In 1970 Sliabh gCua-St. Mary’s G.A.A. Club was reformed and in that year the club played both Junior Hurling and Junior Football and reached the Western Hurling Final only to be beaten by Ballysaggart.
Back Row: Tommy Hickey, Ned Power, Pierce Butler, Anthony Power, James Condon, Fr. Brendan Crowley, Ned Butler, John Hickey, John Fraher, John Dalton.
Front Row: Tom Power, Christy Hallinan, John Fitzpatrick, Larry Cliffe, Gerry Cullinan, Bernie Lonergan, Lar Whelan, Tom Ahearn.
Boys: Michael Hickey, Michael Butler, Gerald Butler, Laurence McCarthy, Pat Hearn (front).
The A.G.M. was held on the 24th of January 1971. Hurling captain was John Fraher who lined out at full back.
This was the first major breakthrough in since the re-birth of the club when the junior footballers captured the Western title before eventually losing to Tramore in the final. The club finally contested a county football final after a famine of 36 years. Lost the final on a scoreline of Sliabh gCua 0-2 to Tramore 2-13 in Walsh Park. Playing that day was Finbarr Harringtion in goal, Michael Quinlan played corner back and who was noted for his unique style of throwing up the ball in his right and kicking in his left. Ned Power and Maurice Power were in defence with John Fitzpatrick and Tony Condon in the centre of the park. Gerry Cullinan, Fr. Jim Kiely and Larry Cliffe were in attack. It was also believed that Larry at one stage of the game headed over to the Tramore dug-out and said ” Is it possible that ye could take off the whole Tramore team and put on a more useless 15 ”
The Annual Waterford GAA book title was ‘Sliabh gCua’s Western Title’. The lone championship which the divisional board failed to finish in 1972 was in junior football but for Sliabh gCua their was an early new year gift when they accounted for Tallow in the belated decider by 0-7 to 1-3. It was a decider not with out it’s controversy – Tallow been pipped of an equaliser by less than a second, but it all helped to make the game one well worthy of the occasion. And for Sliabh gCua it was a first title in 35 long and barren years.
In July 1972 Sliabh gCua played Ring in the final of the Western National Schools football competition at Ballinameela. Sliabh gCua ran out easy winners on a scoreline of 6-4 to 1-3. The Sliabh gCua team was as follows: J. Butler, S. Skehan, R. Hickey, P, Hearn, M. Hearn, D. Coyne, E. Kiely, R. McGrath, A. Butler, D. McCarthy, M. McCarthy, R. McCarthy. Subs: E. Butler, M. O’Neill, S. Cotter.
This team went on to defeat Kilrossanty in the County Schools Football Final played at Abbeyside.
Sliabh gCua Under-14 footballers won the Western championship and the primary school double in 1973.
In the western championship, having beaten Modeligo in the first round and then the Shamrocks in the semi-final, they were up against a strong Ring side in the final. Sliabh gCua overcame Ring on a scoreline of 3-5 to 1-2 at the Lismore venue.
A party was held in the parochial hall in Touraneena, to celebrate the victory.
Joe Devoy, Fr. O’Brien, Sean Whelan and Piery Butler presented the Western medals to the team.
Back row: Eoin Butler, Michael Hearn, Michael O’Neill, Richard McCarthy, David Coyne, James Butler, Edward Kiely, Denis Kiely, Anthony Butler.
Middle row: Eamon Butler, Richie Hickey, Declan McCarthy, Pat Hearn, James Cotter, Sean Devoy, Pats Tobin, James Condon, Tom Tobin.
Front row: Donald McGrath, Aidan McGrath, John Whelan, Joseph Hallahan, David Devoy.
Under 14 Football championship:
At the CBS, Dungarvan, the Sliabh gCua under 14 football team defeated Ballinameela, on a score line of 4-6 to 1-4, in the first round.
An interesting feature of this team was the inclusion of two local girls – Maeve Butler and Philomena Condon.
The team: Maeve Butler, Phil Condon, Anthony Butler, Anthony O’Neill, Edward Kiely, Declan McCarthy, Michael Burke, James Condon, Roger McGrath, Denis Kiely, Pat Hearn, Michael Hearn, Michael O’Neill, David Devoy, Eoin Butler.
