Cork GAA Jersey Wars: Charleville v MTU Cork

Your votes will decide which club geansaí goes into the next round
Cork GAA Jersey Wars: Charleville v MTU Cork

Jersey Wars: Charleville v MTU Cork

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 10 versus 23, which is Charleville-MTU Cork, 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:

CHARLEVILLE

THE last decade has produced a hurling fairytale for Charleville, as they have progressed from the junior ranks to premier senior, claiming four county championships along the way.

Formed in 1888, Charleville, or Rathluirc, won the county middle hurling championship – what would later become known as intermediate – in 1914. At the time, there were players from Ballyhea, Newtownshandrum and others and, thanks to Charleville club member Jim O’Callaghan, we know that the colours worn were black and white, with the nickname of ‘the Magpies’ bestowed. The parish rule came in soon after that red and white were the colours chosen.

They club had regraded to junior by the 1930s and, after winning the North Cork junior championship for the first time in 1945, Charleville opted to seek admittance to the intermediate championship and it proved to be a shrewd decision as they won it at the first attempt and made it two in a row in 1947, moving to senior after the second victory.

Five years were spent at the top grade, reaching a county semi-final in 1950, before dropping back to intermediate and, while they reached that final in 1958, there was a return to junior in 1960.

While there were divisional titles in 1970, 1974 and 1986, county glory remained elusive and it wasn’t until the turn of the millennium that they became the major force in Avondhu, winning there in 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2008, falling to Courcey Rovers in the county final in the first of those years.

The breakthrough came in 2011. After winning North Cork, Charleville made it through to the final against Mayfield, resulting in a direct colour-clash. Following a coin-toss to determine colours, Charleville wore the white jerseys with red hoops favoured by the club’s football teams - such as the 2013 JBFC win - but, when that match was drawn, they were back in red for the replay, which they won.

 Charleville players Mark Kavanagh and Jack Buckley celebrate after their victory over Fr. O’Neill’s in the Co-Op Superstores Cork SAHC final in 2020. Picture: Dan Linehan
Charleville players Mark Kavanagh and Jack Buckley celebrate after their victory over Fr. O’Neill’s in the Co-Op Superstores Cork SAHC final in 2020. Picture: Dan Linehan

With little need for acclimatisation at intermediate level, they reached the final in 2014, losing to Fermoy, but came roaring back the following year with a series of outstanding performances, culminating in an impressive win over Dripsey in the final. As the Mid-Cork club play in red as well, there was another instance of the white jerseys being used in a decider.

Premier intermediate victory followed in 2018 – avenging the 2001 junior loss to Courcey Rovers – but while Charleville were senior in 2019, they fell victim to the restructuring of the county championships and had to compete in senior A in 2020. They responded in the best possible way, however, with a win over Fr O’Neills in the final securing a place in the top flight once more.

As with neighbours Newtownshandrum, Charleville benefit from the shirt sponsorship of local Ford dealership Cavanaghs.

MTU CORK

WHEN the Bishopstown-based third-level institution returns to the Cork county senior hurling and football championships in 2022, it will be under a third different name.

Cork Regional Technical College came into being in 1974 and the RTC entered GAA teams in intervarsity competitions from the following year. Red and white hoops were the colours from the outset, presumably as a nod to Cork while achieving sufficient differentiation from UCC.

The Ryan Cup, the second-tier colleges hurling competition, was won in 1977, 1980 and 1989, while the RTC were victorious in its football equivalent, the Ryan Cup, in 1979. In the autumn of 1994, the decision was taken to enter the following year’s county senior hurling and football championships.

A preliminary-round football clash pitted them against Clonakilty and, though the West Cork side would go on to win the title in 1996, on that day in Innishannon they fell to the RTC. Despite trailing by four points at half-time, the students triumphed by 0-12 to 1-7, with Kerryman John O’Connell accounting for six points.

While the first few years in the hurling championship brought heavy losses, the name-change to Cork Institute of Technology for the 1998 championship coincided with more competitive performances. It wasn’t until 2004 that a first hurling victory came, beating reigning county, Munster and All-Ireland champions Newtownshandrum with Vincie Hurley and John Paul O’Callaghan leading the way.

Another win over Killeagh brought them to the quarter-finals but, somewhat unfortunately, they came up against Newtown again, who had availed of the advent of the second chance for first-round losers and avenged the earlier loss.

That decade was one of real progress for CIT, however, culminating in the 2009 Sigerson Cup victory at the college’s magnificent new stadium. 

Of those involved in the win over Dublin IT in the decider, Ray Carey, Paul O’Flynn, Paul Kerrigan, Daniel Goulding and Colm O’Neill would all go on to help Cork win the All-Ireland senior title the following year.

Then, in 2011, wins over Imokilly, Erin’s Own, Bride Rovers and Newtown brought CIT to a first senior hurling final but they were denied a maiden title by Carrigtwohill. In that opening-round game against the East Cork divisional side – who play in red and white stripes – CIT donned a black change strip.

Picture: Dan Linehan
Picture: Dan Linehan

The red and white hoops have remained - it's not known if the MTU merger of CIT and IT Tralee will cause a change - but in recent years there has been a change to the kit as navy shorts have replaced the previous white set, giving the college a unique identity and lessening the similarity with the Cork strip.

EMC were strong supporters of the college for a number of years and sponsored the jerseys, while that space is currently taken by international technology firm VMWare, who have an office in Ballincollig.


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