In search of glory – Dunloy’s All-Ireland final history

SUNDAY is Dunloy’s fifth attempt to get their hands on the Tommy Moore Cup and be crowned Kings of club hurling. Michael McMullan looks back at their previous attempts….

1995 Dunloy 0-9 Birr 0-9
ON a day when a gale force wind blew the advertising hoardings around Croke Park, Dunloy left the title behind in their first ever All-Ireland final.

The Ulster champions were full value for their 0-7 to 0-3 interval lead, with Birr thanking goalkeeper Robbie Shiels for his fine save to deny Eamonn McKee.

It was Birr who took over in the second half and Declan Pilkington looked to have won the late until a second Tony McGrath point of the game earned Dunloy a replay.

Dunloy: S Elliott; B Óg Cunning, S McMullan, S McElhatton; F McMullan, Gary O’Kane, S Mullan; T McGrath (0-2), C McGuckian; N Elliott, P Molloy (0-1), J Elliott; E McKee (0-1), Gregory O’Kane (0-3), A Elliott (0-2).
Subs: L Richmond for J Elliott, S Boyle for E McKee, J Cunning for P Molloy.

1995 replay Birr 3-13 Dunloy 2-3
A MAN of the Match performance from Brian Whelehan led Birr to glory in the replay.

Dunloy found it hard to get back to the level of the drawn game as the Offaly side raced to their first All-Ireland title at Croke Park.

Daithi Regan began at midfield with newcomer in his original full-forward berth, Paul Murphy, getting Birr off to the best possible start with the early goal.

Murphy added a second goal to leave Dunloy 2-7 to 0-0 in arrears at the interval.

Two well-worked goals – finished by brothers Jarlath and Alistair Elliott – gave Dunloy a chance to get back into the game.

Birr’s Adrian Cahill took his tally to 0-6 for the day before Declan Pilkington finished the game off with a last-minute goal.

Dunloy: S Elliott; B Óg Cunning, S McMullan (0-1), S McElhatton; F McMullan, Gary O’Kane, S Mullan; T McGrath, C McGuckian; N Elliott, P Molloy, J Elliott (1-0); E McKee (0-2), Gregory O’Kane, A Elliott (1-0).
Sub: J Cunning for P Molloy.

1996 Sixmilebridge 5-10 Dunloy 2-6
IT was a last 16 minutes to forget for Dunloy at Croke Park as Clare side Sixmilebridge hit 2-5 without reply to ease their way to the title.

After being close to the title 12 months earlier and hurling the game of their lives to beat Glenmore in the semi-final, Dunloy travelled with hope of getting their hands on the biggest prize.

In their first play, Danny Chaplin turned a pass from brother David into the Dunloy net. Gary O’Kane, Frankie and Seamus McMullan upped the ante with Tony McGrath, Jarlath, Alistair and Nigel Elliott operating well in attack.

Four points without reply had Dunloy back in the mix after a pulsating opening quarter before the Clare men hit for goal once again.

Sixmilebridge defended well to stem the Dunloy surge and were rewarded by a David Chaplin goal.

Declan McInerney added a third goal before Tony McGrath hit the net for Dunloy who trailed 3-4 to 1-4 at half-time.

Alistair Elliott finished another Dunloy goal and it was looking rosy for the Antrim champions.

David Chapin hit a fourth goal for Sixmilebridge who turned up the heat in the fourth quarter on their way to a comfortable win.

Dunloy: S Elliot; N McCamphill, P Molloy, S McElhatton; S McMullan (0-2), Gary O’Kane, S Mullan; F McMullan (0-1), C McGuckian; N Elliott, T McGrath (1-1), A Elliott (1-1); E McKee, Gregory O’Kane (0-1), J Elliott.
Subs: B Óg Cunning for N McCamphill, M Molloy for J Elliott, L Richmond for S McMullan.

2003 Birr 1-19 Dunloy 0-11
BIRR laid on a sparkling display of hurling to win their fourth title with attacking class Dunloy couldn’t handle.

Dunloy put in a brave challenge
before Declan Pilkington hit the game’s only goal with five minutes to play.

Simon Whelehan and Rory Hannify swept over early points to give Birr a foothold, but a superb Liam Richmond point lifted Dunloy spirits.

Dunloy needed some defending from Damian McMullan and Gary O’Kane and when Alistair Elliot narrowed the gap to two points with just seven minutes to play in the first half, they had genuine hope.

A fast-moving second half, Gregory O’Kane converted five frees, and Dunloy also had scores from Martin Curry and Alistair Elliot.

But Birr were always more dangerous up front, and while Dunloy goalkeeper Gareth McGhee saved superbly from Gary Hannify, he could do nothing to stop Pilkington’s close range effort late on.

Dunloy: G McGee; D McMullan, S Mullen, F McMullan; M Molloy, Gary O’Kane, P McMullan; C Cunning, C McGuckian; L Richmond, Gregory O’Kane (0-5), N Elliott; P Richmond (0-2), A Elliott (0-3), M Curry (0-1).
Sub: E McKee for C Cunning.

2004 Newtownshandrum 0-17 Dunloy 1-6
TEN points from Ben O’Connor brought a first club hurling title to for Cork since 1988.

Dunloy’s strong opening – with Colm McGuckian point – was blighted by six first half wides and they had to wait 19 minutes for their second point, from fit-again attacker Liam Richmond.

Trailing 0-7 to 0-2 at half-time, Martin Curry drew a foul in the Cork area from Newtownshandrum goalkeeper Paul Morrissey on 33 minutes, and McGhee stepped up to hammer low to the net.

A Paddy Richmond point four minutes later put a single point between the sides but from the 41st to the 52nd minute, Newtown doubled their tally on their way to lifting the silver.

Dunloy: G McGhee (1-0); S Mullan, Gary O’Kane, F McMullan; M Molloy, M McClements, D McMullan; C Cunning, P McMullen; L Richmond (0-2), C McGuckian (0-1), P Richmond (0-2); M Curry, Gregory O’Kane, A Elliott (0-1).
Sub: D Quinn for M Curry.

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