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2018 Remembered – Is this Laois man the oldest ever club championship debutant?

Niall McCormack

Back in July Niall McCormack wowed the county when he stepped up as what we think was the oldest ever club championship debut.

He has kept up the refereeing on the side too. 


The football championship kicked into gear in Laois last night.

The Junior ‘C’ championship, which is the lowest ranked competition in the county, began with three games down for decision.

Last year’s defeated finalists Rathdowney are out after they were beaten 2-12 to 4-5 by Mountrath.

Slieve Bloom thrashed Annanough by 5-24 to 2-5, having led by 5-12 to 0-2 at half time.But undoubtedly the story of the night came from the game involving O’Dempsey’s and 2017 defeated semi finalists Kilcotton.

O’Dempsey’s won by 1-12 to 1-5 and according to reports, the foundation to the Killenard men’s success was laid by their goalkeeper – who made his adult debut for the club in the game.

Niall McCormack, at the sprightly age of 44, pulled on the O’Dempsey’s jersey for the first time last night.

And according to those at the game, he pulled off a number of fine saves and had a simply flawless kick out.

One said: “Niall was brilliant last night and we reckon he must be the county’s oldest ever debutant – if not the country’s!

“If we had known he was this good, we could have had him in goals for the last 25 years.”

McCormack is best known in GAA circles for being a referee for Ladies GAA games.

He has officiated at a number of Ladies senior football championship finals in Laois.

Thanks to Cathal Brennan for sending this one our way!

SEE ALSO – Eight young players to watch out for in the intermediate football championship

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