Stories .

"The Bus" 

At a club meeting in Bartlemy on February 20th 1976 it was decided to write to CIE about getting an old railway carriage for a dressing-room similar to what was in use in Conna for years. On March 8th the secretary was instructed to write to the bus station about getting an old bus. Things rested so for the remainder of 1976. At the next AGM on Sunday January 2nd 1977, Fr. Seanie Barry stressed that some form of dressing-room was vital. A sub committee of Tony Walsh, Pat Hoskins and trainer Tom Barry was appointed with power to spend £100. At the first meeting of the year on January 20th it was reported that a bus had been purchased for £80 and John Meade said he had arranged for the bus to be brought to the pitch at a cost of £15. It was agreed to commence work on the bus on April 22nd. This was later deferred to Saturday 19th May at 1.30 when chipboard supplied by Mick Barry was to be bolted on the sides. This work was done and the roof was also made waterproof. This bus served as a dressing-room for the next 6 years until playing activities moved to Pairc Na Bride. When the old pitch was being vacated the bus had to be disposed of and this proved another major problem as by now it was little more than a shell and could not be towed. Eventually it went for scrap - but it cost more to get rid of it than it did to purchase 

Hard to Keep a Secret

The first round of the Junior 'A' hurling championship 1979 was fixed for Watergrasshill on Sunday June 24th 2.45 followed by Erin's Own and Glanmire in the Junior 'A' football championship. Carrignavar, having been heavily defeated by Cloyne in 1978, weren't expected to be too strong. On the day however, Carrig played very well with Sean Walsh and Sean O'Riordan causing the Rovers fierce problems. In the end a draw, Bride Rovers 0-11 to Carrignavar 1-8, was the result. At the East Cork Board meeting on the following Wednesday night, the replay of the game was fixed for the following Saturday week July 7th, at Watergrasshill again. While the Board meeting was in session in Midleton, the Bride Rovers hurling team was playing Kilworth in a tournament game in Ballyduff, Co. Waterford. The Rovers won the game but the referee ordered a Bride Rovers player off the field. On Thursday morning when the replay date was made known, there was consternation. Even if the player sent off received the minimum two week suspension, he would miss the replay. The club officers had a consultation and it was decided to contact the referee in question and ask him to "forget" about sending the player off. In fairness, the referee agreed to this strategy. Then all the Rovers supporters who had been at the game - about 15 in all - had to be spoken to and the situation explained to them. This was done and it was expected no one would ever know the player had been sent off and he would be available for the replay. The whole plan came unstuck however, as within a few days the word came back from the Carrignavar camp that they knew exactly what had happened. The player in question couldn't take part in the replay which Carrignavar won
Moving the Goalposts

At a tournament game in Ballincurrig in the early 1950's the term "moving the goalposts" took on a new meaning. The playing field at Ballincurrig belonged to local publican Charlie Smart and was behind the "Barracks".This field was mainly used for tournaments which might be only for a few weeks in any year. Smarts' cows obviously had access to the field - indeed, livestock had "grazing rights" in most pitches at the time. Cattle and cows especially love "scratching" and of course the goalpost uprights were very suitable for this purpose. Constant scratching by cows meant that goalposts became quite loose in the ground and would sway from side to side easily. At this particular tournament match the home team, Lisgoold, were ahead by a point with time almost up. Bride Rovers were awarded a free from a fairly scoreable position. The free taker may have been Michael O'Riordan. He bent, he lifted, and he struck a fairly good shot which seemed like an_equaliser. The local umpire, however, sensing a possible draw put his shoulder against the loose goalpost and it duly moved. A movement of 6 inches at the base of the post of course resulted in a move of maybe 3 or 4 feet at the top of the post. By the quick thinking of the umpire what would have been an equaliser sailed narrowly wide and ensured a home victory!


"Watch Out For the Bull!"

During late April and the month of May 1971 the Junior hurlers played 6 tournament games. The first of these was on April 25th against Whites Cross in the Whites Cross Tournament. The pitch, like most club pitches at the time, was a field rented from a local farmer and before the game began, a herd of cows and a bull were herded to the bottom of the field away from the playing pitch. The match was going ahead and was a close affair. Near the end Whites Cross were ahead by two points. The Rovers were attacking in search of a winning score. Dave Ryan was standing close to the Whites Cross goal and as the Rovers forwards attacked, Dave shouted "Hi, look at the bull, mind the bull!" (or words to that effect). Naturally the Whites Cross goalkeeper fearing for his safety looked around, neglecting his duties and in a flash, the sliothar was in the net. Shortly afterwards the final whistle went and the Rovers were winners -mainly thanks to Dave Ryan's timely vocal intervention ! It was a few years later before this tournament was finalised and for the final there was no bovine presence and Erin's Own won.

Ten Shillings owed !


The death in Nov 2016 of Willie John Daly from Carrigtwohill truly marks the end of an era in Cork's Hurling History. Willie John was the last survivor from the Cork three-in-a-row team of 1952-1954. Cork won the four in a row in the 1940's but then a brilliant Tipperary side dominated the late 40's and early 50's before Cork came again with a team of stars. There is a story told in relation to the 1947 East Cork Minor Hurling Final. The Bride Rovers side St Bartholomew's faced Midleton in the Final played at Dooneen, Leamlara on August the 8th.Denis Conroy  (pictured) was the referee. Midleton led by just two points at half time 4 0 to 3 1. It is claimed that during the second half Bride Rovers mentor David John Barry called Conroy over to the sideline and said  'if we get a close in free there'd be ten shillings in it for you'.   Denis winked knowingly and after a decent period of time had elapsed he duly awarded a dubious free which, much to the chagrin of David John, was sent wide! Midleton went on to win by 7 3 to 5 2 and afterwards David John was reminded 'you still owe me that ten bob'! 

Altar Boys

At an East Cork board meeting our delegate David John Barry was trying to get a Minor game off as we had some players injured or missing on the date. The acting Chairman was not for changing but David John as he was well able made a strong case that Sunday morning wasn’t a suitable time with masses etc. The Chairman was not for turning but David John made the point that he had players serving at mass and the priest needed them.The Chairman made the point that they could serve at an earlier mass in the parish that was no excuse not to play the game. David John was standing firm and again reiterated his point that they were serving at mass and had to be there. The Chairman was not having it and in a sudden thought he said “sure how are they serving at mass this is an u18 game sure they are not altar boys”, but our David John was just as quick and replied “ah I didn’t mean serving at mass I meant to say the Choir” !


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