by ehistoryadmin on May 16, 2014




Cavan sprang a surprise by defeating Kildare (3-6 to 2-5) in the All-Ireland Football final at CrokePark on Sunday and winning their second Championship, it being the second time also for the senior title to go to Ulster.

In a curtain raiser, Mayo gave a very clever display when taking the Minor Football title to Connacht, defeating Tipperary by 1-6 to 1-1 in the final.

In a record crowd (50,380) Cavan must have had the largest following that ever supported any county in the Gaelic field. The Cavan colours were everywhere in evidence, and, whether it was because of the unexpected turn of events in the game or for some other reason, the jubilant encouragement that has always been given to Kildare in a final was smothered in the whole-hearted enthusiasm that cheered Cavan to victory.

A Proud Day For The Victors

It was a proud day for Cavan when they won their first Championship by defeating Galway in the final of 1933, but on that occasion Cavan were favourites.

There was the difference on Sunday that while Cavan were not wanting in confidence, majority opinion was behind Kildare, so that the sweeping success of the Ulster champions gave the Cavan supporters greater scope to vent their feelings of rejoicement.

Kildare were beaten by a superior team, Cavan were into their stride from the start. Bubbling with life and energy they threw Kildare completely off their game, and later efforts by Kildare to rally were effectively broken by the dash and vigour of the Cavan men, who played throughout as if their very lives were dependent on the result.

As compared with the team which had narrowly escaped defeat by Tipperary in the semi-final, Cavan had improved beyond all belief. Determination marked their every movement.

Trained to perfection ― a high tribute to those in charge they set the pace for the greater part of the hour, and there were times when Kildare were almost made to appear as novices.

The Kildare defence was not nearly as reliable as against Mayo in the semi-final; but the Cavan forwards were a more persistent lot; they did not wait for others to make openings but were after the ball immediately it came their way and they wasted no time dallying in front of the sticks. Cavan, too, had the advantage at midfield, where their captain Hugh O’Reilly, was an outstanding figure, and it is due to him to state that no man could have worked harder.

Kildare lost C. Higgins (injured in the first half hour), and the entry of Dalton (substitute) led to a change of placings, Dalton took up his usual position as left half-back; F. Dowling crossed to the opposite side; and Waters moved to midfield to partner Matthews.

The Kildare forwards did not come up to expectations. There was early evidence of faulty shooting. Midway through the opening moiety Cavan had run up a handsome score, and at the interval they had a lead of over double figures (2-5 to 1-2).

This was improved soon after resuming and it was when Cavan held a ten points advantage (3-6 to 1-2) that Kildare came out at their best.

To reduce a lead of 10 points to 4 in the time that remained was in itself a fine feat by Kildare, and with Waters and Martin leading repeated assaults the Cavan backs were kept busy.

Here as elsewhere, however, the Cavan men were true to trust, and Smith, cool and collected in his new berth of full-back, gave his usual stylish and well-judged display, while receiving able support from others around him. At this stage there was improvement by the Kildare forwards, but with the minutes passing they were fighting a forlorn hope, for already Cavan had been accepted as worthy winners.

There have been many better finals at CrokePark, but Sunday’s game will live in history. It was the first time for Ulster to defeat Leinster in the deciding tie of the championship, but Kildare had a close call from Cavan in the 1928 final. There were a few incidents during the hour that showed a bitterness that should have been absent.

The teams fielded out as selected, Maguire despite rumours of the probability of a last minute change, coming on in goal for Kildare.

A Tribute To All

Where all played their part it would be invidious to particularise in the case of Cavan, and if mistakes were made here and there the members of the winning side, to a man, may be said to have shared equally in bringing the highest football honours in Gaeldom to their county. After their listless showing against Tipperary there can be no denying that Cavan rose to the occasion in a manner that was pleasing in the extreme to their big body of supporters.

Kildare followers were disappointed, but no matter how bitter it may be to have to bow to defeat, it means no disgrace to be beaten by a better team and Kildare will continue to reckon amongst the leaders.

There was wild rejoicing at the close, and Cavan players were born shoulder high to their dressing room. In a scene of enthusiasm that has never been equalled at CrokePark the Sam Maguire Cup was presented to the Cavan captain (H. O’Reilly).

The attendance lays further stress on the fact that there is need for additional accommodation at headquarters.

Kildare Fight To The Final Whistle

Cavan were away on the throw-in, and Magee took a pass from Blessing to score a point in the opening minute.

Kildare backs were kept busy, and Cavan had an over before Kildare got moving. After Connolly had saved for Cavan, C. Higgins (Kildare) drove wide. P. Byrne (Kildare) missed from a free at short range, and Cavan bounded off from a free by Smith.

