Moyvane Club History

article taken from “Souvenir Match Programme” of 1999 N.K. Championship Final)

Moyvane’s record of success for all of Seventy years, is such that it would be impossible to do it justice in the space available here, in this 1999 match final programme. In any account, however brief, the following facts would have to be highlighted.

Records show that Newtown’ played Dromlought in Murphy’s field in Knockanure in 1917. The Line-out was: John O’Sullivan, Mossie Walsh, Joe More, Johnny McCabe, John Thade, Jimmy O’Mahony, Bill & Paud O’Sullivan, Paddy Finucane, Maurice Walshe, James (‘Sonny’) Harrington, Mike Goulding, Tom Stack, Jim Nolan, Tom O’Callaghan and Con Brosnan.

Newtown later participated in the North Kerry League organised by the Listowel club (the earliest established club in North Kerry), prior to the establishment of the North Kerry Board in 1925. Newtown, in fact, won the first ever North Kerry championship run by the board in 1925. One member of that winning team had already lined out for Kerry at midfield in the All-Ireland final of 1923, in which Kerry were defeated. However, the contribution of Con Brosnan, of whom I write, did not go unnoticed, even though Kerry had to give way, on the day, to Dublin. His immaculate fielding, precision, kicking and unflinching endurance on that occasion were destined to be oft repeated. Not alone for his native Moyvane but even more emphatically and importantly these qualities were to carry him to such a pinnacle of fame before his career’s end as to be proclaimed among Kerry’s greatest mid-fielders ever!

1923 was to be the first of Eight appearances for Con in All-Ireland finals for Moyvane’s most famous son. Con won six All-Ireland medals. Thomas Mahony, his team-mate on the Moyvane of that time, followed him on to the Kerry team winning All-Ireland medals in 1926 & 1927. In these early days of Moyvane football, club games were played in Bill Stephen Stacks field, located just south of the village on the banks of the Ownamoy. County championship games were held, however, in John O’Connor’s field, just across the road. North Kerry senior championship victories in 1925, ’27, ’28, ’30 & ’32 had enabled Moyvane to stamp their authority; on North Kerry football.

Besides Con Brosnan, the team abounded with footballers of great stature: Tom O’Callaghan, Paddy Windle, Tom O’Mahony, Dan Kearney, Joe McCabe, J.Brassil (goals), J.Finucane, W. O’Sullivan, J.Stack, Josie Enright, Paud O’Sullivan (father of renouned Finuge footballers: Tom, Tim & Christy and also a Kerry Team panellist of his era), W. Finucane, D.Mulvihill, J.J.Moriarty, J.Mahony, J.McCabe and John Flavin.

John Flavin won an All-Ireland medal with Kerry in 1937 and contributed hansomely to Kerry’s eclipse by Galway in the All-Ireland final of 1938.

After winning four North Kerry championships in a row 1936 to 1939 (inclusive), Moyvane suffered a slump in football fortunes that was far from temporary. However, patient and dedicated addministrators kept the club going, through the forties and early fifties, when rural clubs were being deprived of their life-blood by the scours of unemployment and emigration. Success at administrative level was the club’s main boast at this period, with Con Brosnan training the successful Kerry teams of ’39 and ’40 and acting as Kerry selector and later Munster Council representative for a number of years. (He also acted as chairman North Kerry Board from 1936-’42).

The emergence of a minor team in Moyvane, good enough to win a North Kerry Championship in 1954, heralded a new dawn of Moyvane footbal. The upswing continued until 1958. Moyvane marched to victory in the North Kerry championship. On that team were men who had upheld the honour of Moyvane during the lean years, energised and reinvigorated by the new blood from the ’54 minor team.

Moyvane football was back with renewed vigour. Many felt another championship or two could be gleaned but few could visualise the golden era that was to ensue.

The early sisties were dominated by a truly great Moyvane team. Four North Kerry championshps and three North Kerry leagues were anexed from 1961 to 1966. In 1963 Moyvane the double of North Kerry Championship and North Kerry League and also won the Frank Sheey Tournament, a tournament which carried much prestige at the time. Liam Hanrahan won an All-Ireland medal with Kerry juniors in1963. Both Joe Sheey and Bernie O’Callaghan won National League medals with Kerry. The 1963 team lined out as follows: Ed.Stack (goal), Stevie Stack, P.J.Kennelly, Paudie Hanrahan, Brendan Sheey, John McEnery, Timmy Hanrahan, Liam Hanrahan (capt.), Maurice Stack, Des Broderick, Bernie O’Callaghan, Brendan Broderick, Tommy Mulvihill, Michael Hennessy, Colm O’Callaghan.

