The Hurling Final
(Newport v Ahane 1931)
Club tournaments were a feature of the Munster hurling scene in the 1920’s and 30’s and often engendered more excitement and enthusiasm than championship clashes. Newport and Ahane met in the final of the Newport Church Tournament, for a Cup and medals presented by Fr. Condon P.P. at Coffey’s Field, Portryan on June 14th 1931. The replay on August 2nd attracted over 3,000 spectators to watch Newport defeat a star-studded Ahane team. Mick Bourke put pen to paper to commemorate the event.
It’s about the hurling final a few lines I’ll pen down
Played on the second of August, near far-famed Newport town;
Between the Limerick champions to their county ever true
And the gallant boys from Newport in their colours gold and blue.
Hurrah for good old Newport, Tipperary’s pride and joy,
They went that day to take their place to win the match or die.
They beat the ball right through them all and gave the backs the slip;
And brought victory back once more to the gallant hills of Tipp.
Tipperary ’s scroll of hurlers bold is filled with deeds of fame,
Moycarkey, Thurles, Boherlahan, may the heavens bless their name;
Horse and Jockey, Two-Mile-Borris and the boys from famed Suir View,
But we have men to match them now, the boys in gold and blue.
At three o’clock the teams lined up and the ball it was thrown in,
“I’ll bet a quid,” said Joe McGrath, “our Limerick boys will win.”
The crowd was shouting ‘Up Ahane,’ they made tremendous noise,
But quickly they were silenced by our rattling Newport boys.
Give a cheer for bold Ned Gleeson, O’Connor, Coffeys, Ryans,
Rainsfords, Crowe, Ahearne, Close, in future days will shine,
Delaney, Lee and Boland, in the front were always seen
And their shots from midfield often raised the flag of green.
Then cheer up Ahane and do not fret, for if your boys go down
We’ll keep pour memory evergreen in village and in town.
Give one ringing cheer for Newport and the boys who toed the line
And a cheer for Erin’s noblest Gael, our leader Father Ryan.