What Happened Since 1989
The last time Lorrha won the North final was in 1989. They had a successful year in the North that year, beating Borrisokane in the league final by 2-12 to 3-6 and overcoming Toomevara by 1-14 to 1-12 in the championship. With a bit of luck that year they might have won their first-ever county championship.
By defeating Toomevara in the North final, Lorrha qualified by play Carrick Swans in the county quarterfinal. They won by double scores on a scoreline of 4-14 to 2-7. Kieran Hough was in brilliant form on the day, scoring 1-10 from frees and play.
In the semi-final Lorrha were pitted against Holycross-Ballycahill. In a dramatic game the North champions had a goal and a point disallowed by referee, George Ryan, in the space of only two minutes of the second half. Both were scores by Aidan Mclntyre and, on both occasions, the referee gave a free out for what he deemed to be square infringements. Lorrha protested, especially when they lost by the minimum of margins, 0-12 to 0-11, their arguments and protests proved fruitless. Holycross had snatched the winning score with a Tonto' Lanigan point in the dying moments. What might have happened had Lorrha got through is anybody's guess. Holycross lost the final to Clonoulty-Rossmore by two points.
In the following year they beat Shannon Rovers by 0-18 to 2-8 in the first round and qualified for the winners' group but were beaten by Newport 2-12 to 1-12 and lost their chance of improving on the previous year. There wasn't much joy in 1991 either. Getting a bye in the first round Lorrha beat Newport convincingly by 1-15 to 1-7 but lost the semi-final to Toomevara by the minimum of margins on a scoreline of 2-8 to 1-10.
In 1992 Lorrha qualified for the North final after playing five games in the championship. They beat Newport, 2-6 to 0-9 in the first round and went on to defeat Borrisokane by 2-9 to 1-9 and qualify for the semi-final. This turned out to be a marathon against Toomevara. The teams drew 2-9 to 0-15 the first day, were still locked together 3-13 to 1-19 after extra time the second day and Lorrha eventually came out on top by 2-7 to 1-5 after the third attempt. Alas, for the men in blue and white the exhaustion, mental and physical, of the three-game saga took its toll and they lost badly to Nenagh in the final by 1-18 to 0-8. Any progress they might have made outside the division, was halted by defeat at the hands of Toomevara, in the play-off between the losers and the winners of the league.
There wasn't much to shout about in 1993. After a comprehensive defeat of St. Odhran's - a combination of Silvermines and Templederry - by 4-16 to 1-15 in the first round, Lorrha were defeated, 4-9 to 1-9, by Nenagh in the winners' group. They won the first round in 1994, beating Borrisokane by 1-15 to 1-8 in the progress. They met Toomevara in the second round, drew the first day on a scoreline of 1-11 to 2-8 but were beaten in the replay by 1-16 to 1-12. Toomevara went on to win the county final and were beaten by Kilmallock in the Munster club final.
Lorrha played four matches in the 1995 championship. In the first round they drew 0-12 to 1-9 with Newport and were beaten in the replay by 0-11 to 0-10. Qualifying for the losers's group they drew with Moneygall, 0-8 to 1-5 but were beaten in the replay by 0-12 to 0-10.
And so the record since 1989 looks like this: Lorrha played 28 championship matches, won 14, drew 5 and lost 9. It will be interesting to see what will be added to that record after today's game.
North Division G.A.A. S.H. Final Program 1996