Honouring the 1971 Moyne-Templetuohy Players
In keeping with the practice of the past number of years, the Tipperary county board, in conjunction with the Tipperary Star and Younge's of the Ragg, honour the county senior hurling champions of 1971, Moyne-Templetuohy, at the county senior hurling finals at Semple Stadium today. The members of the victorious panel will be given a reception at the Thurles Greyhound Track at 12 noon and will be guests of the county board at the finals. At about 3 pm they will be led on to the field by their captain, Jim Fogarty, and introduced to the crowd. After the games they will be taken to Younge's of the Ragg for dinner. Following the meal they will be made a presentation by the Tipperary Star. The occasion should be a great opportunity for the members of the team to reminisce about their great exploits on the field of play thirty-seven years ago.
First County Senior Hurling Final
Moyne-Templetuohy made history in 1971 when they won their first-ever county senior hurling final. The seeds of that success are to be found in a series of Mid minor hurling titles won by the club in 1964, 1965 and 1966, which were the culmination of impressive earlier juvenile success. They went on to collect a county minor title in 1964 and were beaten by Cappawhite for a second in 1966
The breakthrough at senior ranks came in 1970 when they won their first Mid final. This success was heralded when they trounced the great Thurles Sarsfields team in the first round of the league-championship. They went on to record a convincing win over Moycarkey-Borris and met Sarsfields again in the final. This contest was a much sterner one than the first round meeting but they came through by a point, 2-11 to 3-7, to record an historic victory.
According to Willie Butler in the Moyne-Templetuohy Parish History, the historic victory 'was celebrated in grand style in the parish. On Sunday evening bonfires blazed at both ends of Moyne village and captain, Willie O'Grady, was carried shoulder high. There was music and dancing on the streets until midnight and needless to say the cup was filled -and emptied- several times. On Monday night a motorcade of three hundred cars met the team on the Thurles road and escorted them to Templetuohy where bonfires also blazed.'
Moyne-Templetuohy got a reality check in the Mid championship in 1971 but made amends in the separate county championship. They were surprisingly defeated by Moycarkey-Borris in the opening round of the Mid, got back on track with victory over Drom Inch and Na Fianna (Upperchurch, Clonakenny and Clonmore), but had their hopes of retaining the Mid crown dashed when defeated by the Sarsfields.
Their concentration was now on the open draw county championship. They had already won two rounds, with victory over Borrisokane by 7-14 to 1-2 and a second over Clonoulty-Rossmore by 5-13 to 4-7 in the second round. The county quarter-finals were played on August 22 in which Moyne-Templetuohy faced the West champions, Eire Óg. They made no mistake, running out easy winners by double scores on a scoreline of 4-12 to 2-6.
Because of Tipperary's involvement in the All-Ireland championship, the semi-finals weren't played until October 10. Moyne-Templetuohy played Ballybacon-Grange at Thurles. Jim Fogarty, who was a sub on All-Ireland winning team, kept a close rein on the Ballybacon star, Babs Keating, allowing him only one point from play, and Moyne won easily by 4-12 to 3-3. In the second semi-final the following Sunday at Nenagh, Roscrea defeated Thurles Sarsfields by 3-13 to 4-7 in a close contest.
The County Final
The final was played at Semple Stadium on October 31. Roscrea were champions for three years and were very much favourites to make it four-in-a-row with stars like the All-Ireland captain, Tadhg O'Connor, Francis Loughnane, Kieran Carey, Tadhg Murphy and Liam Spooner. The build-up to the game was well-described by Culbáire later in the year in his Ballad of '71;
The bold Roscrea had held firm sway three seasons in a row,
And now the fourth was booked for North, on the latest betting show;
The Punters brash, produced their cash and laid it on the line
At threes and more for a winning score against the lads of Moyne.
Wearing the underdog's tag, Moyne-Templetuohy, right from the start confronted their opponents with almost fanatical intensity and completely knocked Roscrea out of their stride. They won by eight points but the margin didn't flatter in any way their superiority on the day. However,, they made hard work of winning. With over seventy percent of the play in the first half they were ahead by only 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval. At the three-quarter mark they were still only a point, 0-6 to 0-5, in front but in the final quarter they scored 2-1 to secure victory on a scoreline of 2-7 to 0-6. One of the outstanding performers on the day was Martin Esmonde, who held Francis Loughnane scoreless from play. When John Moloney brew the final whistle there was huge joy among Moyne-Templetuohy players and supporters alike, having succeeded at their first attempt to take the county senior hurling championship. For the record they scored the very impressive tally of 22 goals 59 points and conceded 10 goals and 24 points in their five championship matches.
The history-making team were as follows: Tom Russell, Tom O'Grady, Jim Fogarty (capt.), Fr. Tom Fogarty, Mick Coen, Jim Fogarty, Martin Esmonde, Martin O'Grady (1-1), Michael O'Grady, Martin Troy (1-0), Willie Fogarty (0-1), Tom Egan (0-3), Bill O';Grady (0-1), Tom Quinlan, Paddy Sweeney (0-2). Subs: Dick Fogarty, Fr. Joe Egan, Fr. John Egan, Tom Flynn, Martin Costigan, Paddy Everard, Billy O'Grady, Dinny Dunne, Dinny Curtis.
County Tipperary Senior Hurling Final Program, October 19th 2008