1957 County Final

County Junior Crown 1957

Written by Mick Ryan (L)

God rest your kindly soul Mick Bourke, I wish I had your wit,

To pen those lines that come to mind as by the fire I sit;

To sing in praise of hurling men of honour and renown

A good and homely ballad like your "Dear Old Newport Town".


Then let me tell how Newport won the County Junior crown

Let me tell you of the boys that won that honour for the town;

Let me tell you of the teams we played in sunshine and in hail

And of our trainer Mick Ryan, who would not let us fail.


In May or June, I don't know which, we met the boys from Rea

And victory came easy below in Cragg that day;

Templederry were the next to fall though they hurled with a will

They could not match the Newport lads in hurling, speed and skill.


The Silvermines next challenged us and put up a great fight

Though we won with just a point to spare we got an awful fright;

We discussed it with Mick Ryan and he made it fairly plain

That we'd have to train severely to conquer Borrisokane.


So, every evening all the boys would come to Lacken Park

Dinny Brien, Ted Hackett and Mick Ryan would keep us there till dark;

The training told for fit and bold as anyone can tell

The lads from Lower Ormond before our onslaught fell.


The North Tipperary Champions returned home that night

And on the Cross a bonfire blazed and shed its victory light;

The school-boys band played clear and sweet, its strains I oft hear yet

And the boys around the bonfire danced a Ballycommon Set.


Next the County Semi-Final against St. Luke's of old Clonmel

Was played in Boherlahan where they know their hurling well;

St. Luke's were rough - but we were tough and so we earned a right

To play that great and final game against gallant Cappawhite.


When I think of how that game was won my heart just tills with pride,

And our dauntless foes from Cappa we never will deride;

And now to mention all the boys, you know them one and all

Long, long may we remember them and now their names I’ll call.


Liam Keown our captain served us well, his hurling it was grand

Bill 'Jim' would never lift the ball but kept it on the land;

Galway's Brendan Lohan did not seem to care a rap

While he held opposing forwards out and 'Jimmo' manned the gap.


The youthful Jim Joe Nicholas a lad from Gortnanoe

With brother Bill and Danno Fitz. were fearsome to the foe;

Rarely were they beaten, they were never at a loss

And many a foe in trembling will remember Molly's Cross.


Mick Caplis, Paddy Oge and Ned - a trio bold from Cragg

They were my inspiration, for they never seemed to lag;

But each and everyone of them was solid as a rock

Michael Ryan as tough as teak - a chip off the old block.


Now to the boys who raised the flags, the white ones and the green

Gah Rainsford, Heaven help us! his likes are rarely seen;

Donal Kennedy sped along the wing as fast as any fawn

The umpire stooped to raise the flag when he passed it to Noel Bawn.


Mick Lacken and Joe Malachy, God bless his fine red head

'Twas due to Joe I know it so, we never once were led;

When out he dashed his blade would flash and friends you well may bet

The goalie sadly looked behind for the ball was in the net.


Strike O’Leary, Matty Farrell, Davey Egan and Pake Jones

Were reliable replacements should we break any bones;

So, keep hurling boys for Newport all for one and one for all

In the game of life, in joy and strife, may you always play the ball.