Cork continue the defence of their All Ireland crown this week. I look at the first time the Rebels brought the O’Duffy Cup to Leeside.
Those walking up Jones Road at the back of the original Hogan Stand on the last Sunday in October 1934 would have needed to wrap their coats tight against the cold fresh winds. The sun peeking through the clouds would have offered no respite between cold rain showers.
In the end over 3000 spectators entered the stadium to witness the All Ireland camogie final between Cork and Louth. The first final to be played on the green grass of Croke Park.
The Provincial Championships
It was also the first year that provincial championships were played replacing the open draw format. The Rebel County winning Munster and the “Wee County” taking the Leinster crown.
On their journey to the final The Leesiders had accounted for Limerick, Kerry and Waterford before defeating Ulster champions Antrim in the All Ireland semi-final.
While Louth has seen off Kilkenny, Meath, Laois and the champions for the previous 2 years Dublin before beating Connaught champions Galway in their semi-final.
In a year the Catholic Church led a campaign to make sure woman wore in sport “costumes that exception couldn’t be taken” both teams lined out in the then traditional knee high pinafore over short sleeve shirts. Cork in near black colour while Louth in light blue. Some choosing to wear shin guards.
So near 3pm on Sunday October 28th the two teams took their positions on the field watched by what was then the biggest attended Camogie final
Played by the Fintan Lalor pipe band the tune of Amhran na Bhfiann or “the Soldiers song” penetrated those present before Tipperary referee Tommie Ryan finally threw in the ball to loud cheers from the crowd.
Cork would have the better of the first half. An early point from Mayfield’s Betty Riordan was cancelled out by Louth’s “Lory Meagher” Kathleen Hanratty. This was followed by a period of heavy pressure on the Louth defence leading to a goal by Kitty McCarthy from a 25 (a modern day 45.)
The upright saved the Wee County from going further behind before McCarthy added another point from a placed ball. Half Time saw the Rebels lead 1-2 to 0-1.
The second half saw Louth improve but were guilty of too many missed chances. A point from Hanratty was followed against the run of play by another Cork goal from the 15 year old Riordan.
Mary Murtagh landed another point for Louth and despite mounting pressure on the Cork defence they couldn’t get the break through. Kate Delea then inflicted a mortal blow with another goal for Cork.
Louth kept fighting and got their reward with a goal through Bridie Donnelly. A pointed free by Hanrartty offered hope of a comeback before McCarthy steadied the ship for Cork with a point from a 25.
Delea would finish the contest scoring a goal in the last of the 50 minutes. When the referee blew the final whistle the score was Cork 4-3 Louth 1-4.
Agnes O’Farrelly then president of the Camogie Association presented the O’Duffy Cup to Cork captain Kate Delea and medals to her teammates.
In what would seem unusual in the modern game William O’Reilly then presented the Leinster Cup to Louth captain Rose Quigly.
Both teams paraded around the pitch behind the pipe band to applause and cheers of the crowd.
Nora Clarke (Hillside), Monica Cotter (Cora Clodhna,) Essie Staunton (Muskerry,) Lena Delaney (Hillside,) Kitty McCarthy (Lee Hosiers,) Monie O’Hea, Lil Kirby (Cara Cliodhna,) May McCarthy (Mayfield,) Kate Delea (Capt) (Muskerry,) Mary Kenneally (Columbines,) Betty Riordan (Mayfield,) Josie McGrath (St Aloysius.)
Sarah McGuiness, A Hanratty, Mary McArdle, Bridget McKeown, Aggie McClusky, Kathleen Johnston, Mary McKeever, Rose Quigly (Capt), Nellie McDonnell, Kathleen Hanratty, Bridie Donnelly, Mary Murtagh.