Featured post

Corkbeg Photographs 1981 - 2004

Greenmount AFC - History

 

Part 1

In 1930 the area where the present Greenmount housing estate now exists was a vast green area dominated by Sullivan’s Gardens and Deasy’s Field. The boys from the local National School entered a team named Greenmount Rangers in the Cadden’s League and other juvenile competitions. In 1933 they entered the Munster Minor League and enjoyed instant success when winning the coveted Munster Minor Cup at the first attempt. They retained the trophy the following year. This was also the year the Free State Minor Cup was inaugurated and the record books show that Greenmount were the first winners. Against all the odds they overcame the challenge of mighty Home Farm, who had Johnnie Carey of Man Utd and Ireland in their team, in the semi-final. They went on to defeat Drogheda in the final after a replay in Dalymount Park with a team which read Des Curtin, Jim Barrett, Eugene McCarthy (capt), Michael O’Keeffe, Sean O’Connell, Donal Murphy, Nobby Kelly, Denny Browne, Dandy Dick Delea, Jimmy Corcoran, Paddy Ring. Jim Cotter played in the drawn game and was replaced by Kelly for the replay. Scorers were Dandy Dick and Paddy Ring. Before a ball was kicked the following season, a boardroom dispute resulted in a major split and a breakaway team Rockwell emerged from the debris. One of the stars of the new team was the legendary Florrie Burke of Cork Utd, Cork Athletic and Ireland. Rockwell emulated Greenmount when qualifying for the Free State Minor Cup final by beating Home Farm in the penultimate round. This time the Dubliners protested to an overage Rockwell player and their objection was upheld with the result that the Bandon Road team’s brief flirtation with soccer came to an end leaving Greenmount to continue as before. Greenmount competed in the minor and junior leagues with little success for a few years.

 

They disappeared for a brief spell during the 2WW and returned as members of the Munster Senior League in 1942. Greenmount were very competitive and produced some outstanding footballers, the most notable being Paddy Ring (Cork FC), Paddy Cronin (Limerick,Cork Ath, Glenavon & LOI), Dinny Browne (Waterford), Davie Desmond (Cork Utd), Gerry O’Riordan (Cork Utd), Bonty Lynch (Evergreen), Connie Forde (Cork Utd), Pakie Keane (Cork Utd), John Carroll (West Ham) and Des Curtin (Sligo &Irish Army). They won the Beamish and Elvery Qualifying competitions before depleting numbers resulted in their disbandment in 1952. It is to their eternal credit that even though defunct as far as competitions were concerned their members, through the endeavours of Michael Dunlea and Jerry Desmond, assembled annually on the first Saturday of December when Mass was offered at the Holy Trinity for surviving and deceased members. This practice continued until 2002, fifty years after their final curtain call, when the old-soldiers numbers had by then dwindled to a handful.

 

From 1952 on Greenmount residents enjoyed their soccer in the colours of Crusaders, Southview, Rock Rangers, Glasheen and Tower and from 1958 Everton filled the void. Greenmount Utd (1955-57) and Greenmount Celtic (57-59) sampled the AUL League without any thoughts of permanency.

                                                           /AOH Cup 1970

                                                            AOH Cup 1999

                                                        Champions

Part 2

In 1965 the increasing teenage population in the eastern side of Greenmount prompted locals Billy “Shack” O’Sullivan, Richard Gould, Sean Walsh, Paddy Ahern, Seamus Long and Plunkett Carter to launch the reformed Greenmount Rangers who entered the Cork AUL. It was obvious from the beginning that they were a little bit better than third division standard and won the Shield at the first attempt. But, it was their FAI Cup giant killing escapades which propelled them to the forefront of local soccer. Four Premier scalps were taken before the fairytale ended when beaten in the semi-final replay by eventual national finalists Everton. Greenmount filled the bridesmaids role regularly until the big break-through came in 1970 when they won the coveted AOH Cup defeating St Mary’s after a replay in the decider at Flower Lodge. Val Hackett ran away with the Man of the Match award, netting all three Greenmount goals in the Flower Lodge showpieces. Greenmount were Cork’s representatives in the closing stages of the FAI Junior Cup in 1974 and 1975 but on each occasion exited to very strong  Limerick opposition in away territory.

 

Youth teams were entered only when Junior side recruitment was becoming an issue and Tommy O’Brien, signed from Casement, one of its stars in 1973 transferred to Coventry City and was capped seven times by the Republic of Ireland youths. A second adult side made their debut in 1977. For them it was beginners luck and the Dunlop Cup made a journey up Mount Sion Road. When Church Road, grounds the spiritual home of Cork soccer, was sold for housing Greenmount rented pitches in Blackrock and Topps Park, Ballincollig before moving to the ESB Grounds as tenants when the complex opened in the middle eighties. A superb Player Manager Tim Healy who blew away the cobwebs introduced new disciplined structures to the club in the late seventies and his squad – a mix of youth and experienced which included Alan Ramsell, Pa Mulcahy (who went on to complete 54 years service with the club), John Lyne, Cal O’Leary and Dave McCarthy was rewarded with promotion to the Premier League. Greenmount’s first 20 years had been dotted with some minor successes such as the Div 1 League and Cup (Enterprise) double in 1983 when Harry Speight skippered a team which included Tommy “Tucker” O’Brien (Cork Celtic), Matt O’Donovan (Cork Hibs), Michael “Blondie” Dorney (Ringmahon), Eddie O’Connor (Dunbar), Tim McCarthy (Basketball International) and the usual reliables.  A major breakthrough was made in 1990 when the Alan Ramsell captained and Denis Lyne managed side won the Premier League Championship for the first time and for good measure added the St Michael’s and Champions Cups to the cabinet.  The AUL formed an Intermediate League in 1990 and Premier champions Greenmount upgraded in ’91 to compete amongst senior clubs. The Intermediate League lasted just four seasons during which Greenmount had victories in the Intermediate Shield and Corinthians Cup.

