My favourite 15 – St Gall’s

by Liam Stewart

1 – Dessi O’Neill (1950s) – Father of Stoke City FC manager Michael O’Neill, Dessi represented Antrim and Ulster. He was a goalkeeper with a strong puck out and great eye for the ball. He was equally capable of playing out the field.

2 – Joe McDaniel (Jr) (1990s-ongoing) – Still playing. No fear. A reliable and hard tackling defender.

3 – Billy McDonald (1950s-60s) – Billy could play anywhere on the field. A very strong player who also represented Antrim.

4 – Kieran McGourty  (1990s-ongoing) – Still playing. A great reader of the game and an intelligent player. Represented Antrim.

5 – Mickey Gribben (1980-90s) – Also a great reader of the game and intelligent with his distribution. Great athletic ability.

6 – Hugh Sheehan (1950-60s) – One of many great Sheehan’s to play for the club. Excellent stick work. Hugh was probably the best I have seen (I was too young to see Tim and Pat was coming to the end of his career then). I have never seen a man field a ball like him.

7 – Artie McGlone (1960-70s) – Artie was a good strong hurler with a great hand.

7b – Aodhan Gallagher (2000s-ongoing) – A coin toss between Aidso and Artie for the half back position. Still playing and a real athlete. Strong in the air and could also play forward.

8. Karl Stewart (1990s-ongoing) – Represented Antrim and Ulster on many occasions.

9. Brother Barry Brennan (1960s) – A typical Kilkenny hurler – stylish, with all the strokes. 

9b – Johnny Flynn (1990-2000s) – Another coin toss here for the other midfield spot. A great striker of the ball, free taker and could cut a ball like no other.

10 – Jim McDaniel (1970-90s) – Big Jim was a big strong hurler with a great hand. Battled hard and a good leader.

11 – Sean McGourty (1970-00s) – What’s not to be said about Sean – an all-round sportsman with great natural ability. Very good at reading the game.

12 – Ciaran Carson (1970s) – Left the game early due to injury. Classy hurler with natural ability.

13 – CJ McGourty (2000s-ongoing) – A great man to get an important score at the right time. Natural scoring forward

14 – Hillary McDaniel RIP (1950-60s) – Could well have been picked to play in goal. Represented Antrim and Ulster.

15 – Sean McAreavey (Jr) (2000s-ongoing) – a strong forward with a great eye for a major. Just pips his Father Sean (Snr) for the corner forward position.

Subs

Sean McAreavey (Snr) – A lively forward.

Brother Frank Collins (1970s)– a limerick man who was a very good hurler.

Donal Sheehan (1980-90s) – A great full back.

Tim Sheehan (1970-80s) – tenacious.

Kevin Fanning (1990s) – While not the most natural of hurlers, I enjoyed Kevin’s bravery and effort.

Stephen Morrison (2000s-ongoing) – Still playing. A steady defender. He is very unlucky not to take a corner back position. Great blocker of a ball.

Sean Boyle (1970s) – A great servant.

Charlie Delargy RIP

Cushendall Ruairi Og has lost a real stalwart with the passing of Charlie Delargy. A member of a great hurling family who have served the club both on and off the field down through the years. The Delargy family have played a major part in the rise of hurling in the Cushendall club over the past forty years.

Charlie served as club secretary and as chairman in the 1980s and in 1985 when the club could not get anyone to take on the job as senior team manager he and the club chairman at the time Donal Kearney stepped into the breach and ended up steering them to the senior championship title with a famous win over Loughgiel in the final in Glenravel.

His brother John captained the first Cushendall team to win the championship back in 1981, while Malachy was a member of the team. John’s sons Aidan, Sean and Alex all went on to win county titles, Sean following in his father’s footsteps by captaining the winning teams of 2005 and 2008, while Malachy’s son Brian was also a member of a few county title winning teams and captained Antrim minors to an Ulster title and his brother Andrew also lined out in the Maroon jersey. Patrick Gerard’s sons Michael, Gerard and Kevin all lined out for the Ruairi Og and of course Kevin was the team doctor with the Tipperary hurlers for many years. Charlie may not have reached the heights of some of his brothers on the field of play but his dedication to the Ruairi Og cause was unlimited.

