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County Final Memory: Clough-Ballacolla deny Trumera to claim intermediate hurling glory in 1998

Clough-Ballacolla, Laois IHC winners in 1998
Clough-Ballacolla, Laois IHC winners in 1998

Clough-Ballacolla 1-9 Trumera 0-10
1998 Laois IHC Final

Clough-Ballacolla and Trumera are two hurling clubs that have 2020 county finals to look forward to in 2021.

County finals won’t be new experiences to them as they both have lined out on numerous occasions in the past 25 years on the big day at the various grades.

And their intermediate final meeting in 1998 was a huge occasion for both clubs.

Trumera had only won the Junior ‘A’ title the previous year for the first time and were seeking to make an immediate leap to senior.

Clough-Ballacolla, having won the intermediate in 1991, were back in the grade after struggling in senior.

And Ballacolla could well have been out of the championship in the first round, needing a replay to get the better of Park-Ratheniska.

They showed big improvement for their semi-final where they recorded a big win over Abbeyleix but Trumera were a fancied side and had a big win over Ballyfin in their opening game before then proving too strong for Colt, albeit after a replay.

The final was an evenly-contested affair with a youthful Mick Dunphy hitting 1-5 for Clough-Ballacolla.

His goal from a free early on may have been quite fortuitous but it was crucial score in a tight battle.

The Trumera team that were beaten by Clough-Ballacolla in the 1998 Laois IHC final

Dunphy scored 1-3 in the opening half with Tom Dunne also pointing while Joe Coogan got four points from Trumera and Declan O’Callaghan got two. At half time, Clough-Ballacolla led 1-4 to 0-6.

Dunphy then added two more points early in the second half but Coogan and Fint Callaghan responded to leave just a point in it entering the final quarter.

Man of the match Willie Quigley is presented with his award by Laois GAA chairman Tom Hassett

Coogan and Tom Dunne exchanged points and Coogan was then unlucky to see an equalising effort come off the post as the game entered injury time.

Seamus Brennan, however, made sure of the win with a point after a great run and Clough-Ballacolla saw it through from there.

Liam Dunne accepted the trophy after the game the Leinster Express report noted that he he “hoped they would now go on to win greater trophies”.

Clough-Ballacolla captain Liam Dunne accepting the trophy after the Laois IHC final in 1998

While Clough-Ballacolla flirted with relegation from senior for a couple of years, a fine batch of young players were coming through – and they made their senior breakthrough with a stunning success in 2009, followed by further titles in 2011 and 2015. They also lost finals in 2012 and 2017 and are back in the 2020 decider.

Trumera endured plenty of heartache in the intermediate grade – with final defeats in 1999, 2001 and 2003 before beating Colt in 2004. They spent a couple of years at senior before dropping back to junior again, which they won in 2010.

They have since also won the third tier intermediate in 2015 and 2017 and are again in the 2020 final.

SCORERS – Clough-Ballacolla: Mick Dunphy 1-5, Tom Dunne 0-3, Seamus Brennan 0-1. Trumera: Joe Coogan 0-6, Declan Callaghan 0-2, Fint Callaghan 0-1, John O’Connor 0-1

CLOUGH-BALLACOLLA: Ricky Cashin; Damien McEvoy, Paddy Whelan, Matt Bergin; Shane Corby, Willie Quigley, Ger Dunne; Brian Phelan, Liam Dunne (captain); Canice Coonan, Seamus Brennan, John Hoyne; Tom Dunne, John McEvoy, Mick Dunphy. Subs: TJ Coonan, David Hyland, John Rafter

TRUMERA: Diarmuid Hosey; Larry Lalor, Cillian O’Neill, Bosco Lalor; Adrian Lalor, Fint Lalor, Paddy Coogan; Ronan Kavanagh, John O’Connor; Mick Callaghan, Declan Callaghan, Joe Coogan; Paddy Callaghan, Joe Dowling, Fint Callaghan. Subs: Michael Kavanagh, Fran Delaney

REFEREE: Liam McEvoy (Timahoe)

SEE ALSO – Check out all our previous articles from our County Final Memory series

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.