1920s - Formative Years
Founding of the ClubMallow United Soccer Club was formed at a meeting held in the Central Hotel on the 11th of November 1926.Present at this meeting were:
F.G. Ward, Bridge Street.
F.J. Farelly, Bridge Street.
J. O'Keeffe, Bridge Street,
L. Ward, Bridge Street,
S. Grogan, Main St.,
W.J. Robinson and G.A. Robinson, Spa Square
C. Davis, Main St,
D Burns, Ballydaheen,
F. Clune, Fair Street,
J. Hartnett, Spa Walk,
L. Kennan, Humes Lane,
G. Byrne, Bank Place,
W. Sheehan, Main Street (Bakery)
At this meeting the first officers were elected as follows: Chairman: F.G. Ward, Secretary: W.J. Robinson, Treasurer: G.A. Robinson. It was decided to enter a team in the Munster Junior and F.A.I. Cups. The appointment of a selection committee and team captain would be made at a later meeting. The club colours would be black and red. A club membership fee of 2/6 (12p) a year and a weekly charge of 3d was to be collected on Sundays.
Minutes of the first committee meeting at which the club was founded
First Recorded Fixtures
The Munster Junior League was made up of the following teams, Bohs, Fordsons, Bridewell, Barracton, Cork City, Cork Celtic, G.S.R. Fermoy, Cobh Ramblers, Southern Rovers, Gratton Rangers, Springfield, Burtonville, Tramways, Dwyers, Bellville, Ardfallen, Central United, Glenview, Rockmount, and Victoria Celtic.
The second meeting was held on the 24th of November 1926 at 119 Main St, arrangements were made for the first match for a Mallow United team who were to play Sunnyside Rovers. The team selected were: G. Robinson, J. Hartnett, W. Robinson, F. Mahony, C. Davis, D. Burns. G. Kennedy, P. McDermott, Wm Conway, F.G Ward, T. Crowley. Team Captain would be F.G. Ward for this match.
Although there is no record as to the result of this game, what is on record is the result of Mallow's 1st round Munster Junior Cup match on 20-2-1927. Sunnyside Rovers winning by 5 goals to 2. The Mallow scorers are not recorded but the team line up was as follows: G.A. Robinson. G. Kennedy, W.J. Robinson. F.O'Mahony, C. Davis, J. Matthews, F.G.Ward (Captain) D. Burns, J.J. McDermott, W. Conway and R. Lenihan. There were three subs listed for this match as well, they were J.J. Hartnett, E. Hanley and A. Callaghan.
By this time, the committee had appointed Major Godfrey, Dr. E. F. O' Connor and Mr. G. Kennedy as trainers. The committee was also very busy trying to securing the Fair Field from Mr. W. Priestley.
Earliest League Campaigns
The earliest recorded team to take part in the Munster Junior League was the team that played Central United on Sunday 30th September 1928. The team was as follows: J. Weir, C.Davis, G. Robinson, F. Ward, J. McDermott, S. Sullivan, M.Leahy, P. Waters, P. Leahy, J. Golden and M. Culloty. The result was not recorded.
As stated earlier Mallow entered the Munster Junior Cup and the FAI Cup. In both matches, Mallow were favoured with a home draw but lost both ties. They played Glenview in the FAI Junior Cup on the 20th January 1927. The Mallow team was: G.A. Robinson, F. Mahony, W.J. Robinson. W. Conway, F.G. Ward (Captain) C. Davis (Vice-captain), D. Burns, G.Kennedy, J.C. Kelly, P. McDermott and J. Hartnett
After only one year in football the Mallow Club decided to step up from Junior and enter the Munster Senior League. This indeed was a major step for a club that was founded only the year before, but showed that they were very ambitious. The League had the following members: Barrackton United, Bohemians, Cahir Park, Cobh Ramblers, Cork Celtic, Cork City, Fermoy, Waterford Celtic, and Mallow.
Mallow found the going tough from the start of the season and failed to make an impression and after one season dropped back down to Junior football where they were later to join the North Munster League. Surprisingly it would be another sixty years before the North Cork town would play senior football again when Mallow United would join the Munster Senior League ( M.S.L.). The league was won by Waterford Celtic with Cork Celtic as runners-up.
Further evidence of the ambition of the committee can be illustrated by the fact that even though their league season was not going well the club embarked on a trip north to Belfast to play Craigavad F.C. Arrangements for the trip were made by Mr. William Girvan who worked for a manufacturing stationery company Wm Ritchie & Sons Ltd of Elder St., Edinburgh. In the course of his business trips south he would call to Robinsons Bros, Grocers, Main Street, Mallow. W.J. Robinson was Hons. Sec, Mallow Soccer Club, his brother G.A. Robinson was Hon.Treas. They must have jumped at the prospect of this trip to Belfast.
Mallow travelled north and played this historic match at Windsor Park. Coming so close to all the political strife of the time, one can only say that sport won out in the end. A return match was arranged for Easter Monday 1928 in the Town Park in Mallow. Craigavad F.C. travelled to Mallow on Easter Sunday and stayed in the Central Hotel.
For the Mallow v Craigavad match in March 1928 the team was:
Sonny O'Neill, Bill Robinson, Fred Ward, Jimmy Wrixon, Chris Davis, Paddy Waters, Jack Golden, Sonny O'Riordan, George Byrne, Matt Culloty, Joe Weir.
The results of these matches are not known, but I am sure that is not of major concern. It is not known if there were other trips north but Wm Girvan and Bill and George Robinson remained close friends for many years.
There is a trophy in the Club, the Girvan Cup which was played for over three years, in many a town league and inter firm competition, being presented to the proud winning team Captain. This cup was presented to the Mallow Club by Wm. Girvan all those years ago. It is not played for any more due to the age of the cup.
During this time a team from Mallow called Rakes United played St. Johns from Cork in the Free State Junior Cup losing by the only goal of the game which was played in Mallow. The Rakes United team on the day was: J. O'Donoughue (Captain) J. Kirwan, J. Moloney, J. McCarthy, J. Scully, D. Sheehan, P. Holland, B. Stephenson, J. McCarthy, J. O'Connor, P. White.
Because of the expense, town leagues were not played on a regular basis in Mallow during these early years. As a result of this, Mallow teams only entered the Free State Junior and Minor Cup competitions. The entry fee was in the region of 10/ (50p).