Subs: Donald McGrath, Sean Devoy and Tom Tobin.
They progressed to the Western final after a hard earn victory over Melleray, but they lost to Ring on a score line of Ring 1-7 to Sliabh gCua 0-7.
Micheal Quinlan, John Fraher and Larry Cliffe
In the Junior Hurling Championship St. Mary’s beat Ring 5-8 to 1-5 and in the second round they defeated Ballinameela 3-12 to 1-1. With these two wins under their belt people were starting to look upon St. Mary’s as a force to reck on with in hurling but in the third round at the Lismore venue St. Mary’s were defeated by Clashmore 2-10 to 3-3.
In the 1975 Junior Football Championship Sliabh gCua were beaten by the Geraldine’s in the first round 4-8 to 2-9 and in the Losers Group they lost to Eire Og 2-4 to 1-5.
Once again another big effort was being put in to the Junior Hurling Championships. In the first round the ‘Mary’s’ beat Ballinameela 3-7 to 0-6, in the second round they defeated Kilrossanty 4-17 to 0-3 and in third round you beat Clashmore 1-14 to 1-6. In the Semi Final your opponents were the Geraldine’s and in the run up to the match the club were seen as the red-hot favourites. However the match report on the following week told a different story with the headline “Major shock at Fraher Field” as St. Mary’s were beaten 2-8 to 1-8.
In the same year the first round of the Junior Football Sliabh gCua were beaten by Shamrocks 3-8 to Sliabh gCua 0-5, and in the Losers Group Old Parish defeated us on a scoreline of Old Parish 2-10 to Sliabh gCua 0-7.
In the Junior Hurling Championship first round you had a one-point victory over Kilgobnet 0-11 to 2-4, a game many people thought St.Mary’s would win much easier. In the second round St.Mary’s beat Ardmore 1-9 to 1-4 and that victory paved the way for a mouth-watering clash with near neighbours Colligan. The game was played in Fraher Field, which on the day the Fraher field was packed to capacity. Colligan were on top for most of the game but two goals and a point late in the game scored by John Fraher and other sterling performers gave St. Mary’s victory with a score of 2-13 to 3-7.
In the Western Semi Final St.Mary’s beat Araglin 2-12 to 0-8. However in the Western Final a game that was reported to have been spectacular, brought nothing but disappointment when St.Mary’s were beaten by one point by Tourin (Tourin 4-8 to St. Mary’s 3-10).
In 1977 the Junior Football Championship first round Sliabh gCua beat Old Parish 2-7 to 1-7 but lost the second round to Ballinameela 1-10 to 1-6.
In Junior Hurling the big question was could St.Mary’s go one further and win the Western Final. In the Junior Hurling of that year St. Mary’s had a excellent start by beating Eire Og on a scoreline of St. Mary’s 2-20 to Eire Og’s 1-2, the second round result was St. Mary’s 4-12 to Glen Rovers 1-2, third round St. Mary’s 1-16 to Ring’s 0-6, In the Western Semi Final St Mary’s beat Abbeyside on a scoreline of St. Mary’s 3-9 to Abbeyside’s 0-4.
The Western Final was played on the 5th of November. The report on the observer read ‘St. Mary’s Junior Hurling team from Touraneena staged a great rally in the final ten minutes of this exciting final to capture their first ever divisional title at Dungarvan’s Fraher field on Sunday last’.
The scoreline was St. Mary’s 1-14 to Ardmore’s 2-9. The Mary’s team that day was Ned Power, Padder McGrath, Tom Power, Eamon Power, Paddy Whelan (0-1), John Dalton (0-1), Tom Condon, L. Whelan, Declan Fitzpatrick (0-10), Albert Burke, Declan White, Micheal Hickey (0-1), John Fraher, Benny Walsh, John Fitzpatrick (1-1).
The report also included ‘There were scenes of great excitement after the game when Western Board Chairman, John A. Murphy presented the cup to the St. Mary’s captain Lar Whelan, who with John Dalton and Declan Fitzpatrick were carried shoulder high from the pitch. A historic victory then for the men from Sliabh gCua, who could win their first ever championship hurling title and when they play Rathgormack in the county final on November 19th, they will be endeavouring to bridge a gap of 42 years, as it was in 1936 that Sliabh gCua won the Junior football title.
