A century after their formation, St. Mary’s Aghagallon find themselves in a first Senior Football Championship final and the St. Mary’s men will be hoping to join the ‘club of one’ when they take on Creggan in Sunday’s final at Corrigan Park.
So what do I mean by the club of one? It’s the clubs who finally got over the line to gain a first Senior Championship title but as yet have failed to push on and gain a second.
If St. Mary’s are successful on Sunday they will join Tir na nOg who won their only senior title back in 1902, O’Neill Crawley’s 1905, Davitt’s 1923, O’Donnell’s 1940, Eire Of 1948, Con Magee’s 1966, Pearses 1968 and the last member of the ‘club of one’, St. Teresa’s who won their only senior championship in 1979.
St. Teresa’s success came in 1979
St Teresa’s was founded in 1963. The club enjoyed almost immediate success securing 3 county minor titles in the years 69-71. The success of these teams fed into the newly formed senior setup. The senior team enjoyed a meteoric rise through the All County football divisions rising from div 6 to div 2 in successive years. Following a narrow defeat in the replayed county final of 1976, the club finally secured their first Senior County title beating local rivals St Johns. Under Br Ennis, the team went on to contest 4 more senior finals. However they were unable to repeat the success of 1979.
In the early 80’s focus turned to securing a permanent home on the Glen Road. In 1992 a 100 year lease was signed for A 10½ acre site. In 1998 two grass playing pitches were opened by Jimmy Barry Murphy and the Cork hurling team, named McDonnell/Doherty Park. Inevitably, whilst most efforts were concerned with providing facilities, the playing side was neglected. Despite securing an intermediate football title in 1993, the senior football team slipped into Division 3 at the turn of the millennium. . It was left to the hurlers to keep the club name prominent. In 2005, a Junior hurling title was anexed. The feat was repeated in 2008. Not to be outdone, the footballers secured the 2009 Junior title to ensure a return to the intermediate ranks. St Teresa’s returned to division 2 in 2012 after a 14 year absence.
A celebration of 50 years in 2013, was capped with acclaimed success on the playing fields. In the last club game to be played at the old Casement Park, St Teresa’s defeated local rivals Rossa in the Beringer Cup final.
The senior ladies team won their first silverware with an emphatic win
over St Comhgalls in the Junior B Championship. The playing season was rounded off when the senior footballers defeated Portglenone by a single point in the IFC final at Glenavy.
Con Magee’s and Davitt’s play their football in division 2 and Intermediate championship while Pearses, Eire Og and O’Donnell’s are playing in division 3 and Junior Championship and O’Neill Crawley’s are sadly no more.
St. Mary’s Aghagallon are now a well-established division 1 side and have enjoyed unprecedented success at juvenile and Intermediate level in recent times. On Sunday they will be aiming to become the ninth member of the ‘club of one’.
Standing in their way is Kickham’s Creggan who have been knocking at the championship door for a number of years and lost narrowly to neighbours Cargin in the 2018 and 2020 final and will be hoping to go all the way this year.