Kildare returned and Geraghty, who received from Matthews, scored a point. Young, in an effort to save, being charged into the Cavan goal. Kildare again forced the play, and Keogh twice sent over in quick succession. J. Higgins (Kildare) saved from a free by O’Reilly, and when T. O’Reilly (Mullahoran) returned for Cavan, the Kildare sticks had a narrow escape from a ball punched by Magee.

Young (Cavan goal) saved from Keogh, and Smith cleared from a centre by P. Byrne. Cavan led away in sweeping fashion, and after a good save by Maguire (Kildare goal) Smallhorn scored a nice point for Cavan. C. Higgins retired injured and was replaced by Dalton.

From a free Byrne (Kildare) forced a “50” (J. Higgins), and Dolan saved splendidly for Cavan. Cavan finished weakly, but when again H. O’Reilly left Cavan attacking Magee scored a good point. When a few minutes later Magee added a point from a free, Cavan led by four points to 1.

Cavan returned to the attack and after a spirited duel in front of the Kildare sticks Boylan (Cavan) had a goal, one of the Kildare defenders, in an effort to save, aiding in sending the ball to the net.

Magee (Cavan) missed narrowly from a free and Devlin (Cavan) was wide soon after. A Kildare attack went without reward, and following a free by T. O’Reilly (Mullahoran) the Kildare sticks were again in danger, and H. O’Reilly scored a point. Maguire (Kildare goal) tipping the ball as it crossed the bar.

Kildare attacked with vigour and after the ball had rebounded off the upright from a shot by Keogh, Mulhall scored a goal for Kildare. Cavan dashed off in spirited style, and the Kildare defence was again broken for a goal fisted to the net by Boylan (Cavan). Cavan now led by seven points (2-5 to 1-1).

Working back, Kildare had a point from a free by Martin. Cavan had a lead of 6 points at half-time: 2-5 to 1-2 for Kildare.

Ebb And Flow Of The Great Contest

Smith cleared from a Kildare attack, but Martin returned, and Keogh (Kildare) sent over. When Dalton again put Kildare moving Young (Cavan goal) saved from P. Byrne. Cavan, adapting themselves to hand-passing tactics engaged in a lively assault, but Devlin sent over.

A few minutes later Maguire (Kildare goal) saved from Devlin and then from Blessing, but Cavan stormed the Kildare citadel, and a goal by T. O’Reilly (Mullahoran) was followed by a point from Devlin.

Cavan now led by 10 points (3-6 to 1-2) and the Kildare defence was still being battered. A forward move by Kildare was effectively dealt with by Smith and Dolan and Phair then saved in turn for Cavan. Kildare forced a “50” (J. Higgins) and Young (Cavan goal) saved from a free by P. Byrne at the expense of a “50” (J. Higgins) from which Dinneny saved. Kildare returned and there was splendid saving by Young (goal) and Smith and a further Kildare free (P. Byrne) at short range was beaten off.

Again Kildare swarmed in, but the Cavan defence was unbeatable and a free eased for Cavan. Matthews had a point for Kildare, and when Cavan came away Maguire (Kildare goal) saved splendidly from a rasping shot by Blessing. Cavan failed on a “50” and Kildare attacked for a point by Martin, who received from J. Dowling.

Kildare again forced play in determined style and after the ball had rebounded off the cross bar Dowling fisted to the net for a goal.

Dinneny, Phair, and T. O’Reilly (Cornafean) lent useful aid to Cavan clearance and Mulhall sent over for Kildare. Goff and Maguire (goal) had, a minute later to save for Kildare, and Kildare moved in for a point by Geraghty.

Play swung round and from a shot by Boylan (Cavan) the ball rebounded off the upright.

Magee (Cavan) sent over from a free, and a Kildare back and a Cavan forward engaged in fisticuffs unobserved by the referee. P. Byrne (Kildare) sent over from a free and the end came with the play at midfield.

S. Jordan T.D. (Galway) was an impartial referee.


Gaol ― W. Young.

Backs ― Full, J. Smith; right, W. Connelly; left, M. Dinneny.

Half-backs ― Centre, T. O’Reilly (Cornafean); right, T. Dolan; left, P.Phair.

Midfield ― H. O’Reilly (capt.), T. O’Reilly (Mullahoran).

Wings ― Right, D. Morgan; left, J. Smallhorn.

Forwards ― Centre, P. Devlin; right, P. Boylan; left, M. J. Magee; full, L. Blessing.


Goal ― J. Maguire.

Backs ― Full, M. Goff; right, W. Mangan; left, J. Byrne.

Half-backs ― Centre, J. Higgins; right, P. Waters; left, F. Dowling.