To his wife Anne, daughter Jacqueline, brothers and sisters, Rose, Patrick Gerard, Alice, Martin, John, Malachy and the late Alister, and the wide Delargy family circle we offer our sincere condolences

Charlie Delargy (left) with his brothers John and Malachy, nephews and nieces after Cushendall’s win over Loughgiel in the 1985 county final in Glenravel
Charlie Delargy (right) who was assistant manager with Donal Kearney (left) on the Ruairi Og championship winning team of 1985

This is a tribute which was posted on the Ruairi Og Facebook page

Today, it is with great sadness that we learned about the passing of Charlie Delargy, one of our most esteemed members in recent times. He was a true Ruairí Óg who served the club in a variety of roles during his life. He was a player, a selector on the successful 1985 SHC team and an administrator of some note serving both as Secretary and Chairperson at a time when the club was in a period of important development both on and off the pitch. He was also a Trustee of the Club.
In whatever capacity Charlie represented his club, he was always totally committed. He would never ask another member to do something he was not prepared to do himself -whether that was selling tickets, raising funds, being an umpire or lifting a shovel or trowel. Charlie attended numerous meetings as a club official and always made sure that whatever he did or said reflected favourably on his beloved Ruairí Óg CLG. When he spoke at meetings, he did so with clarity and decisiveness; he said it as he saw it and it took a convincing argument to change his stance. In short, a man with a mind of his own and a leader with the vision to see beyond the present. A regular attender at members’ meetings, his opinions and views were always held in the highest regard by his peers. At this very sad time, we offer our sincere condolences to his wife Ann, daughter Jacqueline and all the Delargy family.


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

My Favourite 15 – St Teresa’s

By Danny Maguire

Today Danny Maguire selects his ‘Favourite 15’ hurlers from St. Teresa’s. Danny played football for Antrim and represented his club with distinction for nearly two decades and is well qualified to make this selection. Not everyone will agree with his selection. It’s just one man’s opinion. Just a bit of fun!

Danny Maguire’s ‘Favourite 15’ hurlers

Having been around for over 65 years of hurling within the club I have attempted to pick in my opinion the best 15 hurlers ever to represent us.

1- Gerard Maguire – my younger brother. Dual county player and fearless goalkeeper. IHC winner in 1977 and SFC 1979.

2- Colm Mc Neillis- again a dual player, strong tackler with great hands. Winner of JHC medals.

3- Paul McGoldrick- another dual player who gave great service to the club as full back in hurling and full forward in football. IHC winner 1977 &SFC IN 1979

4- Terry McGlone Snr. – tight marking corner back and again IHC winner in 1977.

5- Conor O Rawe-first of the current crop, again dual player. Speedy half back with an eye for a score. JHC ,JFC & IFC winner

6- Gerry Fitzpatrick- again a dual player and IHC winner in 1977 & SFC in 1979. Strong under high ball

7- Liam McGoldrick-current club chairman and long servant in both hurling and football. .Again IHC winner in 1977 &SFC winner 1979

8- Sean McGoldrick- represented County and Ulster  and captained the club to our only SFC title to date and managed Coleraine to win Derry title with at least. 5 sons playing. IHC winner in 1977

9- Stephen Carey- the 2nd of the modern crop. Strong dual player and great ball winner. Quiet and leads by example.

10- Martin Brunty- better known as hurler but also played football. Represented the county. Quick and great free taker. IHC winner 1977 &SFC 1979

11- Philip Maguire- 3rd of the modern crop. Has represented the county in both codes. Go to forward, free taker and record scorer. JHC, JFC & IFC winner.

12- Paul Growcott- again dual player who won IHC in 1977 & SFC IN 1979. Starred in St Marys CBS All Ireland Colleges football and hurling victories in 1970.

13- Robbie Gallagher- 4th of the modern crop, again dual player. Unmarkable on his day. JHC ,JFC & IFC  winner.

14- Gerard Turley- again a dual player with great hands.  JHC winner.

