2021 Ballyduff Club History

CLUB OF THE WEEK  Ballyduff with Tom Moran

What can one say about Ballyduff G A A having won almost everything at club level at both Hurling and football; supplying players down the years to Kerry Hurling at all grades  along with many minor footballers donning the green and gold of their County. Not forgetting their contribution to Shannon Rangers football. So this time round its on the football scene we dwell with some notable victories to recall.

So this year marks thirty years since Ballyduff first success at county level in football, a famous day for the North Kerry club came on the 1 st December 1991 when they won the County Novice championship and the Cahill Cup. Ballyduff as a club more associated with hurling success and has a long lists of honours including the county senior hurling championship of that year. Many players who hurled for Ballyduff also featured on both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams that won football championships on that day. The football club in Ballyduff was founded in 1911 and they had to wait eighty years for their first county success with their B teams victory but only a few hours more for success with their A team in 1991. The first leg of this historic double took place in Na Gaeil pitch when Ballyduff defeated Currow on a score line of 2-6 to 1-4. The Ballyduff team on that day was captained by the ever popular Paddy Healy who would go to feature in the senior game later that afternoon. Ballyduff were the stronger side but only led by two points at the interval, however in the second half expanded their lead with points from Pat McEllistrim and Mossy O Sullivan. An even game was sealed as a contest when Jimmy O Sullivan struck for Ballyduff’s first goal after good work from Ray O’Grady. O’Sullivan had captained Ballyduff to hurling success earlier in the year and was introduced as a second half substitute. The second Ballyduff goal came from Paddy Healy who had an outstanding second half, other scores on the day came from Finbar Whelan. The Ballyduff team was Declan Whelan, Patrick Condon, Liam Ross, Maurice Harty, Barry O Connor, Anthony O Sullivan, PJ O Grady, Gerard O Grady, Ray O Grady, William Quinlan, Paddy Healy, Pat McEllistrim, Mossie O Sullivan, Finbar Whelan, Rory O’Connor, Subs Jimmy O’Sullivan, John Rochford, John Dee, Denis Guerin, and John Reagan. Trainer Tom Moran, selectors Patsy O ‘Connor and Mike Daughton (RIP).

The second county championship victory of the day took place in Strand Road when Ballyduff defeated Firies. Having lost to Renard three years earlier Ballyduff emerged victorious after an intense and at times ill-tempered affair by the narrowest of margins. Ballyduff led by three points to one at the break and were awarded a penalty when Kevin O’Connor was fouled in the small square on the restart. The resulting penalty was pointed by Kenneth Boyle. However Firies rallied against a young Ballyduff side that had five minors and five under 21’s on duty. With the East Kerry side leading in the final stages a crucial equalising score came from Thomas O’ Sullivan. In the dying minutes Kevin O Connor was again fouled in front of the posts with John Hennessy making no mistake with the resulting free. On the way to the final Ballyduff defeated Ballymac, Ballydonoghue and Asdee. The team in the final was Mark Donegan, Cathal O’Connor, Noel Browne, Brian Ross, Brian Purcell, Christy Ross, Mike O’ Connor, TJ O’Connor, Maurice O’Connor, John O Mahony, Kevin O Connor, Paul Donegan, Kenneth Boyle, Thomas O Sullivan, John Hennessy. Subs Paddy Healy for J O’Mahony, John Enright for P Donegan, Tom O Sullivan and Tony McManus. Trainer Mike Enright, selectors Johnny Bunyan and Jerry McManus. Christy Ross received the Quirke and Hickey cup in behalf of Ballyduff, his brother Brian had captained Shannon Rangers to minor county championship victory earlier in the year.