2010 – Back: Paul Finnan, Kevin Fennessy, Brian Corry, Barry Fitzpatrick, Brian Carey, Tomas Sheehan, John Mulready, David Murphy, Mikey Lynch, Jamie Williams, Mark Quinn, Padraig Agnew, Eoin McMahon, Eoin Maxwell. Front: Mark Hehir, Alex Morey, Gavin Whyte, Stephen Mulready, Jamie Shanahan (Captain), Dylan Fleming, Conor Deasy, Shane McInerney, Seanie Murray, Eoin Flynn, Darragh McNamara.
Fittingly these two teams were afforded a chance to play on the main stage that any club player aspires to – county final day in Cusack Park with the replay serving as the curtain raiser to the senior final between Cratloe and Crusheen. In this tie they made it a four in a row, a first ever for the club, thanks to a 1-19 to 0-11 victory. A goal from Conor Deasy helped Sixmilebridge to a 1-9 to 0-10 interval lead with the midfield dominance of Jamie Shanahan and Brian Carey propelling the reigning champions to victory. It must be said that some of the scores in this first half from both sides were of an excellent standard with efforts from Jamie Shanahan and a sublime sideline cut from Clarecastle midfielder Stephen Ward the pick of the bunch. Declan Murphy of the Sixmilebridge GAA website gave this assessment on the game in his match report “The 'Bridge felt they left the title after them in the drawn game and came out a determined bunch to go on and dominate the second half where they held their opponents to a single point. Powerful displays from Gavin White, Daragh McNamara, Dylan Fleming, Jamie Shanahan, Brian Carey and Conor Deasy ensured the title remained in the Bridge for another year.” After the game team captain Jamie Shanahan accepted the Fr. McNamara Memorial cup, in honour of the late Fr. Michael McNamara, which was presented to the county board by Wolfe Tones na Sionna. This win represented a third title for the likes of Jamie Shanahan, Brian Carey, Mark Hehir (who emulated his father Henry, 1981-83), John Mulready, Dylan Fleming and Paul Finnan with Hehir and David Murphy completing the double having earlier won the U16 A football championship with Wolfe Tones. It's also worth noting that John Mulready played in some of the earlier rounds of that competition for the Tones.
Sixmilebridge: Gavin White; Mark Hehir, Darragh McNamara, Barry Fitzpatrick; Kevin Fennessy, John Mulready, Dylan Fleming; Jamie Shanahan (Captain) (0-9; 0-5fs, 0-2 '65's), Brian Carey (0-3); Brian Corry (0-1), Alex Morey, David Murphy (0-2); Paul Finnan (0-1), Conor Deasy (1-3), Stephen Mulready.
Subs: Shane McInerney for S.Mulready, Robbie Corry for Hehir and Tomas Sheehan for Finnan. Jamie Williams, Mark Quinn, Mikey Lynch, Eoin McMahon, Eoin Flynn, Seanie Murray, Padraig Agnew, Eoin Maxwell.
Management: John Lynch (manager), Cyril Crowe, Michael Russell, Tommy Liddy (selectors). Marie Fennessy (first aid).
* Complete panel lists could not be got from 1982-83 and 1999 so it could be possible someone may be omitted (not on purpose by the way). Likewise with the management teams of 1981 and 1982, these could not be found. If anyone has more information on these three years or indeed any other of the above years then do not hesitate to contact us.