The following match report highlights a match from this period. It took place in the Town Park on Sunday 6th March 1938. The article was headed Sligo United Successful Visit To Mallow
Sligo United 4 Bohemians Mallow 1
Before a large crowd at Mallow Town Park the local club met Sligo in the fifth round of the Free State Minor Cup. Weather conditions were ideal and the game was played in a sporting spirit. Mallow broke away at the start but erratic shooting by the forwards, would have had at least two scores. The visitors drew first blood with a goal from Gordon. Mallow strove hard for an equalizer and were rewarded with a goal from Higginson, which was a fine solo effort. At the break the sides were level. For twenty minutes of the second half Mallow played well but then McMahon put the visitors ahead. Gordon increased the lead from the penalty spot and Dykes added the fourth goal close to time. The visitors showed undoubted superiority in the second half with keeper Wickham, McMahon, and Gordon outstanding, and Scully, Clehane, and Taylor best for the home side whose keeper Hooton deserved the highest praise for his performance.
Bohemians Mallow Team. J. Hooton, J. Taylor, G. Robinson, M. Murphy, J. Dawson, P. Scully, T. Higginson, J. Clehane, R. Clune, P. Weldon, T. Murphy.
The Sligo minor team traveled to Mallow by bus with the Sligo Rovers League of Ireland team. The minors were dropped in Mallow and the seniors played Cork in a 5-5 thriller at the Mardyke in Cork. Then returning to Mallow to pick up their minor team on the way home
Mallow man John Kirwan, won an FAI Junior Cup medal when he played in goal for Coastal Defence from Cork who defeated Drogheda 2-0 in the final, which was played in Dalymount Park. In the course of the game Kirwan was outstanding in goals with his exploits including the saving of a penalty. Coastal Defence became the first forces team to win the FAI Junior Cup. Coastal Defence also reached the Munster Senior Challenge Cup Final where they were beaten by Cobh Ramblers by 2 goals to 1 after a replay. The first game having ended in a 3-3 draw.
The FAI Junior Challenge Cup Final brought together two Munster teams for the first time when Rockville (Cork) defeated Wembley Rovers (Limerick) 1-0 in a disappointing final. Playing for Rockville was Pakie White, later to play with Mallow in the fifties. White was the hero of the day scoring the only goal from a Madden cross ten minutes from full time. The Cup was not at the Final and was only presented to Rockville two weeks later at the AGM of the M.F.A. Rockville are the last Cork winners of the FAI Junior Cup. They completed a double when they won the Munster Senior League.
Castleview Rangers (Mallow) were semi finalists in the Munster Minor Cup.
A team called Marieville from Mallow reached the semi-final of the Munster Minor Cup where they were beaten by Cork side Western Rovers. Marieville were a non league team.
Mallow Juvenile u16 side Glenville Rangers played a couple of games with Bridewell Rangers in the semi final of the Munster Juvenile League, before the latter advanced to play Western in the Final.
Mallow joined the Cork A.U.L. at the start of the season. The new A.U.L. league was only formed the previous year. The following were the teams involved at this stage, St. Vincent's, Celtic, College Rovers, Beaumount, St. Finbarr's Celtic, Landsdowne, Collins, Magazine Rovers, Dundanion Rangers, Fairville, Maymount, Prospect Rovers, Mortonville, Gratton, Ballinlough, Cobh Ramblers, Green Rovers, Blackrock and Mountview.
There were only two pitches available to the Cork A.U.L. and both were in Blackrock (Ringmahon Park and Convent Park). There was much fixture congestion as a result. Two sections were formed with ten teams in each for the league. Mallow failed to qualify from their section and as a result did not take part in the later stages of the league.
The league had now grown to thirty six teams divided into three divisions. Mallow were grouped in Div. 1. with Ballinlough, Blackrock, Blackpool Celtic, Collins, Tramore, Celtic, Crosshaven, Green Rovers, Landsdown, Mortonville, St. Finbarr's Celtic.
This was the season when the pitches at Church Road were leased by the Cork A.U.L. There were only two pitches there at first, known as St. Micheal's Park and Owenabue Park. These were to become the home of A.U.L. soccer for many years to come.
Crosshaven went on to win the Div.1. league receiving the Dunne Cup, donated by Mr. Ben Dunne.
Mallow were still playing in the Div.1. and some of their players were receiving mention in the Cork papers notably Brown, Russell, and Attridge. This was to be the season when Mallow emerged as a formidable force attracting huge crowds to the concluding stages of all competitions, when the colourful Mallow supporters outnumbered all others.
Since their entry to the Cork A.U.L. Mallow had fielded some very strong teams. Mallow were in the running for league and cup honours. Mallow finished runner-up in the league to the brilliant Wembley team.
In the semi-finals of the A.O.H. Cup, Mallow beat Western, and Wembley overcame Blarney. There were special trains from the North Cork town ferrying loyal supporters to the Final in Turner's Cross. For the second time this season, Mallow failed to take the honours as Wembley won, scoring two goals without reply.
There was some consolation for Mallow with a great run in the Free State Junior Cup where they reached the Cork Area Final, only to lose to Turner's Cross United. To reach this stage, Mallow overcame two epic games with Fermoy in the 6th. Rd. The first match in Fermoy ended all square before a huge crowd who travelled by train for this North Cork Derby. The replay in the Town Park was just as evenly contested with Mallow winning by the odd goal in five. The scoring heroes for Mallow were Russell, White, and Neenan.
Mallow Team: O. Brown, J. Glavin, N. Russell, J. Murphy, D. Berry, J. Mullane, J. Neenan, B, Russell, W. Attridge, P. White, L. Robinson,
The club committee was as follows:
President: Wm Girvan.
Chairman: Dave Berry.
Vice Chairman: Patrick (Pakie) White.
Hon. Sec. Robert F. Hannon.
Hon. Treasuer: Michael Harte.
Committee: Ollie Browne, William Attridge, John Kirwan, Richard Coakley, Pat O'Sulllivan.
Selection Committee: W. Attridge, J. Kirwan, R. Coakley, P. O'Sullivan & R.F. Hannon.
ClubColours: Blue and White and Maroon and White.
Annual Membership: 2/6
After the very successful season Mallow had last year, hopes were high again for the new term. Mallow were again playing in Div.1. with Balllinlough, Blackrock, Wembley, Tramore, Collins, Green Rovers, Fermoy, Crosshaven, A.O.H., Turner's Cross, Western Rovers, and St. Patrick's.
The league was a close run affair with three teams chasing the honours right from the start. They were Wembley, Fermoy, and Mallow. It was Wembley who held their form, drawing with Mallow in their last match to secure the point needed to win the Dunne Cup from Fermoywith Mallow finishing third.
