WE want to know what your favourite GAA geansaí is.
From here until the end of August, your votes will decide the best design in our Cork GAA Jersey Wars competition.
Our resident jersey expert Denis Hurley compiled a list of 32 clubs, based on those involved in the senior tiers and a selection of wild cards. We put them in alphabetical order and paired them up, number six versus 27, which is Carbery Rangers-Newtown, and mapped out the path to the final.
Full details of the competition are here.
Voting will run from 8am each day for 24 hours on the link below:
A house on the site now occupied by the Celtic Ross Hotel hosted the first meeting of Carbery Rangers in November 1887.
According to the club’s website, “some of the earliest match reports give the name Carbery Rangers or in some cases Rosscarbery Rangers. This title was changed briefly in 1890 to the name Michael Dwyer in response to a request that all clubs should adopt patriotic names. As to why the name Carbery Rangers was chosen in the beginning we just don't know, but it can be assumed that it had connotations of athletic ability, durability, and fearlessness in the Rangers part of the title and the Carbery part obviously came from the title of the local barony.”
A report on a monster meeting held in Ross early in 1888 referred to members of the newly formed club being dressed in their “orange and green uniforms”. By the time the club was reorganised in 1900, green, white and gold/yellow hoops was the design chosen and it is one that has lasted to the present day.
First winning the Carbery junior football championship, the club were triumphant in the division on eight more occasions without claiming county glory, but in 2003 they went all the way and that was the key to unlocking a huge amount of potential.
Reaching the intermediate final in their first year, they lost to Nemo Rangers but, because the Munster club championships were not open to clubs’ second teams, Ross represented Cork and claimed the All-Ireland title. Buoyed by that success, they went a step further in the intermediate in 2005 and soon set about establishing themselves as a force at senior level.
Regular semi-final appearances led to an appearance in the final in 2014 and, while they lost to Ballincollig, they were back two years later as the roles were reversed, Ross lifting the Andy Scannell Cup.
In both of those games, Ballincollig opted to wear a change strip but Carbery Rangers have rarely if ever had to change – even games against Valley Rovers (green/white hoops) have seen both sides in traditional tops.
Like a growing number of sides in Cork, Ross are now clad in McKeever kit and they benefit from the fact that goalkeeper Ronan Milner is the area sales executive for the Armagh firm. For 2020, he designed a new jersey, with the full logo of sponsors the Celtic Ross featuring for the first time.
‘I got two jerseys done up and sent them on to the chairman, Johnny Murphy,” he said, “and suggested that we go with something like that going forward and thankfully the Celtic Ross thought it was a brilliant idea.”
While Newtownshandrum hold their green and gold colours dear, the club’s biggest achievement came while wearing the red of Cork.
The club had been county intermediate champions in 1953, 1976 and 1981 without ever making a big impact at senior level, regrading after four years at the top level following the last of those three titles.
However, the 1996 intermediate victory was different and in 1999, they reached the quarter-finals, losing narrowly to a three-in-a-row-seeking Imokilly side. The following year they went all the way to lift the Seán Óg Murphy Cup and repeated the feat in 2003, reversing the result of the 2002 decider against Blackrock.
From there, they went on to win the Munster final, where a colour-clash with Tipperary’s Toomevara saw both sides don their county jerseys. On that occasion, it was the actual O2-sponsored Cork shirt Newtown wore but, come the All-Ireland club final on St Patrick’s Day in 2004 – against Antrim’s Dunloy, who also wear green and gold – a specially produced red Newtown jersey was produced. Dunloy played in their county colours, effectively a reversal of their usual kit.
However, for the pre-match team picture, the team were in traditionally coloured jerseys, making for an interesting contrast with the red socks.
Colm McGuckian opened the scoring for the men from the Glens inside the first minute, but poor shooting – in the form of six first-half wides – was to hamper them while Newtown eventually began to find their feet. Ben O’Connor and Alan T O’Brien helped them to lead by 0-7 to 0-2 at half-time, and while Dunloy goalkeeper Gareth McGhee netted a penalty early in the second half, Newtown were not to be denied.
A 0-17 to 1-6 victory brought them to the promised land and captain John McCarthy donned the green and gold for the presentation of the trophy which confirmed them as the top club in all of the land.
Newtown won the county again in 2005 and romped through Munster again, setting up an All-Ireland semi-final with another Ulster side, Ballygalget of Down – another clash of colours. On this occasion, county strips would have also clashed and so Newtown were in the blue of Munster with their opponents in their provincial colours of amber and black. Newtown won that but lost the decider to Portumna.
The blue remained as a back-up option in the years after that – a fourth and most recent county senior championship was won in 2009, having lost to Erin’s Own in the 2007 final – but in recent times they have opted for an alternative jersey of white with green and gold trim.
During much of the glory years of the 2000s, Newtown wore kits made by a company called Intosport but now, like so many others, they play in O’Neills strips. Cavanaghs of Charleville provide the club with shirt sponsorship.