HISTORY 1946 - 1980
In 1946, the St. Catherines club as we know it today was established. Basically under the strong influence and guidance of Fr. O'Donnell C.C. After approximately four meetings Kilcronat-Rathdrum and Conna were united as one hurling force. Officers elected from that fateful meeting were; Chaiman - Fr. J. O'Donnell C.C., Vice Chairman - Moss Sullivan, Secretary - Paddy Hartnett, Treasurer - Paddy Sheehan.
Originally graded "A" with the likelyhood of having played Cloyne and Aghada in alternate years, it was reverting to the "B" hurling championship of 1948 that saw Imokilly's newest club record their first championship success and ultimately prove outright winners of the competition that year. A first round victory over Dooneen Rovers (Lisgoold) was recorded. Before overcoming Castlelyons in the semi-final at Rathcormac. A match refereed by future county chairman Denis Conroy. A strong finish saw Killeagh overcome in the final which was played in Castlemartyr. A panel made up of Mick Walsh, John Lynch, James Sheehan, Batt O'Reagan, Jack Hurley, Johnny Buckley, John Dinneen, Billy Casey, Billy Walsh, Morgan McGrath, Eddie Drake, George Barron, Michael O'Brien, Son O'Mahony, Jack Hogan, Pad O'Keeffe, Mickey Byrne, Billy Barry, Mossie Flaherty, Owen Casey and Joe Flynn. That particular final was refereed by David Lawton, Castlemartyr, whose son Fr. Pat Lawton represented Cork at minor and U21 level. St. Catherines held a victory dance in Dungourney Hall that night.
Promoted to "A" level the following year but defeat in the first round to Leeside at Midleton was followed by a loss to Bride Rovers in the opening round of the "B" championship also. So having regraded to "B" for the 1950 championship, St. Catherines were prepared to give it a right go. With the addition of some younger players to the panel their confidence was fully vindicated. Victories over Watergrasshill, St. ita's and Castlelyons preceded a marvellous final victory over Cobh at Midleton.
Panel of players; Pad. O'Keeffe, Son O'Mahony, Billy Barry, James Sheehan, Batt O'Regan, Jack Hurley, Johnny Buckley, Mossie Flaherty, Billy Casey, Billy Walsh, Jimmy Coughlan, Eddie Drake, Tom Flynn, Morgan McGrath, John Lynch, Jack Hogan, Owen Casey and Paddy McGrath.
Having gone through '51-52-53 with only one first round victoy in the Junior "A" hurling championship encounter, that being '52 against Midleton which was reverse of the championship fixture just twelve months previous, Catherines were again graded "B" for the 1954 season. Only to claim their third title in seven years. A first round victory over Cooladurra (Inch) was followed by subsequent wins against Russell Rovers and Youghal. Before overcoming Ballymacoda in the final itself.
Panel of players; Eddie Drake, Billy Barry, Billy Casey, Batt O'Regan, Jack Hurley, James Sheehan, Mossie Flaherty, Dick Morrison, Billy Walsh, Declan O'Flaherty, John Flynn, Martin O'Keeffe, Thoss Morrison, John Lynch, Jack Hogan, Kevin Flynn, Jim Parker, Paddy Parker, Patsy Fitzgerald, Kevin Caples and Dan McCarthy.
Just one year later at "A" level the breakthrough almost came about. Victories over Castlemartyr, Sarsfields and St. Colmans meant that Catherines were contesting their first ever divisional "A" grade final. Ironically against neighbours Castlelyons. Click here for 1956 East Cork semi final and final.
Played at Clonmult Memorial Park, Midleton on Sunday September 11th, 1955. Castlelyons wore their traditional green, Catherines wore red and white. This was a close and exciting final with the sides deadlocked as the seconds ticked away. Then a lengthy delivery some 50 yards out by M. O'Riordan sailed over the bar. There was no way back for a gallant Catherines team who only had drawn level minutes previous with a stunning Jack Hogan goal. The score of the match.
Castlelyons settled much the better. Pointing twice in the opening minutes. Befor Oliver O'Flaherty replied with Catherines first score. John Lynch brought Catherines cheering to a cresendo when goaling midway through the half and reducing the deficit to a minimum (1-3 to 1-2). Castlelyons ahead 2-5 to 2-3 at the interval. Jack Hogan had a Catherines goal shortly after the resumption and scored another goal to make the game level at 3-9 to 4-6. But a final point by O'Riordan sealed victory for Castlelyons.