In the A.O.H. Cup, Mallow progressed to the latter stages attracting huge crowds where they played. Mallow advanced to the final for the second year in a row beating College Rovers from Blackpool. This was in the semi-final which was played in Fermoy where thousands watched the match. Special trains from Mallow were laid on for the match.
In the final, Mallow would play Glasheen from Div.2. This match was played in Cobh as Turner's Cross was not available. Mallow's now famous supporters would outnumber their city rivals by two to one, adding much colour to the occasion. Expectations were again high and Mallow hoped that this talented team would secure victory. Particularly after last season's defeat in the final of this premier cup competition for junior teams in Cork. Alas it was not to be as Mallow were beaten after extra time by 3 goals to 2. This great team failed to secure a victory which they so richly deserved. Mallow goals were scored by Campbell and Byrne. The great Pakie White, a veteran of Rockville's famous F.A.I. Junior Cup winning team in 1945, was still without a winner's medal with Mallow. Keeper Wright. and full backs Glavin and Mullane, excelled during the match.
As a result of his fine displays in goal for Mallow, W. Wright was selected on the Cork A.U.L. team to play Dublin on Whit Sunday 1954 at St. Coleman's Park, Cobh. Dublin won the match 2:1.
The start of this season saw an increase in the number of teams joining the league. There were forty junior teams and fourteen minor teams. There were only eight country teams.
The minor section was as follows: Mallow, Tower, Dunbar, Ballinlough, Glasheen, Ringmahon, Cobh, Barrackton, Hibernians, Rockmount, Glasheen B, Dunbar B, Landsdowne and Green Rovers.
Mallow Juniors played in Div. 1 and were well in contention at the halfway stage. In the end Transport won the league denying Wembley their three in a row.
As a result of some fine performances Jim Wright was invited to take part in trial matches for the Cork A.U.L . team to play Dublin at the Carlisle Grounds Bray, in the Inter City Cup.
During this period, a group of past pupils of the Patrician Academy, who were working in Dublin formed a teamed called Academy Rangers. They made their initial appearance at the Phoenix Park when they play Tir Connaill.
On St. Stephens Day 1954, they played a match in the Town Park against the local Mallow Corinthians side. The match, refereed by John McSweeney, ended in a 4:4 score line. Of the twenty two players that played on the day twenty were from Mallow. Fifteen of these had graduated from the flourishing Mallow Athletic Minor Club. The match was evenly contested and the highlight for the Corinthians was the excellent penalty save by keeper Jim Sweeney off a Jim Wright kick.
Mallow Corinthians: Jim Sweeney, Donie Ryan, Eamonn Sheehy, Rocky Sullivan, Mick Mullane, Jackie Holmes, Frank Egan, Joe Neenan, Eddie Healy, Raymond O'Neill, Joe Mullane.
Academy Rangers: John O'Connell, John Carroll, Mick Sweeney, Jim Wright, Colm O'Connell, Tony Daly, Paddy Beatty, Tom Conroy, Thomas Callaghan, Paddy Daly, Spike Ryan.
The season started in some confusion in Mallow Minor Soccer as Mallow Celtic replaced Mallow United in the leagues. The minor section included Ballinlough, Cobh Ramblers, Ringmahon, Ringmahon B, Rockmount, Rockmount B, St. Mary's, and Tower.
Due to the recent polio outbreak the season was delayed for three weeks as were other sporting events.
During this season, the dressing rooms at Church Road were opened to cater for the players who were now using the four pitches the A.U.L. had there.
The minor situation in the club was still confused and it was decided not to enter any minor team next season.
There were many changes taking place in the club at this time. The great team of the early fifties was no more. What had come to be known as the Golden Era was now in the past. There were distractions for the club off the pitch as well. The club, in an effort to promote the game in town, had fallen foul of the local U.D.C. when they decided to erect dressing rooms for their players in the Town Park without the agreement of the local U.D.C. Legal action was taken against the club and they found themselves before the High Court in Dublin as a result.
At that time the G.A.A., the Rugby club, and the Soccer club had the use of the Town Park for their matches. The latter two clubs fell foul of the U.D.C. which resulted in the proceedings against the clubs.
Other factors affected the club as well. As this was a time of high immigration, many of Mallow's players had to leave their town and soccer behind and go to foreign countries to seek employment. Soccer in Mallow suffered for many years to come.
After some years without success on the pitch, Mallow were back on track finishing runner up to an excellent St. Michael's team who finished the season unbeaten in all of their Div 3 shield games.
However, Mallow turned the tables on this St. Michael's side in the Div.3 league decider. St. Michael's were hot favourites to clinch the double. Before a huge crowd which packed the Town Park, Mallow were rewarded with their first trophy in the Cork A.U.L. when they lifted The O'Reilly Cup amidst jubilant scenes.
Goals from Man of the Match, Tom Ledwidge and Pat McGrath gave Mallow a two goal lead at half time. St. Michael's pulled one back in the second half but the Mallow defence held out for a famous victory.
Mallow Panel: Brian Bolster, C. Brown, P. Doyle, Tom Ledwidge, Pat McGrath, B. Dowling, Norman Healy, Donal Clifford, Bobby Russell, Tim Donovan, Jackie Holmes, Teddy Touhy.
Mallow also reached the semi-final of the Presidents Cup, where they enjoyed a home draw with Southview which was played in the Town Park. It was not to be Mallow's day and a good Southview team went on to beat Ringmahon Rangers in the final.
Mallow again put up a strong challenge in the Junior League Div.3, finishing runner up to Ballinlough in the deciding match to the only goal of the game.
For the first time, the Cork A.U.L. had decided to form a country section in the Shield and League which would include Mallow, Youghal, Crosshaven, Kinsale, Naval Services, Midleton, Kire Celtic (Kinsale), Fermoy, and Shanbally.
Crosshaven won the Shield with Fermoy runner up. The roles were reversed in the League with Fermoy winning. Mallow's minor team was revived again and competed in Div.1. without success. During this period much of the work in running the club fell on the shoulders of such men as Tim Lyons, Maurice Fitzpatrick, Henry O'Mahony, and Joe Neenan. Many town leagues were run during this time, but it would be some years before they bore fruit. There is no doubt that a sound base was again being set for the club after some years at a low ebb.
A team called Mallow Rangers were elected as a new member of the Div.3 of the Cork A.U.L.
