Gers v Gaels in Leinster & a look back at Louth teams in the provincial championships

On Saturday (26th Sept) Geraldines take on Royal Gaels of Meath in the Leinster Intermediate Championship, at home at 2pm. The game will be streamed live on Geraldines facebok page.

This weekend it will mark the 25th year since a Louth club first took part in the provincial championship. County PRO Dermot Woods reflects on some of the achievements and talking points from a quarter of a century of Louth involvement on the provincial and National stage

It is eight seven years since a Louth club made an impression outside the county when Stabannon Parnells were crowned Leinster Intermediate champions before losing narrowly to Lisnaskea (Fermanagh) in the All-Ireland Intermediate final  in Scotstown

In 1996, St.Kevins became  the first Louth club to enter the Leinster Championship. The Philipstown club  accounted for Moate,(Westmeath) Coolkenna (Wicklow) and Rathoath (Meath) before playing Tara Rock (Wexford) in the Leinster club final at Carlow  on July 20.

In a game that could have gone either way  Tara Rock won an exciting game by one point 2-6 to 2-5

A year later St. Josephs were Louth’s representatives. After beating Ballyboden (Dublin) and Shanahoe (Laois)  the Joes met Summerhill in the provincial final in Carlinstown.

The Dromiskin team managed by Pat Mulligan, John Leavy and Richie Ford side won this encounter and in doing so became the first Louth club to win a Leinster Ladies football  title

In winning Leinster, St.Josephs qualified to meet Newtownbutler in the All-Ireland semi-final  losing in contreversal circumstances by 4-05 to 1-09

1998 was a breakthrough year for the sport in the Wee-County as Louth, after just five years in existence Louth beat  Roscomonn in a thrilling All-Ireland Junior final in Croke Park and Cooley Kickhams taking the national  club title

In the Leinster Championship Cooley beat Seaneschalstown (Meath)  Confey (Kildare) before meeting Blessington (Wicklow) in the final at Bagenalstown on Oct 18th. In a very one-sided final, Cooley won with the greatest of ease by 3-13 to 0-01.

In the All-Ireland semi final Cooley beat Emerald Gaels (Lancashire) by a very large score 9-17 to 0-01.

In the All-Ireland decider  the Louth Champions beat Naomh Aban (Cork) by 2-08 to 3-03. The team management was  Alo McGrath, Enda Rafferty and Nicholas Rafferty

Cooley’s team on that historic occasion was; Sonia Gernon, Joanne Rafferty, Joan McCarragher, Grainne Byrne, Nicola White, Lorraine Muckian, Catherine Murphy, Nuala Murphy, Elaine Rogan, 0-02, Laura Rafferty, Roisin Hanlon (Capt.) 1-00.Gabrielle Ward, Audrey Raffery, Lyn Savage, 0-02, Annemarie Murphy. 1-04. Subs used; Karen Kane, Geraldine McGuinness

The ’99 season saw the peninsula side  win the county title for the second time in succession and take part in the Leinster Intermediate club championship.

On the the way to the final they easily accounted for Ballymore (Longford) and Shanahoe,(Laois) in the semi final, before meeting AnTochar in the final in Bagenalstown on Oct 10.

Having led by 3-11 to 0-01 at the interval Cooley won easily on a 5-17 to 0-02 scoreline with Roisin Hanlon named player of the match. Annemarie Murphy was also presented with a trophy in recognition of her scoring prowess during Louth’s succesful All-Ireland Intermediate campaign.

The All-Ireland semi final aginst Naomh Aban took place in Killamartyna, Co. Cork on Nov 14 and saw Cooley emerge winners by 1-08 to 1-05.

Three weeks later Cooley played the Galway champions Kilkerrin/Clonberne in the All-Ireland Intermediate final in Keenagh, Co.Longford.

Despite being the better side for long spells Cooley’s inability to take their chances including a late penalty cost them dearly as they lost out by 2-06 to 1-03

In 2001 Cooley advanced to the final of the Leinster senior club championship final and a meeting with Dublin champions Ballyboden.

After a titanic contest Cooley emerged winners on 1-11 to 0-13 scoreline.

Immediatley on sounding the final whistle Referee Fran Mullins was confronted by a number of very irate “Boden officials who insisted he wrongly awarded a first half point to Cooley instead of the Dublin team.

The match official insisted this was not the case and Leinster chair Geraldine Giles awarded the trophy to the Kickhams Capt Roisin Hanlon  to a chorus of loud boos from the followers of the Dublin side.

Ballyboden lodged an immediate appeal against the result to the provincial and at an emergency meeting two days later, Leinster Council ordered the game to be replayed in Clane the following Sunday. Ballyboden won the replay bringing to an end an eventful week in which a Ladies football match and its aftermath was debated widely in the national media and on TV programmes such as Liveline and others.