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Remembering skibereen

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  • By Derry moran
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Remembering skibereen

A chance to catch up on classic "Derry moran reminiscing" narticles from the Vale Star.

In a County Cup clash. At that time, you were allowed play three senior players, Frankie O’Driscoll, father of Brian O’Driscoll was out-half for Skib that day. The result of the game was: Skib 42, Charleville 3. At that stage the value of the try was three points. I am not sure how many tries Skib scored as they didn’t bother taking conversions as the game went on. Seanie Lynch, as usual, was the Charleville touch judge. As the game went on the crowd drifted away. All that were left on the sideline were Seanie and two Skib supporters who gave Seanie a terrible slagging in the course of the game. With time up John Foley went over in the corner to make the score 42-3. A delighted Seanie didn’t go over for the conversion but ran up to the two Skib supporters and serenaded with ‘Now – put that up your h****’. In 1974/75 in a play-off with Skib for this County Cup, they beat us by a drop goal from Charlie McCarthy. Other members of that Skib team who I can recall are John Field and Percy Hickey. The year after the big defeat, we returned to Skib as gross underdogs. John Noonan from an intercept ran the length of the field to score under the posts. I managed to scrape the cross-bar with the conversion. We were leading 5-3 with minutes to go. Skib got a penalty under the posts. The rule had just come in that one could take a drop kick for a penalty. Skib took the drop and missed. On another trip to Skib, we lost the driver and the bus at some stage of the night. A trawl for the bus was done. When we failed to find him, we visited the local cinema. A member of the club went up to the screen in the course of the film and informed the locals that we were looking for a bus driver. The natives were not impressed! In 1968 we played Skib in Charleville on St. Patrick’s Day. Jim O’Keeffe TD was a regular on the Munster junior team at the time. Fergus O’Rourke, brother of Colm O’Rourke was playing senior football with Leitrim at the time. We played him second row and although he had very little rugby experience he was more than a match for Jim O’Keeffe. My most memorable game against Skib. I will deal with the ‘afters’ first. When it came to closing time, we realised Ballydehob races were on that day. Four of us went to Ballydehob for the extension ‘til 12 o’clock. Leaving the pub at about 1 o’clock, we decided a 100 mile drive would be a bit much for the state we were in. We phoned someone we knew in the area and he put us up for the night. The game itself was the best I ever saw Charleville play, the score ended 22-21 in our favour. Liam McNamara was our kicker. Between himself and the Skib kicker they did not miss a kick that day. Our winning score that day came from a try by John Noonan. He got the ball about 30 yards out and beat two men to go over in the corner. Not satisfied with that, as we needed the conversion to win, he came back out over the line, beat another man and touched down under the posts to make it 22-21 If he had messed it up, he would have been left in Skib. The team that day I can’t recall. Some names I can, Declan O’Connell, Pa Leahy, Neilus Buckley, Pad Jo O’Donoghue, Barry Harold, Jer Madigan, Paul O’Shea, John Woolley, Liam McNamara and John Noonan.
Remember Skibbereen!
James Cecil Parke 1881 – 1946
Was he the greatest ever Irish sportsman? His achievements
Tennis: 1908 Olympic silver medalist; 1912 Australian singles and doubles champion; 1904/13 8 times Irish Open Champion; 1912 Davis Cup winners; 1914 Wimbledon mixed doubles winner.
Golf: 1906 player for Ireland against Scotland and England.
Rugby: 1903/1909 won 20 caps for Ireland, scoring 30 points including 2 tries. He was grand-uncle of Cycil Pedlow who played for Ireland and the Lions in the 50s. He was a first class cricketer. He was also a top-class chess player and played his first major tournament at 9 years of age. Many of his trophies are on display in Monaghan County Museum. A short film was made on his life in 2015.
By Derry Moran


  1. Alan Lyons Alan Lyons

    It was a great time to be alive & involved, and a great story to hear & love. Thank you for sharing so wonderfully.

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