The year of 1935 will go down in history as the First East Cork Title for Castlemartyr. It also will go down as one of the most bizarre on record in Cork County Hurling circles. The record books show no County Junior Hurling Champions for that year, but remarkably Castlemartyr and Mayfield met in the final. Four times they were to confront each other and four times they were to fail to resolve an issue

On the road to the East Cork title Castlemartyr defeated Killeagh after a replay in Ballymacoda. They next accounted for Youghal and then defeated Ballymacoda in the semi-final at Copper Alley, Youghal, In the final, played in Midleton before a record attendance, Castlemartyr easily defeated Aghada. So Dave O’Brien became the first man to bring the cup home to Castlemartyr that evening to a rapturous welcome. Maurice Morrisey was President and Chris Cusack of Mogeely was Chairman of the club in this historic year.

This is a report of the game against Killeagh. The game took place in the Barrack field in Ballymacoda, which is the field on the left as you enter the village from Ladysbridge next to Daly’s Pub.

Castlemartyr 6-4 ; Killeagh 2-3

A large attendance saw Castlemartyr defeat Killeagh in the replay match for the East Cork junior hurling championship at Ballymacoda on Sunday last. The field was in splendid order and the arrangements perfect.

Mr. E Fleming, the popular vice-president of the Cork County Board, threw in the ball. The game started at a remarkably fast pace, and in less than five minutes Killeagh drew first blood with a major, scored by Deane. Keeping up the pressure they were almost through again, but Cusack in goal saved magnificently. Dineen (Castlemartyr) centred nicely for O’Brien to secure the equaliser. A free to Castlemartyr was well directed by J. Harte for a point. A wide to each side marked the next phase, followed by a point to Castlemartyr (M. Harte). For some time Killeagh were on the aggressive, but were repulsed, and Morgan went through for a goal for Castlemartyr. From the puck-out Killeagh were away, and Millerick found the net. A free to Castlemartyr resulted in a point (J. Harte), and C.O’ Brien, who was playing a great game, augmented the score with a goal a few minutes later. Just in half time Barry (Killeagh) pointed, and Castlemartyr led by 3-3 to 2-1.

Killeagh attacked on the resumption and Cusack saved, but had to concede a point. Castlemartyr took the offensive and O’Brien shot a great goal. Killeagh pressed but wide. Play was very fast and thrilling and excitement was at fever pitch. Killeagh swarmed around their rivals goal and rushed a major which was however disallowed. Castlemartyr next got possession for Ahern to find the net. After some tough challenges in midfield, Millerick (Killeagh) pointed, and shortly after the same player was unlucky when he shot wide. Castlemartyr appeared to have the game well in hand and gave the Killeagh defence a busy time. O’Brien found the net for Castlemartyr’s sixth goal, and a few minutes later J. Harte (Castlemartyr) from a free scored a minor. A thrilling game wound up in a good victory for Castlemartyr.

Referee, Mr. W. O’Connell, Ballymacoda H.C

The teams:

Castlemartyr- Dave. O’Brien (captain), Dermot.Cusack (goal), William.O’Brien, Chris O’Brien, Joe O’Brien, Joe Morgan, Liam Ahern, E. Hayes, Donnacha O’Keeffe, Robin Forrest, Jerry Wade, Maurice Dineen, Mattie Harte Jack. Harte, Jack Whelan.

Killeagh- P. Barry (captain), D. Coakley (goal), J. Barry, W. Deane, W. Roche, J. Magnier, D. Conroy, T. O’Sullivan, J. O’ Leary, P. Power, J. O’Mahony, E. Millerick, W. Millerick, J. Long, T. O’Sullivan.

1935 East Cork Junior Hurling Champions - Castlemartyr

Castlemartyr, 5-0 Newmarket 4-1.

In the Cork Athletic Grounds yesterday Castlemartyr and Newmarket met in the semi-final of the county junior hurling championship. It was a thriller from start to finish. Newmarket put up a wonderfully fine bid for the honours of which they were deprived by the remarkably fine goalkeeping of Cusack, who was a tower of strength to Castlemartyr, who won by 5-0 to 4-1.

