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JFC semi final v Rhode: A trip down memory lane 2001-2003

posted 14 Aug 2019, 02:27 by Edenderry GAA   [ updated 14 Aug 2019, 02:44 ]

Edenderry v Rhode (JFC semi final, Bracknagh, 11.45am)

This Sunday morning Edenderry's junior team will play in their first semi final since 2005 and for some of the older generation it will also evoke memories of the great battles these sides had at the turn of the century.

In the late part of the last century and the first half of the 2000's Edenderry were one of the strongest teams in the county and 1997 saw John Blong lift the Quinn Cup as Edenderry celebrated a fantastic year by winning the minor and U21 championships, junior league and championship and senior league and championship. John's son Gary is set to feature this weekend for the reds and could join the small but elite list of Edenderry men with both a senior and junior county medal if Edenderry do indeed go all the way.

These sides met in the 2003 county final in Croghan and Edenderry were certainly favourites after they swept aside a Shamrock's challenge in the semi final on a score-line of 3-17 0-8. Former senior stars Niall Comerford (2-2) and Declan Farrell (1-1)  were prominent members of the team that day with scores also coming from the boots of Glen Dolan (0-5), David Farrelly (0-3), Declan Flynn (0-3), Darren Moore (0-1), Wayne Malone (0-1) and Ray Pender (0-1).

However, in the final the Rhode men emerged victorious after withstanding a late onslaught to win the game 1-13 to 1-10 with Paul 'Gizmo' Glennon accounting for 1-6 (0-5f). The Edenderry team that played in that final was as followed:

Eddie McDonnell, Willie Pender, Paul Connell, Padraig Foy, Wayne Malone, Colm Cummins, Darren Moore, Michael Murphy, Eddie Naughton, Niall Comerford (0-2), David Farrelly, Alan Doyle (1-0), Glen Dolan (0-7, 6f), Declan Farrell (0-1f), Ray Pender.

Subs used: Ray Lynch for Wayne Malone, Alan Farrell for Eddie Naughton, Eoin Brady for Ray Pender.

The 2003 victory was sweet revenge for Rhode  having been denied a final spot in 2001 when Edenderry knocked them out in the semi final stages. The villagers had played in the 1999 and 2000 county finals but a 1-12 to 2-7 victory for the reds ended their hopes as Edenderry advanced to play Birr in the county final.

The semi final of 2001, played in early September, saw Edenderry trail 2-3 to 0-5 at half time after fifteen year old Niall McNamee scored two goals in four minutes. Things looked bleak five minutes into the second half when Edenderry midfielder Michael Murphy was dismissed for a second bookable offence but the reds rallied and were not to be denied.

Current senior selector Padraig Ennis led the charge scoring 1-1 for Edenderry while Eoin Brady proved to be a thorn in Rhode's side accounting for 0-6 (3f). Glen Dolan, a mainstay of the Edenderry team during this era, chipped in with 0-3f while Wayne Malone (older brother of Basil) notched up two for the reds.

Forty three year old Johnny Mooney made a late substitute appearance for Rhode but it was a young Niall McNamee, fresh from sitting his junior cert that June, who almost pulled it out of the fire for his side but was denied by a superb Eddie McDonnell save deep into injury time. Ironically, Niall and Eddie would go on to win a senior championship together in 2010 for Rhode.

Edenderry team:
Eddie McDonnell, Cormac Nolan, Naomhán Farrell, Ray Lynch (capt), Niall Tyrrell, Mark O'Connor, Paddy Clarke, James Mullen, Michael Murphy, Glen Dolan (0-3f), Padraig Ennis (1-1), Wayne Malone (0-2), Darren Burke, Greg Farrelly, Eoin Brady (0-6).

Subs used: Paul O'Connell for Cormac Nolan, Alan Doyle for Greg Farrelly, Colm Cummins for Naomhán Farrell.

And so the neighbours meet again this Sunday in what could yet be the dawn of a new or renewed rivalry. There are very few connections left from the teams that played in the 2001 semi final to the teams that will clash this Sunday morning in Bracknagh. Rhode's Aidan Brereton is likely to be the only player to have featured in 2001 that will be in action this weekend while for Edenderry Glen Dolan's youngest brother Jamie is vice captain of the current side. Corner back from that game Cormac Nolan will watch on with pride as his sons Ciaran and Briain are both involved although Briain will miss the game through injury having suffered cruciate ligament damage during a league game this summer.

Best wishes to the players and management from all at Edenderry GAA.