15- Paul McGoldrick-5th of the modern crop. Great ball player. Again dual player and winner of JHC, JFC & IFC.

Others deserving of a mention – Dominic Bellew, John McKiernan, Terry Fallon, Mark Mc Guigan.

My Favourite 15 – Gort na Mona

By Gerard ‘Blaster’ Holden

Today Gerard Holden looks at his favourite 15 hurlers from Gort na Mona. A club stalwart with a lifelong involvement with the men from off the Mona Byepass, Gerard is well qualified to select his side.

Not everyone will agree with his selection. It’s just one man’s opinion. Just a bit of fun.

If your club has not already selected a ‘Favourite 15’ hurling team we would urge you to appoint someone to do so. Send your selection to john.mcilwaine@yahoo.co.uk or to ptrckmclwn@yahoo.co.uk

Gerard Holden’s ‘Favourite 15’ Hurlers.

Unlike some from the other club’s selections that have been contributed to this enjoyable “Best 15” idea I, as someone who played on Gort na Móna’s first ever Hurling team in 1974, have had the enjoyable experience of watching “all” of our club’s Hurling progress from the lower leagues and championships in the early eighties to becoming a Division 1 league and Senior championship team through the late 80s, 90s and into the noughties.

Therefore my team selection will be a mixture of those who played on our initial adult successful winning teams through to some players that I was fortunate enough to manage in more recent times.  I am sure the majority of the younger players presently playing will have their day in the sun in the coming years when perhaps they will be selected on these best 15 teams by someone other than myself.

I have no doubt that “some” of the individuals that have hurled for our club over the years would not be out of place on most of the top hurling club teams.  Some of the others on my selection are there not due to their great stick work or skill but more for their commitment, brawn and battling to get our club into top flight hurling.

We all have to remember that all of these hurling and football team selections are a personal opinion and are subjective (on another day I may pick a different team) but let us not take away from the fun, craic, debate but most of all the beautiful memories and friends that our association has rewarded us with over many, many years.

Like other clubs we have lost members but it would be remiss of me not to mention Chris Harte, Terry Enright, Patrick Kelly and Sean Quinn who were all not only first team players at the time of their deaths but each and every one of them were exceptional at the small ball game and had many, many years of playing to go, before they sadly met their eternal rest.

As a manager and a coach of this team I would like to think I brought forward the qualities and skills that picked up from managers and players in my hurling career from Gort na Móna right through to the senior level in the 1989 Antrim All Ireland Team. That includes Hurling Legend Jim Nelson, RIP.

1- Ciaran “Panzer” McCann – “Rossa’s Loss The Gorts’ Gain” – Panzer’s puckouts were straight as an arrow, great shot stopper and could also fill in at full back when required.

2- Rabby Clarke – One of the Brat pack. Hard as nails, hit like a train and his policy was “thy shall not pass”.

3- Eric Rainey – Another Gort gain from Rossa – Eric managed our club through our best early hurling years, maintaining division 1 and leading us through to senior championship. Bringing professionalism to our club we hadn’t seen before.

4- Dee French – 3 words to sum up Dee – Steady, Solid & Consistent.

5- Sean Hall – Very classy Hurler, shooting points from afar, accurate passing bringing corner forwards into play.

6- John Cousins – Dominated centre back for many years in Gort na Móna. Good clean classy hurler, from taking frees to scoring many a point.

7- Anto Harte – Half back player made it difficult for forwards to get past. Another steady, solid consistent player.

8- Thomas “Tucker” Doyle – Mr Gort na Móna!! Covering every blade of grass in Antrim. Couldn’t decide if he wanted to be the player or the ref on the pitch. J His free taking and side line cuts showed he was defo a better player than a ref J

9- Paul “Gazza” McClelland – “Total Athlete” If I was coaching today I would advise young player to watch how he trains and conducts himself on the pitch. Best quality was how he high fields the ball from the sky pure class.

10- Brendan “Nipper” Quinn – A high scoring forward. Not only hurled for The Gorts but for Antrim & Parnells in Dublin. Top class forward could take a knock but be sure to take a knock back.