Final Score 1955 East Cork Junior A Final: Castlelyons 3-10 St. Catherines 4-6
Catherines team: Eddie Drake, Billy Barry, Billy Casey, Billy Walsh, Jack Hurley, James Sheehan, Mossie O'Flaherty, Declan O'Flaherty, Dick Morrison, Oliver O'Flaherty, John Flynn, Philip O'Keeffe, Jack Hogan, John Lynch, Thoss Morrison. Subs: Jimmy Parker, Bill Dineen, Dan McCarthy, Kevin Caples, Batt O'Regan, Johnny Buckley.
In 1956, Catherines were back in the hunt again. This time in new jerseys of vertical stripes in the colours of wine, blue and gold. Catherines defeated Little Island and Cobh to qualify for the East Cork Junior A Final against Carrigtwohill.
The semi-final v Cobh which was played on August 12 in Midleton. Catherines trailed by three goals midway through the opening half (4-1 to 1-1) but eventually won by 10-3 to 4-2 with Jack Hogan scoring 6 goals.
Carrigtwohill dominated the final from the start and led by 3-5 to 2-2 by half time. Michael O'Brien scored both Catherines goals. Final score 6-5 to 2-4 in favour of Carrigtwohill, whose captain was Sean Twomey.
Catherines team: Philly Buckner, Billy Barry, Billy Casey, Billy Walsh, Jimmy Riordan, Paddy Murphy, Mossie O'Flaherty, Dick Morrison, James Sheehan, Declan O'Flaherty, John Flynn, Oliver O'Flaherty, Thoss Morrison, Dan McCarthy, Jack Hogan.
After these 2 final defeats, Catherines finally claimed the East Cork Junior A Championship in 1957. Sarsfields and Cobh were overcome on the way to the final against Killeagh who were defeated by 3-10 to 2-7. Captain Jack Hogan scored all 3 goals. That final attracted a record attendance to that point.
Scorers: Jack Hogan 3-0, Ollie Flaherty 0-5, Michael O'Brien 0-4, John Flynn 0-1.
Catherines team: Philly Buckner, Billy Barry, Billy Casey, Billy Walsh, Thoss Morrison, Declan O'Flaherty, Paddy Murphy, Philip O'Keeffe, Dick Morrison, Oliver O'Flaherty, Michael O'Brien, Tommy Dinneen, Donal O'Keeffe, John Flynn, Jack Hogan (Captain).
Subs: T. Flynn, M. Healy, D. McCarthy, J. Sheehan, B. O'Regan, D. Twomey, J. Hurley, M. Flaherty.
Tracton defeated Catherines in the county 1st round on Sunday, September 29th in the Cork Athletic Grounds (now Pairc Ui Chaoimh) by 4-6 to 2-8. Tracton won the county defeating Courcey Rovers in the final.
In 1959, Catherines won the U14 County defeating Killeagh, Castlemartyr, Carrigtwohill and then Watergrasshill in the East Cork Final. Subsequently defeating Kilworth, Blarney and Bandon in the County final. The County final scoreline was 9-5 to 2-3 in a game played in Togher.
Catherines team: Paddy Flynn, John Finn, Ned Fitzgerald, Florence Waters, Brian Leahy, Oliver Twomey, Batty O'Connell, Dick Hegarty (Captain), Pat (Beag) Beecher, Billy O'Connell, Ned O'Keeffe, Ted Lane, Jim Beecher, Patsy Leahy, John Twomey.
Subs: Paddy Fitzgerald, Paul Beecher, John Beecher, Tom Finn, Pat Hickey, David Hoare.
In 1960, Catherines again reached the East Cork Junior A final losing to Cloyne. The final was played in Midleton on Sunday, September 11th 1960. Final score was Cloyne 6-6 Catherines 1-5.
Catherines team: Tom Flynn, Thoss Morrison, Billy Casey, Billy Walsh, Dave Twomey, Declan O'Flaherty, Paddy Murphy, Donal O'Connor, Dick Morrison (Captain), Oliver O'Flaherty, Tommy Dinneen, Donal O'Keeffe, Philip O'Keeffe, John Flynn, Jack Hogan. Subs Used: Mick Healy, Son Healy, Dan McCarthy.
The 1960 final proved to be the end of an era as Catherines went into decline as a hurling force. Regraded to Junior B by 1964 when a big effort was made to revive the club's fortunes. Pa Sheehan returned as trainer. Castlelyons were defeated in the 1st round in Midleton. Watergrasshill were defeated in Midleton again but the game was lost on a technicality. In Junior B football, the players regrouped and defeated Aghada, Dungourney, and Killeagh only to lose to Lisgoold in the final by 0-1. Players involved in the '64 campaign include Tom Flynn, Sean Clancy, Dave Twomey, Oliver Twomwy, Ned Fitzgerald, Michael O'Regan, Paddy Murphy, Donal O'Keeffe, John Finn, Dick Morrison, Oliver Corcoran, Chris Corcoran, Ted Corcoran, William Clancy, Thoss Morrison, Jimmy Lane, Jim Beecher, Mick Brosnan, Mick Gallagher, Raymond Carr, Tom Higgins, Tom Dinneen, John Fitzgerald.