Due to the collapse of the Munster Junior League, the Cork A.U.L. reshuffled their leagues to cater for the late arrivals. Records show that Mallow rejoined the A.U.L. along with Ballycotton, Blackwater Wanderers, Macroom, Botanic, and Northgate. Missing from the list were Mallow Rangers after just one season.
On a note of interest, in a Div 2 shield match between Richmond and Mallow ( which Richmond won by 4:1 ) playing in goal for Mallow was a young John Spillane, and scoring a hat trick that day for Richmond was Pat Kelly. Some years later both these players would join the Referees Society and progress to the F.I.F.A. Referees list, officiating at International and club matches all over Europe.
Mallow again had a team playing in the Div 2 minor league.
The season started with the Div. 3 Shield competiton. Mallow made steady progress and reached the final. Here they would meet Collegeview who were unbeaten since the start of the season and as a result were favourites to win the Shield.
Large numbers of supporters travelled on special buses and in cars to the final which was being played at Church Road's no. 1 pitch. The black and amber banners of the North Cork Supporters outnumbered their city rivals. The match, which was played on a glue pot mud pitch, was a credit to both teams. Mallow suffered a set back early in the first half when centre forward John Spillane had to be substituted after dislocated his shoulder. He was to be replaced by Eddie Barrett. During the season Spillane had scored 43 goals which is a club record.
As it turned out Collegeview were no match for the North Cork boys, losing by the odd goal inthree. On the night, with the dominant Frank Hickey outstanding in goal and the strong and commanding Dan Lane in defence, Mallow were spurred on by the super skipper Willie Mills who created from midfield. It was fitting that the stylish Willie Hanover should score one of the goals, the other being scored by the tireless David Daly.
The North Cork supporters went wild when Captain Willie Mills lifted the Shield Trophy. This was the clubs first winner's trophy since the1959/60 season. This was to be the start of a very successful time in the clubs history.
Mallow Shield Final Panel:
Willlie Mills (Captain) Frank Hickey, Willie Hanover, John Sheehan, Micheal O'Sullivan, Thomas Daly, Dan Lane, John Spillane, Pat Lyons, David Daly, Eddie Barrett, Noel O'Brien, Johnny Long, Derry Blake, Chris Lowe.
During this campaign both Mallow teams were drawn against each other in the 1st round of the A.O.H. Cup. The Mallow first team still had most of their Shield winning side for this match.
This appears to have been the only time teams from the Club have drawn one another in a cup competition. The match itself was full of cup thrills with the second team pushing the stronger first team all the way.
At half time the score was 1:1, at the end of normal time it was 3:3 This brought the game into extra time. The fitter and stronger first team secured their victory in extra time scoring the only other goal to leave the score at 4:3.
Having made good progress in the League competition since their Div.3. Shield success, Mallow made the Final of the Saxone Cup where they would play Crosshaven. This a team who had just won the A.O.H. Cup beating the famous St. Michael's (Tipperary) in that Final.
Crosshaven had also won the Premier League, dropping only two points, to Castleview and Collegeview, on the way to remaining unbeaten and pipping St. Mary's for the title.
The task facing Mallow in the Saxone Cup Final would be immense. Mallow put on a really good performance, losing to the only goal of the match scored by Irish Junior International David O'Driscoll for Crosshaven. This defeat would have been much worse but for the outstanding display by Mallow goalkeeper Jimmy Scanlon. The following season Crosshaven joined the Munster Senior League.
As ever there was a huge shortage of referees in the Cork A.U.L. which was the second largest league in the country with 107 junior and 34 youth teams, and only 16 referees.
Mallow again fielded two junior teams but the youths team was now entered as Patrician Academy, with Br. Virgil and Br.Maurice in charge of the team.
During the summer a very successful Inter Firm Competition was held for both ladies and mens teams. The entry fee was £3 for the mens teams and £2 for ladies teams.
Committee members at the time were as follows:
President: Fr. Walsh
Chairman: Tim Lyons
Secretary: Sean Weir
Treasurer: John O'Connell
Committee: Liam Sheehan, Joe Neenan, James Ward, Fred Bradley, Gerard Lane, Maurice Fitzpatrick, Bobby Howell, Gerard Spillane and Senan O'Donoughue.
This season will be remembered as the season of the club's famous F.A.I. Junior Cup run matching the achievement of the Mallow Athletic Team of twenty one years ago during the Golden Era.
Playing in the Premier Division, Mallow made steady progress in the Junior cup and other competitions. Due to some very bad weather and a backlog of fixtures, Mallow were forced toplay Collegeview in Kanturk, as the Town Park pitch was unplayable.
A large crowd travelled from Mallow to see their heroes advance beating their city rivals by 2:1 in very heavy conditions. Frank O'Neill made sure of victory with two goals, the first in the 70th minute to be followed five minutes later by his second. There were many fine performances that day but none to compare with that of Mallow goalkeeper Jimmy Scanlon who denied the city side with many fine saves especially in the closing minutes making a magnificent save to book his side a place in the next round of the cup.
Mallow Team: Jimmy Scanlon, John Long, Derry Blake, Willie Mills, Frank O'Neill, James Ward, Johnny O'Brien, Micheal Lucey, James Kennedy, Jerry Horgan, John Sheehan, Sub. Seamus Malone.
On the following Sunday, Mallow played Hillington in the Town Park. Work on the pitch started early that morning with sand and sawdust being spread in both penalty areas. The match was given the go ahead. The pitch was just about playable. That evening all the effort proved worthwhile as Mallow had advanced to the next round on a 3:2 scoreline. The goals came from Colm Hickey (2) and James Kennedy in a hard fought and physical match.
Mallow Team: Jimmy Scanlon, Johnny Long, Colm Hickey, Derry Blake, Willie Mills, James Kennedy, James Ward, Frank O'Neill, Johnny O'Brien, Micheal Lucey, Jerry Horgan, Sub. John Sheehan.
Mallow goalkeeper Jimmy Scanlon was selected on the Cork A.U.L. panel for the upcoming Oscar Traynor Cup Competition.
During this period there was a great sense of success and unity within the club. There was a large attendance at the Club's Social in the Hibernian Hotel in the week leading up to their epic clash with Dingle United in Dublin. Many past players were present including founder member and the clubÕs first secretary back in 1926 Bill Robinson, who received a special presentation from Club President Joe Neenan. Frank Clune, another founding member was also present as were Mallow U.D.C. Chairman Matt Blake and Bro. Maurice of the Patrician Academy who was interested in all sporting involvement for the youth of the day.