                                                       Greenmount Rangers 1965-66
                                                       Runners-up 2004
                                                                Saxone Cup Winners

When the experiment ended in 1995 a disappointed Greenmount returned to junior football and resumed where they left off   - as champions. The following year they swept the board, retaining their League title and ended a barren eight-year spell for Cork teams when, against the odds, defeating Clonmel in the final of the Munster Junior Cup at the Showgrounds Clonmel. Greenmount were then the dominant force in Cork Junior soccer and established themselves as one of the most successful AUL sides of all time when adding three more Premier titles and three AOH Cups to their impressive CV. We also distinguished ourselves in the Munster Senior Cup suffering a narrow late defeat by Cork City after having earlier eliminated National Leaguers Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park. Managers Denis and John Lyne, Ger Long and John Shine each had the distinction of lifting the coveted AOH.  Flying winger Brendan Cronin became the first player to be capped while playing with the club when selected for his country on five occasions in 2001 and 2002. An honour emulated by Gearóid O’Leary two years later.

 

On the negative side Greenmount, now long established, are still un-rooted in terms of playing pitches and in this respect the future is far from rosy. Attempts to secure land for development have failed repeatedly. We still have to rely on the generosity of long-term landlords at the ESB Curraheen Road and the shared tenancy provided by the local council at Murphy’s Farm.  Every year begins with a promise to rectify the unsatisfactory situation but unless some Fairy Godmother waves the magic wand or we win the lotto the nomadic ways will continue. And they did for a few more years. The closure of our home ground at Sportsco was a hammer blow not just to our club but to the football leagues in Cork who all used the popular venue regularly.  Thankfully, Murphys Farm (our present home) became available shortly afterwards – a fine pitch but too late for the aging stars of the 90s and later who had moved into retirement. However, great credit is due to the thirty somethings who, despite a few relegations, kept the flag flying for almost a decade. Eventually the unchanging group with an average age closer to forty than thirty, burdened with the addition parental responsibility of  their own kids sporting activities, went into honourable retirement.  Sadly, for the first time in 55 years Greenmount failed to enter the AUL in 2019. However, the absence was a brief one as former stalwart and prolific goal scorer Greg Cooney returned to the club to manage an enthusiastic new team who until the interruption because of Covid 19 had displayed some promise. Maybe in the future we will unearth a few like Shane McSweeney, Eddie Cotter, Conor Fitz, Greg the Boss, Dougie Browne, Jimmy O’Connor, Anthony O’Brien, Dougie Twomey, Seanie Walsh, Pat Tynan, Bertie Lane, Kevin McTiernan, Mick O’Leary, Ger Long, Davy Cooke, Barry O’Leary, Pat O’Keeffe, Darren Gubbins, Fionán Murray, Gearóid O’Leary, Martin Murphy, Mick Long, Alan Murphy, Ger McGreevy, Alan Ramsell,  Deckie O’Regan, The Hennessy’s, The Cahills, McGreggors, Matt Carter, the great Val Hackett, Bernie Browne, Dinny Joe Ellard, Billy Shack, Pa Mull (owner), Micky Falvey, John Lyne, Sean Long, Paddy O’Callaghan, , Eamon Corcoran, Leneord Corcoran, the Byrds, Pat Harris, John Tighe and not forgetting Ian Mull, Hogey, Lenny Mac, Graham O’Donovan and their gang

 Que Sera, Sera.

 Greenmount Rangers AFC (Cork) - Originally founded 1932 -1952 - Reformed 1965

 Honours: FAI Minor Cup winners 1935, Munster Minor Cup winners 1934 & 1935, Beamish Senior Cup 1947, Elvery Senior Cup 1947, Munster Junior Cup winners 1997, AUL Premier League 1990, 1996,1997, 1998, 1999, 2001. AUL Intermediate Shield 1991, Corinthians Cup 1995,1996 and 2002. AOH Cup 1970, 1999,  2002 and 2003, Champions Cup 1990, St Michael's 1990, Premier Shield 1996, FAI Area 1974, 1975 & 1997, Linnane Cup 1998, 1999 & 2005 Youths League 1969, Div 3 Shield 1966, Div 1 League 1983, Enterprise Cup 1983, Dunlop Cup 1978,  Div 2 League 1995, 2001. Saxone Cup 2004. Internationals: Brendan Cronin and Gearoid O’Leary. Former player later capped: Tommy O’Brien. Player capped with other club: Ger Long.

                                                            Treble Winners 1990



 






Comments