The 1890 Championship again had an entry
of five teams - Kilmoyley, Abbeydorney, Kenmare, Ballyduff and Lerrig, who had
In the first round Kilmoyley defeated
Abbeydorney 0-6 to 0-2. The semi-finals saw Ballyduff prove too good for Lerrig
and winning on a scoreline of 3-5 to 0-1. Kilmoyley got a walk-over in the other
semi-final from Kenmare in a replay. The first game was a fairly tough encounter
- a repeat of the previous county final. Kenmare refused to line out in the
Ballyduff and Kilmoyley met in their first county
final on June 15, 1890 with Kilmoyley emerging as victors on a scoreline of 2-2
So, Ballyduff were in at the start in fact reached three
county finals in a row 1890, 1891 and 1892. John O'Mahony, who captained the
team in those days, and Jim McDonnell were the two main men behind the Ballyduff
hurling club at the time. Glory was to come Ballyduff's way with the winning of
the 1891 All-Ireland senior hurling championship. From the humble beginnings of
1888 to an All-Ireland three years afterwards was Ballyduff's reward for
promoting our native game.
1891 - A Year of Glory
After the disappointment of their 1890 County Championship
final defeat, Ballyduff set about the task of capturing the '91 title. The
County final was a repeat of the previous year, Kilmoyley V Ballyduff, and
was preceeded by two football games. The Kerry reporter noted that both
teams suffered from emigration but were still eager to wrest the mantle of
County Champions. There was some falling off in form by Kilmoyley with a
marked improvement by Ballyduff who were expert at overhead play. At
half-time Ballyduff lead by 1-0 to 0-2. There were no further scores in the
second half so Ballyduff won their first County title. The report continued:
"if they are careful to keep practising there is little fear that they will
render a good account of the All-Ireland Championship".
The first round of the Munster hurling championship which was
also the semi-final, was Ballyduff's next assignment. This game was played
in Killarney on Sunday, September 20, and Blackrock, Cork, provided the
opposition.At the call of time in this game, Ballyduff were victorious with
a score of Ballyduff 2-7, Blackrock 0-3.
It was then to the Munster final for the meeting of Treaty
Stone, Limerick, and Ballyduff, Kerry. The teams were destined to meet
on two occasions. Treaty Stone were awarded the first game played in
Newcastle West on November 1, 1891 on a scoreline of 1-2 to 1-1. Ballyduff
claimed that a point scored by them was disallowed by the referee on
the grounds that time had expired. Ballyduff appealed the decision and
were granted a replay which took place in Abbeyfeale on January 31,
1892. Ballyduff ran out easy winners on a scoreline of 2-4 to 0-1.
Team: J Mahony (Capt), J Pierce, M Kelly, P Carroll, P
Flanagan, P Wynne, M O'Sullivan, R Kissane, J Crowley, P County, D Doolan,
J O'Sullivan, T Dunne, J Murphy, J J Murphy, M Fitzmaurice, J McDonnell,
D Boyle, J Nolan, J Crowley, P Crowley.
The stage was now set for the All-Ireland between Ballyduff
and Crossabeg, Wexford. Crossabeg had come through in Leinster by defeating
Dublin Raparees. This game also proved to be the All-Ireland semi-final as
neither Connaught or Ulster participated in the hurling championship.
Rule changes came into being on January 13, 1892 at the annual
congress. One of these changes was that for inter-county contests, champion
clubs were allowed select players from other clubs in the county in order to
strengthen their team. Ballyduff called on players from Kilmoyley and
Ardfert to strengthen their squad which already had some Lixnaw players on
it. Crossabeg called on the services of eleven players from neighbouring
Castlebridge. This was the last All-Ireland final to be played with 21
players a-side. (Teams were reduced to 17 a-side in the 1892 championship).
It was also the only All-Ireland final to have extra time played.
The All-Ireland final was played on Sunday, Febuary 27 in
Clonturk Park. This game resulted in Ballyduff running out victors on a
scoreline of 2-4 to 1-5. The result was received with vociferous cheering,
the victorious team being taken on the shoulders of the crowd and carried
triumphantly off the field amidst a scene of the wildest enthusiasm.
1891 was indeed a year of glory - Ballyduff won their first
County Senior Hurling Championship and went on to win for Kerry, its only
Munster and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship to date.
All-Ireland Winning Team
John Mahony, Ballyduff (Capt.); Maurice Fitzmaurice; Ahabeg; Maurice
Kelly, Ahabeg; John Murphy, Ahabeg; Jack O'Sullivan, Ballyduff; Paddy
Carr Carroll, Ballyduff; Pat Wynne, Ballyduff; Jim McDonnell, Ballyduff;
Michael O'Sullivan, Ballyduff; James Crowley, Ballyduff; Frank Crowley,
Ballyduff; Pat O'Rourke, Kilmoyley; Thade Eugene McCarthy, Kilmoyley;
Thade Donal McCarthy, Ardfert; Michael McCarthy, Ardfert; Michael Riordan,
Ardfert; Richard Kissane, Ballyduff; Pat Quane, Kilmoyley; Jackeen Quane,
Kilmoyley; Michael Kirby, Kilmoyley; Tom Dunne, Ballyduff.
Subs: J Murphy, Dromartin; Pat Flanagan, Ballyduff; Willie O'Connell,
Ballinorig; James Pierce, Rahela was unable to travel.