Glen Rovers and Seandún served up a classic Cork camogie final in 1994 with sisters on opposite sides

Glen Rovers and Seandún served up a classic Cork camogie final in 1994 with sisters on opposite sides
Glen Rovers' Linda Mellerick looks for a way past Imokilly's Helena Barry at Brian Dillon's. Picture: Dan Linehan

WITH the nostalgic clips and pics circulating on twitter and a look back at some great games of the past on TG4’s All-Ireland Gold, I was thinking of some of the great memories I have of past games where everything was left on the field by both teams.

Glen Rovers won seven county titles in a row from 1990 to 1996 and during that time we had some tremendous battles with some great club sides. One, in particular, stands out and that was the 1994 county final victory over Seandún.

At the time we in Glen Rovers felt the county was against us. We had won four titles and it wasn’t going down well at all. Mary Moran’s book ‘Cork’s Camogie Story’ recalls:

“It was felt that the gap in standards between the Glen as All-Ireland champions at the time and the remaining senior club sides had become so wide that convention voted in a new senior B championship.”

So, every club side apart from the Glen were graded senior B leaving the Glen to play for the senior A title against divisional sides only. I still find that strange.

Eye on the ball! Linda Mellerick (Glen Rovers) prepares a shot at the Toomevara goal in the Munster Club semi-final. Picture: Kieran Clancy.
Eye on the ball! Linda Mellerick (Glen Rovers) prepares a shot at the Toomevara goal in the Munster Club semi-final. Picture: Kieran Clancy.

Look at the teams at county and national level that have won four in a row and more since. But that’s what happened, and we felt that we were being hard done by. Of course, that made us want to win the county even more.

Seandún, Imokilly, Muskerry and Carbery joined us in the senior A championship. Taking extracts from Mary’s book brings back a lot of memories. She scribes how ‘Carbery trained hard for their opening round with the Glen.

They played a number of challenge matches to sharpen their side and generate good teamwork. The Glen’s winning margin of 23 points brought home the reality of the disparity of standards’.

Seandún, however, were a different story. In my view they were a star-studded side and we knew it was going to be a real challenge to retain our title.

Seandún had the pick of Bishopstown who were very strong at the time (and won four in a row from 1997 to 2000), St Finbarr’s, Brian Dillon’s and Na Piarsaigh and they faced Imokilly in their first-round tie with players from Sarsfields, Killeagh, Fr O’Neill’s, St Catherine’s and Cobh.

St Finbarr's Colette O'Mahony going for a point in 2006. Picture: Kieran Tobin
St Finbarr's Colette O'Mahony going for a point in 2006. Picture: Kieran Tobin

Mary’s record states, “The accurate free taking of Colette O’Mahony, an excellent goal from Vivienne Harris and some good points by Irene O’Leary gave Seandún the edge. Imokilly were over reliant on Fiona O’Driscoll for scores and the tight marking Paula Goggins kept a rigid rein on her.

“Seandún were never in danger of losing the semi-final against a disappointing Muskerry side. Liz O’Neill, Colette O’Mahony, Niamh O’Regan, Vivienne Harris, Sheenagh Morley and Karen Mellerick combined to score 6-15.”

We knew in the Glen we were up against it in the final. What I vividly remember about the game was that it was played on a lovely sunny evening and Ballinlough was packed for the game. It was certainly one of the biggest crowds ever at a county camogie final.

And we were under pressure.

I found myself on the opposite side to my sister Karen who was appearing in her first senior final. The extract from Mary’s book reads as follows:

“Seandún paid little heed to the standing or records of Glen Rovers and put it up to the champions. Twice, in a pulsating match, the champions hauled themselves back from a five-point deficit.

“The divisional side made the early running. Tremendous play by Colette O’Mahony, Paula Goggins, Karen Mellerick and Sheenagh Morley saw Seandún race into a 0-6 to 0-1 lead. Glen were reeling for a while but the unerring accuracy of Lynn Dunlea from frees brought them back into the game.

“A goal from Eithne Duggan and points from Jill Hannon had the holders in trouble. The champions switched Lynn Dunlea from the wing forward position, where Paula Goggins had her under lock and key, to full forward. Lynn rescued the Glen from the jaws of defeat with 1-3 in the final moments.

“Therese O’Callaghan was presented with the Player of the Match award following a marvellous midfield display. The game, when ended Glen Rovers 1-14, Seandún 1-9 was undoubtedly the best county final in years and it aroused great interest among camogie followers.”

I remember the final whistle blowing and the absolute joy. We truly celebrated that win. We felt we had beaten the best of Cork in an incredible game and it stands out as one of my nicest memories.

GLEN: Mairead O’Leary, Mary Ring, Deirdre McCarthy, Sandie Fitzgibbon; Stephanie Dunlea, Denise Cronin, Therese O’Callaghan, Mary Currid, Linda Mellerick, Lynn Dunlea, Ger McCarthy, Claire McCarthy.

SEANDÚN: Rose Desmond (Bishopstown), Evelyn Healy (Na Piarsaigh), Colette Cronin (St Finbarr’s), Paula Goggins (Na Piarsaigh), Liz Towler (Bishopstown), Sheenagh Morley (do), Karen Mellerick (Brian Dillon’s), Jill Hannon (do), Vivienne Harris (Bishopstown), Liz O’Neill (do), Colette O’Mahony (St Finbarr’s), Niamh O’Regan (Brian Dillon’s).

Glen Rovers Al-Ireland Camogie Club champions 1990. Back Row: Nora Newman (chairperson). Marie Mackey (selector). Mary Ring, Mairead O’Leary, Tracy O’Riordan, Helena Mullins, Fiona McCarthy, Finbarr O’Neill (trainer), Linda Mellerick, Patricia Murphy, June Hamill, Mandy Kenefick, Deirdre Sutton (selector), Mary Newman (selector). Front: Teddy Bear, Claire McCarthy, Ger McCarthy, Diane Deane, Ann O’Donovan, Therese O’Callaghan, Denise Cronin, Mary Currid, Deirdre McCarthy, Fiona Twomey, Sandie Fitzgibbon.
Glen Rovers Al-Ireland Camogie Club champions 1990. Back Row: Nora Newman (chairperson). Marie Mackey (selector). Mary Ring, Mairead O’Leary, Tracy O’Riordan, Helena Mullins, Fiona McCarthy, Finbarr O’Neill (trainer), Linda Mellerick, Patricia Murphy, June Hamill, Mandy Kenefick, Deirdre Sutton (selector), Mary Newman (selector). Front: Teddy Bear, Claire McCarthy, Ger McCarthy, Diane Deane, Ann O’Donovan, Therese O’Callaghan, Denise Cronin, Mary Currid, Deirdre McCarthy, Fiona Twomey, Sandie Fitzgibbon.

We truly were a tight-knit and very close team during that era. A member of that great Glen family was Helena Mullins who lost her husband Tommy last week.

Tommy was a great character and we have tremendous memories of him. During Covid-19 it is heart-breaking that we can’t be there for Helena and her family at this time, but we will be once this is all over.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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