Sean Andrews Takes Gold
Writes John Twomey
One of the great occasions in the world is All Ireland Final Day in Croke Park and Sunday September 1st lived up to its billing in front of a local and world-wide audience when the youthful Cork Rebels (Minor Footballers) rendered a memorable display of courage, skills and gusto to bring the Tom Markham Cup back to The Banks of the Lee for the first time since 2000. Also, it was a wonderful way to mark the 100th anniversary of wearing the famous red jersey, first donned in 1919.
At 11.15am the Cork bus rounded the corner into Jones’s Road in front of Croke Park to be greeted by an enthusiastic group of Cork supporters who were assembled outside the gates of the nearby college. The crowds were gathering, particularly the Red Brigade with great anticipation and expectations.
The lads had their traditional walk about on the hallowed turf of Croke Park before dressing for battle. I had taken my seat only to be in the company of Cork football legends, that great Adrigole and Beara man Bernie O’Neill who was our midfield senior football star of the late 1960 when he had some mighty battles with the great Kerryman Mick O’Connell, and Cork’s current football supremo Conor Counihan.
The Artane Band ‘struck up’ a salute and we wondered what dignitary was in early. It was An Taoiseach and Bernie said to me that he wanted to see a good Minor game, how right he was.
Galway were favoured by many, having taken out Kerry, who were seeking 6 in a row. Cork had removed the Ulster and Connaught champions on route. Cork took some time to come to grips with their western opponents who possessed players with skill and pace. With time out and the teams level, added time was played and Galway scored a goal which seemed to seal victory.
Cork had just 60 seconds to do something about it and their brilliant Skipper had the green flag waving in the Galway goal. The Rebels would not yield and in a pulsating extra time period went for kill and raised the roof in Croke Park. Cork were All Ireland Minor Champions for 2019.
Shamrocks had a wonderful representative on the team and his contribution throughout the entire campaign was tremendous. Sean Andrews, a product of the Club’s Academy and Under Age section has been a magnificent ambassador for the green and white.
He comes from one of the oldest Shamrock families. Generations of the Andrews family have been involved with the Shamrock Club since its foundation 121 years ago. They served as great players and administrators over all those years.
His father Dick won South East Hurling and Football championship medals with the Club and his Uncle Nardie was a folk hero in the Club. His late maternal grandfather, Con Guiney, a keen footballer would have been very proud of him too. His wonderful late grandparents in Ringaskiddy, Bernie and Breda Andrews, were probably guiding him around Croke Park.
It was, of course a great day for the families of all the players. Dick and Kathleen along with Lauren, David, Harry and Grandmother Julia will relish and treasure this golden day for the rest of their lives.
50 Years Ago
In 1969 The Thomas Markham cup made its last visit to Shamrocks when Gerald Hanley was a member of the title winning team. He was a dual player and won a hurling medal that year as well after starring with his alma mater North Mon who took Harty Cup and All Ireland honours.
Well Done To
Two other South East Cork lads were part of this great Minor group and we send them our congratulations. Valley Rovers were represented by Adam Walsh Murphy and Carrigaline by Jack McGrath. Their Clubs can be very proud of them too. Cork have now won 11 All Ireland Minor Football titles and share second place with Dublin in the Roll of Honour.
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