Many memories were exchanged during the evening and club Chairman Tim Lyons was full of praise for the players wishing them the best of luck on Sunday next for their match in Dublin.
The players gathered at Mallow railway station on Sunday morning for their trip to Dublin and their match with Dingle United in the 7th round of the F.A.I. Junior Cup which would be played at St. Joseph's School in Cabra. Large numbers of expectant supporters travelled in reserved carriages on the train. On the day the players failed to do themselves justice getting a consolation goal from Willie Mills to let the score 2:1. The dream was over for another year.
Mallow Team: Jimmy Scanlon, Johnny Long, Derry Blake, Frank O'Neill, James Ward, Willie Mills, James Kennedy, Mick Lucey, Johnny O'Brien, Colm Hickey, Micheal Sullivan, Sub. John Sheehan
Jerry Horgan missed the match as he was on his honeymoon.
Mallow United's second team was also doing very well in the Div.3 Shield Section where they remained unbeaten after five matches. They topped their group scoring twenty-one goals and conceding only five. On the day Mallow clinched top spot in the Shield when they beat Hillington by a 3:0 scoreline.
In the Quarter Final, they drew with Killeadh United 1-1 at home. Mallow's goal coming from an Eddie Barrett penalty. The replay in Killeadh was another close affair which was decided on penalties after the match ended scoreless. Killeadh won the shoot out 4-3 and went on to win the Shield Final.
In the Div.3 league, the story was to be the same, Mallow winning their section only to be beaten by Blarney 3:1 in the semi-final. Ger Lane getting the Mallow goal. Blarney went on to win the League Final.
This squad also achieved a good run in the F.A.I. Junior cup reaching the 3rd round only to beaten by a very good Olympic team in a replay 2:1 after drawing at home 1:1 in the first match.
The team was well organized by team Manager Joe Neenan and his selectors Tim Lyons, John O'Connell, and Tom Bradley.
Mallow Team: Gerard Spillane (Capt), Ger Lane, Gerard Curtis, Billy Moloney, Teddy Butler, David Brown, Johnny O'Brien, John Scanlon, Brendan O'Regan, Eddie Barrett, George O'Mahony, Peader Curtis.
John Scanlon was again the team's leading goalscorer for the season.
Mallow started this season full of confidence from the experience gained by last seasons great F.A.I. Junior Cup run. Mallow's star goalkeeper Jimmy Scanlon had joined city side St. Mary's where he would become a vital member of their successful team in the next few years.
As noted cup fighters, Mallow again reached the Cork Area Final of the F.A.I. Junior Cup where they would play city side Greenmount Rangers in a match fixed for Mallow's Town Park.
Both teams togged out in sheds at the rear of the Hibernian Hotel. The large home support did not have much to cheer about as Greenmount were leading by 2:0 at half time. Soon after the restart they added a third before Frank O'Neill pulled one back to let the final score 3:1 to Greenmount.
Mallow Team: Gerard Spillane, Pat Haugh, Derry Blake, Colm Hickey, James Ward, John Long, Micheal Lucey, Frank O'Neill, Phil Aherne, Thomas Daly, Chris Lowe, Sub: Micheal Sullivan.
The complete Cup run reads as follows:
1st Round: Grangevale h 1:1 F. O'Neill
Replay: Grangevale a 2:1 J. Horgan. C. Lowe
2nd Round: Temple Utd h 3:1 E.Barrett (2) M. Sullivan
3rd Round: Barracton a 1:0 F. O'Neill
4th Round: Youghal Carpets a 4:2 T. Daly (2) C. Lowe M. Lucey
5th Round: Greenmount h 3:1 F. O'Neill
Not since the mid fifties when William Wright and Ollie Brown (both goalkeepers) had a Mallow player received representative honours with the Cork A.U.L.
It was fitting then that another Mallow goalkeeper should follow in this tradition when Gerard Spillane was selected to play on the Cork team in the Oscar Traynor Trophy.
Cork reached the semi final only to lose to Dublin A.U.L. on penalties in a replay in the Markdyke. They had beaten Dublin Amateur League (H) 2:1 Donegal (a) 3:2 Dublin (a) 2: 2 Replay (h) 2:2 losing on penalties 4:2.
In the A.O.H. Cup Mallow advanced to the Quarter Final where they lost to a strong Rockmount team in the Town Park. Frank O'Neill putting the home team ahead at half time. Rockmount scored two second half goals to win 2:1.
The season started with the transfer of goalkeeper Gerard Spillane to Cork Hibernians becoming the first player to join a League of Ireland team direct from Mallow. The club received a set of jerseys from Cork Hibernians when they attended a function in the Hibernian Hotel later that season.
On the field of play, Mallow were progressing well in the Premier Shield competition reaching the semi-final after an unbeaten run. This good start could not be maintained and they did not reach the final.
At the Annual Mallow Sports Star Awards former goalkeeper Gerard Spillane won the Soccer Award. The Awards were presented by Olympic Gold Medalist, Dr. Pat O'Callaghan
Other winners were:
Mrs. Meta Foley-Lane, Hall of Fame.
Dick Barry Administer
Marie Bolster Basketball
Jerry Hayes Hurling
Dick Willis Angling
Mary Redmond Golf
Liam Browne Horse Racing
Dick Curran Pitch and Putt
Mervyn Shorten, Rugby
Paddy Bennett Pigeon Racing
Mallow players were still in the news with former goalkeeper Jimmy Scanlon (St. Mary's) being selected on the Cork team for the Tayto Cup match which Dublin won.
Two Cork players were selected for the Irish Junior International team for a match with Wales in Rhyl, North Wales on the 11th March 1977. There were Mallow goalkeeper Gerard Spillane and Castleviews Brendan Mulcahy - John Healy of St. Mary's was a reserve. Wales proved too strong winning 3:0.
A special committee was set up to organize The Golden Anniversary of Soccer in Mallow. The Central Hotel was the venue for a special function on the June Bank Holidayweekend. The special guest for the occasion was former Manchester United Manager Frank O'Farrell who worked in the railway in the early fifties.
The Committee was Len Robinson, Chairman, Dave Berry (Vice Chairman) Micheal Donegan (Secretary) Tim Lyons (Treasurer) also on the committee were Joe Neenan, Jim Murphy, Bertie Gunning, Billy Attridge, John O'Connell, Denis O'Connor and Dick Clune.
Not since the early fifties had a Mallow team advanced to the final of the A.O.H. Cup. This dream was achieved when Mallow defeated the holders St. Mary's after a hard fought struggle that was decided on a penalty shoot out after extra time at Dunnes Park. The match ended scoreless after extra time with Mallow winning on penalties 4:3.