The 1964 championship win is especially memorable in that it was achieved without the services of Bernie O’Callaghan who was hospitalised for the final (v.Tarbert), a factor which militated against Kerry’s chances against Galway in the All-Ireland final of the same year.

The 1966 final is probably best remembered for a great display at centre forward by John C.Cunnigham and an overall display that belied the teams’s longevity, though pitted against a youthful and soon to be dominant Ballylongford team. An unsuccessful if gallant appearace in the North Kerry league final of ’68 agains Tarbert was to be this team’s swan song. Eleven of this team had represented Kerry in one grade or another during the team’s ascendance. Prior to that Jim Brosnan and Micheal had represented Kerry at the highest level. Micheal winning an All-Ireland medal in 1953 and 1955. Having purchased the sportsfield in 1964, Moyvane set about funding its development mainly by means of staging an annual carnival. Avery successful tournament was held each year in conjunction with the carnival. Outright victory in the Moyvane carnival tournament was sought with fervour by all participating teams. Besides the upgrading of the pitch itself development was carried out in the area of dressing room erection, stand erection, concrete terrace, walled facade, etc. In the GAA centenary year of 1984, on June 17th, county chairman Frank King, officially opened the Con Brosnan Memorial Park.

Apart from a North Kerry minor championship win in 1968 and an unsuccessful appearance in the North Kerry senior Final of 1971, Moyvane had to wait until 1977 for their nexr major North Kerry title when they won the league, defeating Ballylongford in the replayed final.

Denied by Beale on five occasions, Moyvane again made the breakthrough in 1983, taking their first championship in 17 years. The team was as follows: J.Fitzmaurice (goals), N.Sheehan, M.Mulvihill, Noel Larkin, J.Stack, J.Mulvihill, E.Fitzmaurice,, M.Flaherty, T.Mulvihill, T.Keane, S Beaton, E.Sweeney, D.Mulvihill, P.Mulvihill and C.O’Callaghan (note: Johnny Mulvihill, no.6 on this team, had risen to fame, first in 1975 winning an All-Ireland minor medal, to be followed by U21 and senior medals subsequently).

An unsuccessful appearances in the North Kerry senior final of 1987 was followed by victory in the N.K U21 championship of 1989. In 1993 the club won their second ever minor championship (N.K.) after a 38 year lapse, a fact which enabled Moyvane to reach the North Kerry senior final of 1995. Moyvane gave a truly memorable display to oust a very good Listowel team in the final of 1995.

1996 saw Moyvane forced to give best to Finuge in the replayed senior final, after an epic draw previously. Although fielding strong teams, Moyvane failed to Ballylongford and to Ballyduff in ’98, after a fine game of football saw them short by a point. And so on to 1999! “Hope springs eternal …” they say. After a first round bye, Moyvane were faced with the unenviable task of bearding the Listowel Lion, dual champions in ’97 and ’98.

In many yeas of being present in Moyvane dressing rooms, this writer has to say that never before was there such a pervasive atmosphere of dedication, determination and total commitment. This carried Moyvane through agains a Listowel team who were hardly at their awesome best on the day.

And so, on to a semi-fnal joust with Ballylongford, those doughty warriors from Shannonside. In a game of swaying fortunes and perhaps with a nod of good fortune or two from lady luck, Moyvane won the day with two points to spare. Already this year Moyvane have annexed a county title in the Barrett Cup grade. To add the North Kerry senior championship of 1999 would be sweet indeed. All will be revealed today!

Guín rath agus ádh ar an dá fhoireann agus go raibh an bua ag an bhfoireann is fearr.

-Article taken from the ‘Souvenir Match Programme’ specially produced for the last North Kerry Championship Final of the century just past.

Moyvane went on to become gallant winners on final day bringing home the cup in a fitting end to an illustrious seventy years of football in the twentieth century.