Newmarket were first to break away but Whelan checked the movement and play was taken to the right wing where Castlemartyr had the better of the bargain with two seventies. It was a close shave for the net, which just escaped. Hard duels now became the order with a goal to Newmarket after a strenuous defence. Newmarket continued the pressure but had to retire and their rivals following up the clearance, Hennessy pulled off the equalising goal amidst much excitement. A free to Castlemartyr from a short range was beaten off. The same side quickly renewed the offensive and after a brief defence, Hennessy was through for Castlemartyr’s second goal. Again in possession, Castlemartyr shot wide. The pace maintained was very fast though the ground was heavy. A sideline shot gave Castlemartyr another footing but the attack was broken up by a resourceful defence. Newmarket moved up to lose a favourable scoring chance, and an interesting bout wound up with a wide at the Newmarket end. The latter side was next to invade but the Castlemartyr net custodian, Cusack, was responsible for brilliant saving. Two big bursts by Castlemartyr saw Bryan and Hennessey add two goals. It was an interesting game right up to the interval whistle, when the lead was held by Castlemartyr; 4-0 to 1-0; one of Castlemartyr’s goals was disallowed.

Heavy rain fell during the interval, and on the game being resumed, the sod was greasy. After a strong exchange Castlemartyr sent wide, after which their opponents, while in a good position, were beaten by Cusack, whose play was decidedly creditable. A seventy to Newmarket however, deceived him. The shot was accurately directed and in the ensuing tussle, Cusack was compelled to concede a goal. Newmarket were yet behind and were working at their best in a gallant effort to wipe out the arrears. A seventy to Castlemartyr saw Ryan put up a goal for which they had been a long time waiting so good were the defences. A point went to Newmarket after a previous effort for a goal was nullified by Cusack, whose performances were of inestimable support to the Castlemartyr side. A seventy to Newmarket was beautifully centred but the opposing defence stood out on its own. From the centre-field Newmarket were sending along dangerous shots, and after unceasing efforts the Castlemartyr net collapsed. Excitement was now at its height, the followers of the rivals shouting encouragingly to the players. Another goal to Castlemartyr-the excitement was intensified- and their opponents were not slow to follow suit. The match, which was quite a fine exhibition of hurling on both sides, equal to the rank of the senior grade, finished up to the advantage of Castlemartyr by 5-0 to 4-1. The teams were: –

Dave O'Brien Captain 1935 Castlemartyr Hurling Team

Castlemartyr- Dave O’ Brien (capt.), Dermot Cusack (goal), Chris O Brien, William O’ Brien, Joe O’ Brien, Donnach O’Keffee, Will J Hennessy, Jack Whelan, Liam Aherne, Jack Harte, Mattie Harte, Robin Forrest, Maurice Moloney, Jerry Wade, Willie O’Reilly.

Newmarket- D. Cronin, J. McSwiney, J. Scully, W. Scully, J. Murphy, W. Murphy, J. Crowley, P. Deasy, J. Sullivan, J. Clifford, J. Lucey, P. Kelleher, J. Fitzgerald, J. Carroll, N. Woolhall

Referee-Mr. B. Sisk


Midleton will be the Mecca of the Gaels of East Cork next Sunday to see what promises to be the best junior hurling final for years. The people of the division are very jealous of the reputation of their hurlers. Their senior champions remain unbeaten at the end of the year, and they will be not a little disappointed if the juniors blot their unbeaten certificate.

Recently I referred to the causes that brought about the hurling revival in the Parish of Castlemartyr. Since then the team qualified for the final defeating Newmarket, the Duhallow champions, in a match that created a most favourable impression for all who saw it. Unlike most of the present day hurlers, the Castlemartyr boys can play the ball on the ground, and therein lies their effectiveness. Their goalkeeper, Dermot Cusack, is fit for the best of company. The two O’Briens and O’Keffee are fine hurlers. So is W. Hennessey, a nephew of the great Dungourney forward of the old days, Liam Aherne, whose father, Mr. Eamonn Aherne, M.C.C. was the Secretary of the famous club at the time. Tradition and breeding play a big part in our national games.

The Cork Examiner reported on the Monday following the game that it was one of the finest ever seen at the East Cork venue with the exchanges of a fierce but fair nature. The teams were set in motion by Rev. W. Walsh, P.P., Castlemartyr.