In the final which was played forty eight hours later, Mallow would play Casement Celtic at the Markdyke. In a game that was fought out with real competition, defences were well on top. Casement Celtic getting a lucky goal. Mallow keeper Frank Hickey had it covered, but it deflected off a defender and into the net for the games only goal. Mallow tried hard to secure an equalizer but it was not to be as both teams showed signs of tiredness after a heavy schedule of matches.
Mallow Team: Frank Hickey, Denis Kiely, Brendan O'Shea, Colm Hickey, Teddy O'Shea, James Ward, Johnny Long, John Sheehan, Derry Blake, Phil Aherne, Ned Lehane, Subs: Eddie Walsh, Neil O'Reilly.
Mallow's second team playing in Div.2 had shown great form in reaching the semi-final of the County Cup only to be beaten by eventual winners Ballincollig 4:3 on penalties. In the quarter-final away at St. John Bosco (Midleton) a Coleman O'Neill hat trick saw Mallow through 3:1. Coleman O'Neill was again on target against Ballincollig in the semi-final making the score 1:1 after extra time.
The committee for this season were:
President Bertie Gunning
Vice President Fr. Robert Forde
Hon. Presidents Frank Clune, Larry Kennan
Chairman Derry Blake
Hon. Secretary Noel O'Neill
Treasurer Bertie Gunning
P.R.O. James Kennedy
Committee John O'Connell, Denis O'Connor, Chris Lowe, Willie Mills, Frank Egan
Players of the year were:
First Team: Frank Hickey
Second Team: Frank Clehane
Youths Team: Denis Kiely
A special presentation was made to Paddy Murphy of Mallow Youth Centre of a trophy for the new indoor under 14 league which was organized by Michael O'Sullivan.
The club formed a schoolboy section for the first time and entered a team in the Cork Schoolboys League at under 12 years. During the summer an underage league was run in the Park from which a panel was picked.
Mister Ball Control as he became known, Adrian Walsh from Galway set a new world record in the Town Park of 4 hours, 3 minutes, and 43 seconds. During this time the football never touched the ground. The record entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1980. To set the record, the ball was kept in the air with his head, thighs, and feet for a total of 23,549 touches.
After thirty seven minutes a lace opened on his boot and in an effort to get his boot off the ball fell. Adrian started again and stunned the onlookers who had gathered in the Park as he went on to make this record. Present for the attempt were Tom Bradley, F.A.I. Referee and official timekeeper Derry Blake was counting the touches. Club President Bertie Gunning made a presentation to Adrian to mark his record.
Club Chairman, Derry Blake, presented Player of the Year Awards to:
Bernard Finn Under 12's
Raymond Scanlon Under 13's
John Gore Under 15's
John Redmond Youths
Paul Walsh Junior B
John Long Junior A
The Youth team, after many poor years, finally got their reward under the guidance of team manager Micheal Sheehan. Not since the early fifties had a youth team won a trophy.
This season the Div.2. league trophy was secured when they beat Bohemians 2-1 at Turner's Cross in the decider. Tom O'Neill and Derek Mellerick were Mallow scorers.
Mallow Team: Micheal McDermott, Denis O'Donovan, John Redmond, Liam Sheehan, Patrick Egan, Tom O'Neill, George Griffin, Peter Redmond, Derek Mellerick, James Egan, Jimmy O'Mahony, Johnny Griffin, Ray Cosgrove, Noel Collins.
The only highlight of this season was the great success of the schoolboys team in winning the under 14 league title. This was the first trophy for the schoolboys. The victory was claimed in the deciding match away to Everton.
Two goals from Leo Foley made sure of the championship on a 2:1 scoreline.
There was an estimated attendance of 500 in the Town Park on a sunny Sunday in August when Mallow played Galway Rovers League of Ireland team in a pre-season friendly. Mallow put up a good show in the first half holding the visitors to a 1:0 score at half time. Dave Wigginton getting the Galway goal.
The League of Ireland side proved to be too strong in the second half with Mallow ringing the changes to give as many players a run as possible. Galway Rovers manager John Herrick was full of praise for the Mallow players and wished them success in the coming season.
Mallow Team: Jimmy Scanlon, Liam Sheehan, Colm Hickey, Noel Frazier, Sean Powell, Denis Kiely, Jerry O'Connell, Brendan O'Shea, Daniel O'Callaghan, Ray Cosgrove, Niall O'Reilly, Subs: Jer Buckley, Tadhg Coakley, Eddid Corcoran, Patrick Egan, Phil Aherne, James Ward.
Club President Willie Mills presented the player of the year awards at a social in the Central Hotel. A special award went to Frank O'Neill. Clubman of the year was Kevin Horgan
Junior A: Daniel O'Callaghan,
Junior B: Colin O'Brien,
Youths: Tony Scanlon.
Bertie Gunning also received a special award.
Wedding presentations went to Colin O'Brien and Gerard Spillane.
The committee this season was:
President: Willie Mills
Chairman: Micheal Sheehan
V.Chairman: Tom Conroy
Secretary: Gerard Spillane
Joint Treasuers: Noel O'Neill and Bertie Gunning
Committee: John O'Connell, Sean Powell, Kevin Horgan, Jim Sweeney, Johnny Kelly, Joe Neenan, and Paul Cosgrove.
The Mallow United second team playing in the Div.3A League set an outstanding standard for all the other teams in the league. Guided by former player and loyal clubman Kevin Horgan, this team was in top form. They completed the league unbeaten dropping only four points on the way. The inspirational Tim Healy and Frank O'Neill set the standard and regular goals from John Scanlon, Paul Cosgrove and Frank O'Neill made sure that Mallow would lift the Divl.3A Quinlan Cup with the following league record:
Played 20: Won 16, Drew 4, Lost 0
Goals for: 62
Goals against 17
Mallow Panel: Frank Hickey, Derry Blake, Kevin Horgan, Tim Healy, Liam Farrell, Noel O'Neill, Phil Aherne, Paul Cosgrove, Teddy Butler, John Scanlon, Frank O'Neill, Robert Farmer, Micheal O'Sullivan, Joe O'Leary, Micheal Sexton, Bernard O'Halloran, Billy Horgan, Jimmy O'Mahony, Paul Walsh.
Mallow again proved great cup fighters in reaching the County Cup final for the first time and advancing to the 5th round of the Munster Junior Cup.
