Seventeen members of Cashel CBS team of 1962 gathered in Kearney’s Hotel, Cashel on Saturday 25th August to celebrate the 50th anniversary of winning the Croke Cup in May of that year.
Missing on the night were Michael Joy (Hertfordshire), Paddy Kennedy (Manchester), Noel McDonnell (Liverpool) and Joe Quirke (Chicago).
The Croke Cup was an under-16 Schools’ competition confined to Co. Tipperary schools. It was a rare win for Cashel Christian Brothers which in those days was quite a small secondary school. The competition was inaugurated in 1933 and until 1962, the school had only won the cup on one previous occasion, 1959.
The Cashel boys defeated both Thurles CBS and the Abbey, Tipperary town on the way to the final, played against Templemore CBS in Leahy Park on the first Saturday in May, 1962. The team captain was Joe Quirke of Clonoulty/Rossmore and Conor Davitt of Cashel/Rosegreen was vice-captain. As can be seen from the ultimate score - Cashel five goals and two points to Templemore’s five goals, it was a nail biting contest to the final whistle.
The Cashel team players were: 1 Willie J. Dwyer (goalie), 2 Donal Kennedy, 3 Tom Devane, 4 Paddy Kennedy, 5 Seamus Hayes, 6 John P. Dwyer, 7 Tom Delahunty, 8 Conor Davitt, 9 Joe Quirke (Capt.) 10 Denis Fahey, 11 Willie Morrissey, 12 Jim Meskell, 13 Paddy Cleary, 14 John Higgins, 15 Michael Joy. Subs who played were Jerry Nolan and Paddy McGrath. In the first round and semi-final the other four panel members were John Maher, Paddy Downey, Noel McDonnell and Noel Flynn who played vital parts in those victories.
The semi final played in Golden against Tipperary was a narrow escape for Cashel. The Abbey boys led until the final few minutes when Cashel came from behind to snatch their place in the final. In charge of the team were Brother Collins and Brother Hynes. The winning of the Croke Cup that year was all the more significant due to the young age of many of the players: The panel consisted of nine first years, eight second years and the remaining four were in Inter Cert or fifth year. Boys from six parishes were represented: Boherlahan/Dualla, 5: Cashel/Rosegreen, 8: Clonoulty/Rossmore, 2: Golden/Kilfeacle, 1: Killenaule/Moyglass, 1: Knockavilla/Dundrum, 4:
Hurling success continued for several of the players in the ensuing years. Jim Meskell, Denis Fahey, Paddy Cleary and Joe Quirke became County Minors. A few years later Willie Morrissey and Conor Davitt joined some the minors mentioned in playing for Tipperary at Under 21 level in 1967, 1968 and 1969. Willie J. Dwyer and Joe Quirke played in the Fitzgibbon Cup final for U.C.D. in 1970. A number of the panel also gave years of service both playing for their clubs and mentoring and managing club teams.
Fifty years later it was a night to recall times long gone and of note is that all members of the panel are still alive.