Castlemartyr led at the interval by two points to one, but on the resumption Mayfield grabbed the initiative when D. Cotter the Mayfield captain scored an all important goal, the East Cork side replied to this reverse however and in the closing minutes M. Moloney grabbed the equaliser when he scored a clever goal to leave the sides deadlocked at 1-3 each with referee Jim Regan (Kinsale) calling for time. The Castlemartyr points were scored by Jim O Brien, Dave O Brien and WJ Hennessy.



Castlemartyr, 1-3; Mayfield, 1-3.

One of the most exciting hurling games of recent years was that which was played at Midleton yesterday, when Castlemartyr and Mayfield failed to decide who would be the holders of the 1935 Cork County Junior Championship. A large gathering witnessed a rousing game from start to finish-excellent hurling and a clean and manly fought encounter, a feature of which was the small scoring. The respective scores on both sides about truly depict the merits of the fifteens. A second meeting between the force was generally wished for, and the replay should eagerly be awaited. The field’s arrangements were in the hands of the local club members, could not possibly be improved upon. The weather was fine and the sod in excellent condition. The teams were set in motion by Rev. W. Walsh, P.P., Castlemartyr. Cotter put Mayfield on the offensive, but O’Brien cleared. Castlemartyr followed up this clearance for Hennessy to send wide of the posts. Following a stoppage in midfield, O’ Brien (D.) drove wide again for the East Corkmen. A free to Mayfield some 60 yards out was missed by O’ Connor, and again Castlemartyr moved up to register a third over per O’Brien. Play was again held up when Hennessy of Castlemartyr was injured, but was able to resume. Castlemartyr again pressed but failed to find the objective. Mayfield had the better of the subsequent exchanges, but the forwards sent the ball out of play. The next five minutes of the game saw some stylish hurling, in which the Mayfield goalie brought off some clever saves. Eventually O’Brien (J.) opened the scoring for Castlemartyr with an impressive point ten minutes from the start. From the puck-out, Mayfield pressed to be awarded a free 30 yards out from the Castlemartyr end. O’Connor again sent a short ball, and following a tussle at the Castlemartyr end, Mayfield again sent wide. The City men figured prominently in the succeeding bouts, but failed to penetrate the Castlemartyr defence. A penalty shot to the city men at a later period gave them an opening, and a most dangerous movement ended in a “seventy” for Mayfield, which was taken by Corbett and landed in the square, but was returned by O’Brien. A few minutes later Mayfield had another penalty shot, which Corbett failed to convert. A bombardment of the Castlemartyr territory followed, but again the defensive tactics of the East Cork men prevailed. D. O’Brien sent Castlemartyr on the offensive for the forwards to miss the post by inches. Some lively exchanges saw Mayfield penalised twice in mid-field, but again the back line of the city men stood the test of excessive pressure from the East Cork forwards. From a series of brisk exchanges in centre-field O’Driscoll sent a lighting-like shot over the bar to level the scoring Castlemartyr pressed from the puck-out and D. O’Brien picking up in mid-field sent the leather all the way through for a point to put Castlemartyr again ahead. Soon after the short whistle went leaving the East Cork men with the lead by two points to one.


The second half opened with Mayfield pressing, but Cusack was a reliable custodian. Following relief, Castlemartyr moved down, and with a well-combined movement, Hennessy registered a point. Long driving was a feature of the subsequent bouts, in which both ends were frequently visited, the defence on either side standing out prominently. An injury to Twomey of Mayfield necessitated his having to leave the field, the substitute being M. Archer. A free for the city men from the centre-field did not materialise, and a second such penalty from the same part of the field was beautifully centred by Corbett, but the forwards having charged the goalie, the referee awarded a free out, which O’Brien sent far down to the city end. A third free to Mayfield, again from the same position, taken by Corbett, was doubled on by Cotter, who drove a swift angular shot into the net, which score gave the city men the lead for the first time during the match. Castlemartyr replied to this reverse with a determined offensive movement, which was checked, and Mayfield gradually moving up saw cotter raise the white flag. The resumption saw Castlemartyr again endeavouring to draw level, and they had extremely hard luck when C. O’Brien struck the crossbar, the ball rebounding out to be cleared by Casey, who put the forwards again in possession for Cotter to register his third score for this half-a point. Later C. O’Brien had a second element of hard luck when he barely missed the point posts. Still pressing Castlemartyr were awarded a free some 20 yards from the Mayfield posts, and although the shot was saved, Moloney set the scores level with a clever goal. Excitement was now intense with only a few minutes remaining. In a Mayfield rush Cusack, the Castlemartyr custodian, was injured, but was able to continue. The referee awarded a free out to Castlemartyr, which was short and subsequently returned for Mayfield to send wide. A moment later the full time whistle went and the issue left undecided.