Mallow overcame a strong Corkbeg side in the semi-final on a 1:0 scoreline. Brideview from Tallow would be Mallow's opponents in the home final. A large home support cheered on the home team but Mallow never got into the game and fell behind on twenty minutes. Sam Buckley equalized just before half time however Brideview scored again early in the second half to be easy winners on a score of 2:1.
Mallow Team: Gerard Spillane, Liam Sheehan, Philip Barrett, Billly Moloney, James Ward, Daniel O'Callaghan, Tony Scanlon, John Redmond, Sam Buckley, Gerard Buckley, Ray Cosgrove. Subs: Tony Gunning, Sean Powell.
In the Munster Junior Cup, Mallow met Ballynanty Rovers of Limerick in the 5th round which was to be played in the Town Park. Mallow had defeated a very strong Ballincollig side in the previous round with a fine goal from Jerry O'Connell. Unfortunately against Ballynanty Rovers the home team did not give their supporters much to cheer about losing 3:1.
Mallow Team: Gerard Spillane, John Redmond, Billy Moloney, Liam Sheehan, Sean Powell, Philip Barrett, Tim Healy, Daniel O'Callaghan, Sam Buckley, Jerry O'Connell, Gerard Buckley, Subs: Tony Gunning and Coleman O' Neill.
There was some consolation for this team and their managers, Tom Conroy and Billy Attridge, when the home team won the Annual Whit Tournament beating Trim Celtic 4:0 in the semi-final and Postal Workers in the final 2:1 with goals from Gerard Buckley and Philip Barrett.
Players of the Year were:
1st Team: Liam Sheehan
2nd Team: Derry Blake
3rd Team: Hugh O'Connor
Youths: Jerry O'Riordan
The Clubman went to Willie Mills a most popular winner recently retired from playing. Special praise went to Willie for his dedicated work on the Club Rooms and his commitment to the Club over the years.
This season turned out to be historic in the Club's life with the lifting of a League and Cup double. In the league Mallow travelled to play Villa United in the second last game knowing that a win would secure the Club's first league trophy since the early sixties. Before a large band of travelling supporters Mallow scored five goals without reply. Goals from Ray Cosgrove and Tony Scanlon had the Mallow supporters in good voice. Then the O'Callaghan brothers took over, with Daniel capping an outstanding display scoring two and Liam getting one to secure the League title on a 5:0 scoreline.
Mallow Team: Con Buckley, Liam Sheehan, Sean Powell, Tony Scanlon, John Redmond, Ted O'Shea, Liam O'Callaghan, Mick O'Shea, Noel O'Connell, Ray Cosgrove, Daniel O'Callaghan, Reserves: David Finn, Nigel Doherty.
The final league match was played on a Tuesday evening against Wolfe Tones in front of a very large crowd of happy supporters. Noel O'Connell headed Mallow in front early on and David Finn added two more goals to seal a 3 goals to nil victory. There were great scenes of jubilation as vice captain Mick O'Shea lifted the Div. 1B League Cup which was presented by Tony Fitzgerald, the Cork A.U.L. Fixture Secretary. Mick O'Shea paid a special tribute to Frank O'Neill who took over as manager when Tony Allen joined Cork City during the season.
Mallow Team: Con Buckley, Liam Sheehan, Sean Powell, Philip Barrett, Ray Cosgrove, David Finn, Tony Scanlon, Mick O'Shea, Noel O'Connell, Liam O'Callaghan, Nigel Doherty. Subs: Kevin O'Regan.
In the County Cup semi-final, played in Fermoy, Mallow recorded an impressive win over St. Martin's with goals from Ray Cosgrove and Noel O'Connell and also Mick O'Shea scoring two. All backed up by a fine display of goalkeeping from Con Buckley. Mallow had secured a place in the final with Ballincollig Athletic which would be played over two legs.
Mallow Team: Con Buckley, Liam Sheehan, Sean Powell, John Redmond, Ted O'Shea, Liam O'Callaghan, Mick O'Shea, Daniel O'Callaghan, Ray Cosgrove, David Finn, Noel O'Connell. Subs: Nigel Doherty and Kevin O'Regan.
After playing a scoreless draw away in the first leg of their County Cup final with Ballincollig Athletic, the scene was set for a tremendous occasion before a large home crowd to secure a second trophy.
The first half was very tight with Mallow taking the lead when a Ballincollig defender put through his own goal. The lead was short lived as Ballincollig hit back to equalize leaving the score tied at a goal each.
Ballincollig Athletic started the second half very strong and were in the lead after a few minutes. Mallow fought for their lives being urged on by the home supporters. With time running out Liam O'Callaghan took one of his huge throws which John Redmond headed on to the inrushing Tony Scanlon to crash to the back of the net and so take the match to extra time.
There were very few chances in this period and so the score remained 2:2. The final would now be decided on penalties. There were no mistakes from John Redmond, Ted O'Shea, Sean Powell and Mick O'Shea all scoring their penalties. The hero of the evening was goalkeeper Con Buckley who diving once to his left and once to his right saved two of the Ballincollig Athletic kicks to prove again what a good agile keeper he had become. The County Cup was Mallow's for the first time. As Team Captain John Redmond received the Cup from Billy Murphy Chairman of the Cork A.U.L., there were scenes of great emotion for the club's first double.
Mallow Team: Con Buckley, Liam Sheehan, Sean Powell, John Redmond, Ted O'Shea, Liam O'Callaghan, Mick O'Shea, Noel O'Connell, Daniel O'Callaghan, Nigel Doherty. Subs: David Finn and Philip Barrett.
It should be noted that because of Mallow's good run in all competitions the club gambled on playing two matches every weekend for three months. Cup matches were played on Sundays and League matches played Saturdays. The gamble paid off.
The Mallow United U13 team from 1984/85 enjoyed a perfect season winning all ten league games as they took the U13 Division 1 title, scoring 47 goals and conceding only 4. They finished the season with a comprehensive 5-0 win over fellow title hopefuls Ballyvolane with goals from Cathal O'Callaghan, James O'Mahony and Niall Sheehy and two from Cormac McDonnell. The team was captained by Darragh Tuohy and managed by Mallow United stalwart Derry Blake.
Former club player Mr. Bill Perks presented a beautiful trophy to The Rakes Festival Committee which was accepted for Mallow United Soccer Club by Jacqueline O'Rourke Festival Chairperson.
Players of the Year were:
1st Team: Sean Powell
2nd Team: Noel O'Neill
Youths: Michael Walsh
Under 14: Cathal O'Callaghan
Under 13: Roy Cunningham
Under 12: Jason O'Sullivan
A ten hour marathon soccer match was held in the Town Park to raise funds for the Mallow General Hospital Equipment Fund. It was a great success.