In 1969, the Junior B Football Championship was won, defeating Glenville 3-7 to 0-7 in the final played at Carrigtwohill.
Catherines team: Sean Clancy, Dave Twomey, Mick Brosnan, John Finn, Ned Fitzgerald, Ted Corcoran, Batty O'Connell, Raymond Carr, Denis O'Neill, Tom Finn, Oliver Twomey, Mossie O'Neill, Tom Lardner, Jimmy Lane, Edmond Colbert. Sub Used: Michael Lane.
In 1969 a breakthrough was made at underage level. The East Cork U14 Championship was won defeating Castlemartyr in the final which was played at Carrigtwohill.
Catherines team: Billy Mulchay, Daithi O'Sullivan, John G. Barry, Joe Cashman, Michael Collins, Neilus Mulcahy, Tom Twomey, William Kearney (Captain), Dermot McAuliffe, John Meaney, Maurice Carroll, Kevin Lane, Jimmy Mangan, Richard Hegarty, Gerard Mulcahy. Subs: Sean Leahy, Pat Kearney, Sean Casey, Noel Mulcahy, Tom Barry, Dave Barry.
3 Minor B Championships were won in 1971, 73 (both v St. Bartholemews) & 75 (v O'Briens).
1971 Minor B East Cork winning team: E Galvin, Daithi O'Sullivan, John G. Barry, M Murray, Michael Collins, Neilus Mulcahy, Tom Twomey, William Kearney, Dermot McAuliffe, Billy Mulcahy, John Meaney, Kevin Lane, T Dineen, Richard Hegarty, Gerard Mulcahy.
1973 Minor B East Cork winning team: Pat O'Sullivan, John D Cotter, Sean Leahy, Tom Hegarty, Tom Barry, Kevin Lane, Maurice Carroll, Seamus Neville, Raymond Murray, Dave Barry, John Murphy, Dan Griffin, Richard Murphy, Pat Kearney, Sean Casey.
1975 Minor B East Cork winning team: Pat O'Sullivan, John D Cotter, Tom Hegarty, Batt Leahy, Anthony O'Regan, Seamus Neville, Bertie Murphy, Dan Mangan, Liam O'Neill, Donal Hurley, John Murphy, Mike Mellerick, John Mangan, Thomas Murphy, Sean Barry.
In 1972 Catherines won the Junior A Hurling League defeating Erins Own in the final, and also lost the 1975 League semi-final to Cloyne.
At Junior A level the '70s saw some heartbreaking defeats especially against Erins Own. Losing the East Cork Junior A semi-finals of '75 (0-10 to 0-8) & '79 (1-11 to 1-9) and the final of '77 (1-10 to 0-12). In 1977 a late controversial 65 won the game for Erins Own after a memorable final. Click here for preview of that final.
1977 East Cork Final team: Tom Walsh, Pat O'Sullivan, John G. Barry, Sean Leahy, Mossie O'Neill, Batty O'Connell, Seamus Neville, Denis O'Neill 0-3, Pat Kearney, Raymond Carr, Oliver Twomey 0-2, William Kearney 0-4, Mike Barry (Captain), Mike Lane 0-1, Kevin Lane 0-2. Subs: Billy O'Connell for Pat Kearney. Dick Hegarty, Matt Harpur, John Finn, John Lane, Billy Neville, John D. Cotter, Tom Hegarty, Barry Hickey, Pat Lane, Gerard Mulcahy, Mike Mellerick, John Mangan.
In 1980 Catherines reached the final by defeating Fr. O'Neills, Cobh and Bride Rovers. Click here for link to account of Cobh match. The final against Aghada was played in Midleton on Sunday August 31st with Aghada winning by 3-6 to 1-7. Brighter days lay ahead.
1980 East Cork Final team: Tom Walsh, Mike Lane, John G. Barry, Pat O'Sullivan, Mossie O'Neill, Batty O'Connell, Seamus Neville, William Kearney, Denis O'Neill, John Mangan, Dan Mangan, Mike Mellerick, Kevin Lane, Oliver Twomey, Mike Barry. Subs: Billy Neville, John Lane, Gerard Mulcahy, Tommy Lonergan, Pat O'Brien, Pat Lane, Billy Mulcahy, Donal Hurley, Maurice Hartnett, Pat Murphy.