History was made in capturing the first hurling title and at last St. Mary’s had won their first Hurling title and celebrations went on for weeks to come. The scoreline was St. Mary’s 0-16 Rathgormack 1-06. It should be noted that St. Mary’s scored at total of 11-87 and only conceded 5-29 in six games. This statistic showed the high standard of the teams scoring and defensive qualities.
By now Sliabh gCua were considered strong contenders for the Junior Football with the other strong club being Ballinameela. In the first round of the Junior Football Sliabh gCua got the tough draw against Ballinameela and lost on a score line 1-12 to 1-9. In the losers group Sliabh gCua beat Eire Og and then beat Villierstown 1-11 to 1-00. Sliabh gCua then went on to defeat Stradbally 2-13 to 1-3 and Kilgobnet in the Western Semi Final 3-11 to 0-3. Once again in the Western Final Ballinameela were Sliabh gCua’s opponents and lost on a scoreline of 1-7 to 0-7.
Now with an Intermediate Hurling Team in the Parish for the first time St.Mary’s were up against the big guns. They reached the Western Final on the first attempt and St. Mary’s defeated local rivals Fourmilewater 1-14 to 2-7.
The report was: St. Mary’s from Touraneena captured the Western Intermediate title at Dungarvan’s Fraher Field on Sunday last when they recorded a fully deserved win over the holders, Fourmilewater. They overcame a very poor start and recovered from the body blows of two early goals per a John Morgan pile driver and then a side line from the same player was deflected by Tom Condon past the unsighted Ned Power. At this point let it be said that a St. Mary’s defender could consider himself very lucky not to have received marching orders. However, the Touraneena side came much more into the picture and at the interval had reduced the leeway to 2-5 to 0-8. With the breeze behind them in the second half they were looking good. On the turnover so it was, as Fourmilewater only registered two points and both from frees; while St. Mary’s with John Fitzpatrick in particular starring, surged on to what for them was a memorable victory. Albert Burke also contributed handsomely and he is a player well worthy of inclusion on the county panel. John Dalton, Declan Fitzpatrick and Tom Condon also played well, yet overall it was team work and their greater fitness and ability to get much more length into their drives which won them a sweet victory. Fourmilewater’s best were Tom Moore, Pat Halley, John Morgan and Pat Walsh. Thus a good win for St. Mary’s. Now we must go through the same again in order to see who will be county champions and surely this matter must be sorted out in next year’s county convention. Scorers: Michael Hickey (1-2), John Fitzpatrick and Declan Fitzpatrick (0-4 each), Paddy Whelan, Albert Burke, Declan White and John Dalton (0-1 each). Team: Ned Power, Padder McGrath, Tom Power, Eamon Power, Lar Whelan, John Dalton, Tom Condon, Declan Fitzpatrick, Michael Kiely, Albert Burke, Declan White, Paddy Whelan, Michael Hickey, John Fitzpatrick, Gerald Butler. Sub: John Fraher.
On the 24th of August the heading was “St. Mary’s topple champions”. Trained to the proverbial by former Tipperary All-Ireland star Theo English
In the County Championship you beat Stradbally in the County Semi Final 2-9 to 1-10.
In the County Final Fourmilewater were again the opponents because the championship was run on a county basis but unfortunately Fourmilewater reversed the result and the final score was Fourmilewater 3-9 St. Mary’s 1-8.
Back Row: John Fraher, John Fitzpatrick, John Dalton, Gerard Butler, Ned Power, Michael Kiely, Declan White, Tom Condon, Maurice Fennell, Michael Hickey
Front Row: Declan Kiely, Tom Power, Seamus Skehan, Declan Fitzpatrick, Lar Whelan, Padder McGrath, Eamon Power, Albert Burke, Paddy Whelan.
Sliabh gCua won the first round in a convincing 6-7 to 0-2 first round victory against Affane. The report was: ‘Easy win for Sliabh gCua’
The writing was on the wall for Affane as early as thirty seconds from the start in this one-sided and totally mediocre junior football championship Western Semi-Final game played in a near gale force wind at Dungarvan on Sunday last.