11- Sean Kelly – Started to become a pattern where it was Rossa loses and Gorts gain. Another ex-county Hurler for many years. Hit the sliotar like a rocket. High scoring forward, that give centre backs nightmares.

12- Desy McClean – No ends to his hurling talent. Used the hurl like a magic wand. Broke many a back’s hearts. High return of points every game. Legend.

13- Patrick “Jolly washer” McCaffery – Bit lippy at times but his high return of scores made up for it J Versatile player who could switch from half forward to the middle of the park and change a game in the blink of an eye.

No Gort team would be complete without a member of the McCaffrey family in it.

14- Martin Flanagan – What a hurler! He played full back as well as full forward, hitting with strength, and pulling the ball out of the sky. Martin was a team player bringing other players into the game.  Martin was also known for his top class coaching for our juvenile teams. Gort na Móna Legend.

15- Seamus “Hubba” Corr –Another full back’s nightmare. To this day I haven’t seen anyone strike a hurling ball with such power as Hubba did. Very high scoring forward who we were sure of would score 1-03 per game.

Subs:

  1. Conor McCann                                                                                               
  2. Patrick Kelly
  3. Sean Quinn
  4. Robert Fisher
  5. Patrick “Long Puck” Holden
  6. Terry Fallon

Team Manager : Gerard “Blaster” Holden

Selectors: George Ferguson, Willie Mackel Snr, Greg “Fluff”

Pic from 1989 with some of those named. Back row: Ciaran Panzer McCann is first from left; Martin Flanagan is fifth from left; John Cousins is sixth from left; Front row: Seamus Hubba Corr is first from left; Anto Harte is second from left; Dee French is third from left; Eric Rainey is fourth from left; Gerard Blaster Holden is sixth from left. Also, Terry Fallon is front row seventh from left; Patrick Holden is front row third from right; George Ferguson is back row first from right

Francis P Scullion

Yesterday Francis Scullion was featured in the Irish News ‘Lives Remembered’ section. At the request of his son Tony we are re producing it today on Saffron Gael

Francis P Scullion

The last journey of Francis Scullion from his home in Toome to his final resting place on the Cargin Hill saw a huge crowd line the route to bid farewell.

A lone piper who led the cortege for the phase out of the village and the ‘lament’ he played fully underlined the sadness of the occasion.

Francis Scullion was born into a family of sixteen in Ballinderry coming seventh in line and started as a proud follower of the Shamrocks and the Oak Leaf County but as events were to unfold and he made his way through life.

  A Toome girl had caught his eye, and he married his beloved Maggie and settled down on the banks of the river Bann only a stones throw away from the grounds of Erin’s Own Cargin in 1974.

The Erin’s Own men had won their first county senior title in that year and as time marched on, and although the Shamrocks of Ballinderry and the Oak Leaf men retained attentions aplenty, he had been smitten by the Cargin bug going on to occupy positions in the Committee of the club and taking the chair for a period.

Always cheerful with a keen wit and a rich sense of humour Francis was a big hit in his tenure as chairman and when he conducted the fund raising Take Your Pick in the social club it was always standing room only.

Both his sons, Tony and Gavin claimed championship medals in the green and white with the former outstanding in the Saffron for a lengthy period but possibly the most cherished moment was when his grandson Benen Kelly made it a family double when the Toome men took the County minor title to follow the senior teams’ success in 2019.

Francis had stared what was to be a life long appointment when he began teaching in St Olcan’s Randalstown in 1974 and only ill health forced him away from his vocation when he took early retirement in 2005.

A debilitating illness which was to worsen as time marched on did restrict movement but Francis found some solace in social media to keep in touch with his multitude of friends and always took opportunity to offer congratulations or indeed sympathies if such was required, missing none.

In the latter stage of his illness Francis remained positive reflecting on a great life with his beloved Maggie by his side, and his immense pride in his family, Belinda (Kelly), Kyra (Marron), Maria (Mc Erlain), Gavin and Tony, and his 22 grandchildren.

Francis Scullion was indeed a Gentleman and a Scholar and although taken before the allocation of the three score and ten his was a life to be remembered.