Mr. J O’Regan, Kinsale, referee

Castlemartyr- D. O’Brien (capt.), D. Cusack (goal), W. O’Brien, C. O’Brien, J. O’Brien, J. Harte, M. Harte, W. J. Hennessy, M. Moloney, W. Aherne, D. O’Keffee, M. Forrest, J. Wade, J. Whelan, W. O’Reilly.

Mayfield- D. Cotter (capt.), R. O’Driscoll, W. O’Connor, P. Corbett, W. Barry, E. Field, D. Kearney, D. O’ Leary (goal), R. O’Donovn, D. Desmond, W. Quirke, D. Twomey, S. Hourigan, T. Foley, F. Casey.


Mayfield 4-1 Castlemartyr 4-1.

Midleton was again the venue for the replay 2 weeks later, and the after match report told of the glass-like surface on which the match was played. Conditions were abnormal and considering this, the hurling was again of an excellent nature. Thrills were numerous throughout and nearing the end it seemed that Mayfield had settled the issue when they led by a goal, but again Castlemartyr thwarted them when from a long clearance by goalkeeper D. Cusack, C. O’Brien converted a great goal and the sides were level with time up on the watch.

Cusack the Castlemartyr custodian had an excellent match despite conceding four goals and Mayfield’s D. Cotter was very prominent throughout.

Final score Mayfield 4-1 Castlemartyr 4-1.

Liam Aherne and Chris O Brien accounted for 2 goals each.

The teams on that occasion were: Castlemartyr: Dermot Cusack, Dave. O’Brien, capt., Will O’Brien, Chris O’Brien, Robin Forrest, Jack Whelan, Jerry Wade, Maurice Moloney, Donnach O’Keeffe, Willie O’Reilly, Mattie Harte, Jack Harte, Paddy Morgan, Will J. Hennessy, Liam Ahern.

Mayfield: I. O’Mahony, D. Twomey, F. Casey, R. O’Donovan, D. Cotter, R. O’Driscoll, W. O’Connor, W. Quirke, W. Barry, E. Field, P. Corbett, D. Kearney, S. Hourigan, J. O’Mahony, T. Foley.

Second replay on the 4/1/1936

After two hours of hurling at its brilliant best the sides were still locked together in a struggle that was now capturing the imagination of the sporting public in Cork and beyond.

Act 3 of the saga saw a change in venue with the teams moving to Douglas (as the Athletic Grounds were waterlogged). Weather of a distinctly inclement character was associated with this game, and a gale force wind and a continuous downpour of sleet made hurling impossible. The players could not contain themselves on the icy surface with the result that four casualties were formidable.

With 15 minutes remaining the decision was taken to abandon. At the time Castlemartyr led by a point 2-1 to 2-0. Their scorers were Ahern, Harte, and O’Brien, Mayfield replied through O’Mahony and Field.


So nearly three months after the first game and with the issue still in the lap of the gods, Douglas was again the venue.

The huge attendance – stated the Examiner report – were this day however in for a great disappointment.

Castlemartyr scored first with W. Ahern goaling after a minute, but as the game progressed Mayfield got on top and goals from R. O’Driscoll and I. O’Mahony, put them in the drivers seat. Unfortunately the game contained some nasty incidents and there were several stoppages.

Nearing the final whistle there were some very regrettable scenes and the game was stopped. As referee Jack Barrett, another former Cork great and afterwards Co.Chairman, was leaving the field he told the Cork Examiner reporter that he was abandoning the game. Mayfield were leading 4-3 to 1-1 at the time.

That day in Douglas was to be the final time that both teams faced each other. After lengthy discussions at Co. Board level and numerous attempts to get the teams back on the field of play to try once and for all to settle the issue, it was decided that the game be declared null and void. Both teams served a term of suspension and the 1935 Junior County medals were never presented.

It was a sad and regrettable finale to a series of games that will forever remain etched in the minds of those privileged to have watched and in the intervening years to have heard about.