Kilmacabea Junior B County Champions 1994: A tribute
25 years ago today, the 6th November 1994, is a day that will forever go down in the annals of Kilmacabea GAA folklore. It was on this day, in rain drenched Ballineen that a fantastic team of footballers annexed the County Junior B Football Title for the first time in the club’s history. This was also the club’s very first adult county title and is a day that is fondly remembered by both Kilmacs at home and abroad.
The opponents on the day were the City division champions Lough Rovers, who tried and failed to intimidate a young Kilmac side who had too much class for them. In goal on that historic day was Kevin McCarthy (Glandore), whose two brothers Karl and Colin are present day Kilmacabea Junior Footballers. The water tight full back line contained corner backs Alex Weblin and Sean Tobin who kept the Lough Rovers forwards quiet. Full back was held down by the formidable but young Kevin O Driscoll, who went on to manage the Junior A’s to West Cork glory in 2017. The half back line contained, strength, power and skill in abudance. Flanking excellent centre back and current club secretary Derry O Callaghan, were captain fantastic Pat Burke and classy Sean Crowley. Two of the best midfielders to ever wear the green and gold were on display that day, with Paul Harrington and James “Bawnfune” O Donovan lording the skies. The forward sextet were full of verve and swagger, with hardworking half forwards Timmy O Mahony and Donal O Donovan putting in huge performances, full of energy and running. Holding down the centre forward slot was a player that can only be described as a club legend, Noel Crowley. Noel was a talented forward, who on his day could be devastating. His vision, skill and score taking were a joy to behold and barring unfortunate injuries that seem to curtail his career, he still managed to continue togging out for his beloved Kilmacs up until 2018. His huge dedication is a lesson to any young player and his three points in the County final were absolutely vital.
The final line of the field, saw two of the brightest talents of the team. Peter French was a crucial cog in the wheel, who on the day took awful punishment from the Lough Rovers corner backs all day. Alongside him, Aidan Glavin was a marvellous talent, whose “bicycle” running style was a huge feature of his game. His ability to bob and weave passed opponents was a joy to behold and it is remarkable to think that Aidan will tog out 25 years later for the clubs’ Junior C Footballers in their West Cork final v Clonakilty on Saturday 16th. The final man in the fifteen, who celebrated his 18th on the day of the final, was Glandore’s very own Shane O Brien. Shane was the real talent of the team with his eye for goal a key element to his game. He also kicked 3 points on the day, to cement his place in Kilmac history.
The full panel on that historic day was as follows: Kevin McCarthy, Alex Weblin, Kevin McCarthy, Sean Tobin, Pat Burke (captain), Derry O Callaghan, Sean Crowley, Paul Harrington, James O Donovan, Donal O Donovan, Noel Crowley, Timmy O Mahony, Shane O Brien, Aidan Glavin, Peter French, Tony Connolly, Denis O Driscoll, Ciaran Kingston, Eoin Daly, James Wolfe, Hugh McNulty, Mike Crowley, Tadgh Hurley, Robert Jennings, T.J. Collins, Danny O Donovan.
The celebrations that followed needed to be seen to be believed, and could have only have been surpassed by the scenes in 2017, after winning the club’s first Junior A West Cork title. It would be remiss, not the mention the management team from that historic day. Selectors Johnny O Sullivan, John Collins and John Keohane, put in tremendous work to get the team to that level and have given huge effort to this present day to keep the club going. The man who cannot be forgotten, was the manager/trainer of that 94 side, Tom Walshe. Tom, a butcher, by trade but a diehard Kilmac knitted the whole team together and his influence and guidance helped the Kilmacs to fulfil their destiny on the day.
The match statistics were as follows:
Result: Kilmacabea 0-13 Lough Rovers 1-3
Scorers on the day: Shane O Brien & Noel Crowley (0-3 each), Aidan Glavin & Timmy O Mahony (0-2 each), Donal O Donovan, Paul Harrington and Denis O Driscoll (0-1 each)
“All hail the mighty men of ’94”