For Sliabh gCua, the firm favourites playing against the force of the gale had goaled through Pat Hearn almost immediately following the throw in.
It was the kind of start that the outsiders could have done without, and when Pat Curran hit the post just two minutes later with Sliabh gCua keeper Michael Butler well beaten, the Cappoquin side’s fate was well and truly sealed.
Albert Burke and John Fraher shot over Sliabh gCua points before ‘Gossie’ Mason had Affane’s first score in the 18th minute. Mickey Fraher fisted an Affane point three minutes later but as events turned out, this was the only period that the losers seriously threatened over the hour.
They made a token effort to reduce the 1-3 to 0-2 half time leeway early in the second half, when they reverted to short passing techniques to counter-act the strength of the wind. But the tactics proved negative against a hard tackling Sliabh gCua who were becoming more and more confident with every passing minute.
The bubble burst for Affane in the 35th minute when centre field man James Butler raced through for a goal. Intent on major scores the Touraneena side by-passed many point scoring opportunities but in the 42nd minute they again breached the Affane rear guard when Declan White goaled.
Leading 3-3 to 0-2 the game was as good as over but Sliabh gCua were not content to rest on their laurels and Pat Whelan found the Affane net in the 44th minute. Three points followed and goals by Declan White (51st) and Albert Burke (52nd) minutes set the seal on a route that was as convincing as it was deserved.
Best for Sliabh gCua were Michael Hearn, Ned Power, Declan Fitzpatrick and Tom Condon in defence. James Butler and Albert Burke at midfield and John Fraher, John Dalton, Pat Hearn and Michael Hickey in attack.
Affane were completely out-classed but nonetheless never gave up trying and got good service from M. Pender, Jimmy McGrath, Pat Egan, John Mason, Pat Denn and Pat Curran.
M. Butler, M Hearn, N Power, J Fitzpatrick, L Whelan, D Fitzpatrick, T Condon, J Butler, A Burke, J Fraher, J Dalton, P Hearn, M Hickey, D White, P Whelan.
Subs: E Power for L Whelan, D Kiely for M Hickey
T McCarthy, M Tobin, M Pender, J McGrath, J McGrath, D O’Connor, J Kett, G Mason, P Egan, J Mason, P Denn, P Curran, M Fraher, J McGrath, J Mason.
Referee: D Hennessy
Sliabh gCua again reached the Western Final where they beat Stradbally 0-11 to 0-1. Scorers: John Dalton (0-4), John Fraher (0-3), Pat Hearn, James Butler, Tom Condon, and Lar Whelan (0-1 each). Team: Mike Butler, Mike Hearn, Ned Power, John Fitzpatrick, Lar Whelan, Declan Fitzpatrick, Tom Condon, James Butler, Albert Burke, John Fraher, John Dalton, Pat Hearn, Michael Hickey, Declan White, Paddy Whelan. Subs: Gerald Butler for Mike Hickey. Referee: Pat Moore (Abbeyside). After the game, Western Board Chairman, John A.Murphy, presented the Doocey perpetual cup to Sliabh gCua captain John Fitzpatrick amid scenes of excitement.
Fenor were the Eastern opponents in the county final and at one stage Sliabh gCua lead 1-4 to no score but eventually lost out on a scoreline of 2-5 to 1-6. Fenor defeated Sliabh gCua footballers in the junior Football County final by a two-point margin. It was a game Sliabh gCua could have won, in fact by the end of the opening quarter Sliabh gCua had build up a seven point lead. But it was to be Fenor’s day and to their credit they never gave up, and determination and courage won on the day. The Sliabh gCua scorers were: Declan White (1-1), John Dalton (0-3), James Butler and Lar Whelan (0-1 each). Team: Michael Butler, Mike Hearn, Ned Power, John Fitzpatrick, Lar Whelan, Declan Fitzpatrick, Tom Condon, James Butler, Albert Burke, John Fraher, John Dalton, Pat Hearn, Michael Hickey, Declan White, Paddy Whelan. Subs: Tom Power for Mike Hearn. Referee: John Walsh (Tramore).