Midfield ― P. Matthews (capt.), C. Higgins.

Wings ― Right, T. Mulhall; left, P. Byrne.

Forwards ― Centre, P. Martin; left, T. Keogh; right, J. Dowling; full, M. Geraghty.

Sub. ― J. Dalton (for C. Higgins).

Figures Of The Final

The following are the official figures for Sunday’s final: ―

Paid for admission ……………………………. 50,380

Gate Receipts …………………………………£4,533 14s 9d.

                              (Both a record).

Tell-Tale Figures

(First Half)

                                    G         P          O         50’s      F

Cavan                          2          5          5          1          5

Kildare                        1          2          3          1          9

(Second Half)

                                    G         P          O         50’s      F

Cavan                          1          1          1          1          5

Kildare                        1          3          1          2         12


Clockman’s Facts And Figures

(First Half)

1m.    ― Cavan, a point (Magee).

2m.    ― Cavan sent over.

2½m. ― Kildare sent over.

3½m. ― Kildare sent over from free (P. Byrne).

5m.    ― Kildare a point (Geraghty).

6m.    ― J. Higgins (Kildare) injured; struck by ball in face.

7m.    ― Keogh (Kildare) sent wide.

7½m. ― Keogh (Kildare) sent wide.

8m.    ― C. Higgins (Kildare) injured (1m).

10m.  ― From Cavan free on right Blessing punched wide of the far post.

11m.  ― Cavan goalkeeper punched out from a high lobbing shot by Keogh.

12m. ― Kildare goalkeeper punched away but Smallhorn shot a point from the return.

14m.  ― C. Higgins (Kildare) retired, being replaced by Dalton.

16m.  ― Phair (Cavan) left half, injured, but resumed.

17m.  ― Magee (Cavan) shot wide.

18-19m. ― Three frees to Kildare, who forced a “50” off third, “50” was cleared.

20m.  ― T. O’Reilly (Cavan) hurt in Kildare attack.

21m.  ― Free to Cavan led to wide.

22m.  ― Cavan a point (Magee).

23m.  ― Free to Cavan; Magee shot a pt.

24m.  ― Great Cavan attack; Boylan scored goal.

25m.  ― Cavan free resulted in wide.

27m.  ― Kildare free in Cavan ground; Matthews sent wide.

29m.  ― Cavan forced a “50”.

29½m. ― Cavan, a point (H. O’Reilly).

30m.  ― Kildare score a goal (Mulhall).

31m.  ― Cavan scored a goal (Boylan).

32m.  ― Player each side injured.

34m.  ― Play resumed with kick out by Kildare from goal.

35m.  ― Dowling (Kildare) sent wide.

35½m. ― Kildare, a point from free (P. Martin).

      Half-time ― Cavan, 2-5.  Kildare, 1-2.

(Second Half)

3.55   ― Game restarted.

1m.    ― Smith cleared well for Cavan; Kildare (Keogh) sent wide.

2m.    ― Cavan goalkeeper cleared flukily from Keogh.

2½m. ― Cavan passed well, and Blessing sent wide.

5m.    ― Cavan scored goal (T. O’Reilly).

6m.    ― Cavan scored point (Devlin).

7-8-9m. ― Frees to both in neutral ground.

10m.  ― Keogh (Kildare) sent wide.

11m.  ― T. O’Reilly (Cavan, Cornafean) injured.

12m.  ― Kildare forced a “50”; free to Kildare well saved by Young at the expense of another 50 cleared.

13m.  ― Kildare attack hotly; Young cleared.

14m.  ― Free to Cavan eased pressure.

16m.  ― Kildare, a point (Matthews).

16½m. ― Kildare goalkeeper cut off a shot by Blessing from five yards range.

17m.  ― Fifty to Cavan; cleared.

18m.  ― Kildare score a point (P. Martin).

19m.  ― Kildare, a goal (Dowling).

20m.  ― Kildare attacking. Free to Cavan eased.

22m.  ― Cavan sent wide (Smallhorn).

23m.  ― Waters (Kildare) and T. O’Reilly (Cavan) injured.

25m.  ― Play resumed; both players recovered; free to Cavan.

26m.  ― Kildare goalkeeper cleared well from Blessing.

26½m. ― Waters (Kildare) sent wide.

27-28m. ― Kildare sent wide.

30m.  ― Kildare, a point (Geraghty).

31m.  ― Great Cavan attack; Boylan clear, hit the upright with great shot; Boylan injured.

32m.  ― Free to Cavan close in; Magee sent wide.

33m.  ― Free to Cavan cleared.

34m.  ― Free to Kildare sent wide.

      Final Score ― Cavan, 3-6;  Kildare, 2-5.


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