Muskerry football club Clondrohid had a successful stint in the Duhallow division

Muskerry football club Clondrohid had a successful stint in the Duhallow division
Members of the 1940/1942 Clondrohid team that won the Duhallow Junior Football Championship pictured at a 50th Anniversary function.

A GLORIOUS throwback to eight decades past when a short stay in Duhallow division bore fruition for Clondrohid by winning two divisional JAFC titles.

Chasing outright honours for the first time in 1940, Clondrohid were on a mission against Knocknagree with Millstreet hosting a team clearly in a hurry to make their mark after blitzing their opponents 3-6 to 0-0 in the first half, which laid the groundwork for an historic victory.

The club holds a proud, and at times, chequered history, with football pre-dating the founding of the GAA when an all conquering side overcame Coolclough from Dromtarriffe in 1877 and had a song titled “The Valiant Young Blades” written in their honour.

It was no surprise that, on the formation of the County Board in 1886, Clondrohid were a much spoken about side that came to pass in 1891 when a team captained by Con O’Leary were crowned County SFC kings after defeating Kilmurry, Dunmanway, and Nils en route.

The winning groove continued at provincial level when Clondrohid, representing Cork, overcame Kerry champions Ballymacelligott in the semi-final before accounting for Dungarvan to add Munster accolades. That earned Clondrohid a place in the All-Ireland final against Young Irelands (Dublin) in late February (1892) in Dublin’s Clonturk Park.

Controversy raged as Clondrohid emerged victors 2-9 to 2-1, but several hours after the game, the referee disallowed the first Clondrohid goal.

At that time a goal outweighed any number of points so Young Irelands were deemed victorious.

Clondrohid subsequently appealed the decision and a replay was granted, but for various reasons, the game was never played and Dublin, under the guise of Young Irelands, entered the record books as winners of the 1891 All-Ireland Football title.

A few weeks later, Clondrohid began the defence of their county title and did so successfully bettering Castlemartyr, Kilmurry’s second team, Dromtarriffe, and Kilmurry in the county final only to be halted by a strong Laune Rangers combination in Munster.

Lull periods followed and the club disbanding on a few occasions before transferring to the Duhallow division in 1938.

Clondrohid were quick to create an impact, doing so in style to inscribe a new name on the roll of honour to land the 1940 Duhallow JFC by brushing aside Knocknagree.

There could be no denying the style as well as the substance to Clondrohid’s game as they claimed a 3-7 to 0-5 victory, their opening half performance one of the best witnessed in the long history of the prestigious Duhallow Championship.

CLONDROHID: Jerome O’Neill, Stephen O’Connor, Jeremiah O’Neill, Jack Herlihy, Joe Buckley, Tadgh Herlihy, Mick Corcoran, John Lucey, Denny Murphy, Billy Wisemen, Peadar Creedon, Paddy McSweeney, Danny Murphy, John Kelleher, John Murphy, Michael Kelleher, Tim O’Sullivan, Denis Manning, Hugh Kelleher, Seán O’Connell, Jackie Twomey.

Hopes of success in the county came to naught after a defeat to Ballincollig, yet Clondrohid returned two years later to regain the Duhallow crown when overcoming Newmarket.

Though the club returned to Muskerry in 1945, a number of players joined Millstreet, with football giants Denis Manning, Dan “Tank” O’Driscoll, and Jerry O’Connor key to the Duhallow club landing the 1948 County SFC title for the only time.

Again Clondrohid disbanded, but resurfaced in 1963 and steadily, the club grew in stature thanks to the promotion of and success in underage affairs.

Reward came in 1995 when Clondrohid, banishing the demons of previous defeats in Mid Cork junior finals, captured their only Muskerry title in the division’s premier football championship by clearing the obstacle provided by near neighbours Aghinagh at a packed Macroom.

Clondrohid’s football history is a long and proud one, the first club in Muskerry to capture a Munster title.

Along with Macroom and Ballincollig, they are the only three Muskerry clubs to hold County Senior football titles and Clondrohid can boost of the only club from Muskerry and Duhallow to have won the Junior Football Championship accolades in both divisions.

Treasured memories of a famous Duhallow Junior Football breakthrough are recalled regularly in Clondrohid, Knocknagree poet Ned Buckley known as The Bard penned a special composition referring to the 1940 decider that included the apt lines: “The best team won, it was easy to see, The day that Clondrohid vanquished Knocknagree.”

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