Several years of voluntary work was rewarded in September when Minister for Sport Mr. Donal Creed T.D. formally opened the new clubrooms. Mr. Creed officially turned the key on the main door prior to unveiling a commemorative plaque on the front wall.
The Clubrooms were blessed by Rev. Robert Forde, a patron of the club, who prayed for those who promote and engage in healthy physical activity. The gathering retired to the Hibernian Hotel where John Maher, Chairman of the Building Fund Committee, expressed his gratitude to all who gave their time and energies to erect the complex.
Many of the older players were present including those from the Golden Era of the 50's. Pride of place went to Mr. Larry Kennan former player and co-founder of the Club.
The Committee and Officers were:
Hon Vice Presidents: Rev. Robert Forde, Bill Sheehan, Billy Attridge, Matt Culloty, Larry Kennan, Bill Perks, Jim Murphy, Dave Berry, William Mills, Jack Golden
Chairman: Derry Blake
Vice Chairman: William Mills
Hon. Secretary: Gerard Spillane
Ass. Secreatry: Kevin Horgan
Joint Treasuers: John O'Connell, Bertie Gunning
P.R.O. Greg Hickey
Committee: Joe Neenan, Donal Buckley, John Kenneally, Timmy Kellly, Eugene Carey and Paul Cosgrove.
Players of the Year:
1st Team: Mick O'Shea.
2nd Team: John Griffin
Youths: Martin Hanover
Under 15: Cormac McDonnell
Under 14: Gerard O'Connell
Under 13: Aidan Buckley
The committee for the coming season was:
President: David Berry
Chairman: Derry Blake
Vice Chairman: Michael Sheehan
Hon. Secretary: Gerard Spillane
P.R.O.: Greg Hickey
Registrar: Adrian Jones
Treasurer: John O'Connell
Ass Treasurers: Bertie Gunning. Vincent Downs
Committee: Billy Attridge, Joe Neenan, Michael O'Flynn, Martin Hanover, Pat Lyons and James Ward.
Team Managers were:
Premier Junior: Tony Allen
Seccond Div. Junior: Gerard Spillane
Youths: Kevin Horgan
Schoolboys: Derry Blake & Billy Attridge
U.15. Mick O'Sullivan
U.14 Greg Hickey
U.13 Dave Berry
U.12 Chris Tanner
Mallow U. 15 Team were not extended in winning the Div.1. League title with impressive performances from Roy Cunningham, Paddy Gyves, Cathal O'Callaghan, and Damian Gallagher.
Roy Cunningham attended trails in England with Luton Town.
Roy Cunningham was again in the news when he was honoured by the Cork Schoolboys League winning the Under 15 Player of the Year Award.
The summer of 1988 saw Mallow accepted into the Munster Senior League. Mallow's first team would play Senior Soccer while the second team and the youths would continue to play in the Cork A.U.L. Leagues.
This is the beginning of four months of appeals and debates between the Cork A.U.L., the Munster Senior League, the M.F.A. and F.A.I.
The Cork A.U.L. were very annoyed to have lost one of their top teams to another league. They took the unprecedented step of refusing entry to Mallow's Junior and Youth teams. As there was no Junior or Youth section in the Senior League both teams were in effect put out of football.
Mallow appealed the A.U.L. decision to the M.F.A. This appeal was rejected. Mallow then appealed to the F.A.I. This appeal was successful and both teams were allowed back into the A.U.L. The Cork A.U.L. refused to accept this decision by the F.A.I. and would not allow Mallow teams back in their league.
As a result of this, a top level meeting was fixed for the Country Club Hotel in Cork on the 10th October 1988. Present at the meeting were Mr. M. Hyland, Vice-President F.A.I., and Dr. A. O'Neill, Deputy General Secretary F.A.I. as well as Mr. D. O'Driscoll, Mr. B Murphy, Mr J. O'Sullivan, Mr T. Fuller, Mr V. Cummins, Mr P. Barry, Mr T. Fitzgerald and Mr. B. Lyons representing the Cork A.U.L.
Mallow had to wait another eight days before their junior and youth teams were given the green light to resume activities in the A.U.L. leagues. This was only as a result of an F.A.I. Management Meeting in Dublin on the 18th October.
During all this controversy, the senior team playing in Div.1 was setting a very hot pace for the other teams with some very good results which took players and supporters by surprise.
The first senior match was away to Carrigaline on 14th August in the Munster Senior Cup. Mallow were defeated 2:1. David Finn scoring the first senior goal. The first home match on the 28th August was against Ringmahon Rangers which Mallow won. Ray Cosgrove scoring a hat trick without reply from the visitors.
The seniors would win the league guided by Player/Manager Finbarr Murphy and Team Captain and loyal clubman Mick O'Shea.
The Schoolboys section continued to be successful. The under 14 team came very close to winning their league losing only one match all season. Div.1. Champions Ringmahon won the title by only one point from Mallow.
The Munster Senior League formed a Junior and Youths section which Mallow now joined and so cut all involvement with the Cork A.U.L. The Mallow United Senior team settled into life in the Premier Division and competed well in the league finishing mid table.
Ronan Sheehan was invited to visit Leeds United for a week long trial after coming to their attention with his performances over the last couple of seasons.
As the season began hopes were high that the club teams would perform well in their respective competitions. No one could have foreseen what was to come with the Senior team qualifying for the Harp Lager F.A.I. Cup for the first time in the club's history where they woud meet Athlone Town.
The Senior team were to the forefront in all competitions. The management team of Gene Buckley (Team Manager) and Tom Wallace (Trainer) had the team very focused. The Senior teams F.A.I. Intermediate and Harp Lager Senior Cup runs started when they overcame Ringmahon Rangers in a replay, with goals from Mick O'Shea and Denis Corbett to secure a 2-1 win. Next up were Hillington who would be beaten with two Dan O'Callaghan goals and an own goal. The next round saw Mallow United away to Crosshaven which would be a very tight affair. The only goal came from Bob O'Donovan with twenty minutes remaining thus starting great celebrations as the team was now in the quarter final on the Intermediate Cup and also qualified for the Harp Lager F.A.I. Cup.
In the Intermediate Cup United travelled to play Edenmore at the A.U.L. grounds in Clonshaugh, Dublin. Cheered on by the large band of travelling supporters at a cold and windy venue, Mallow failed to recover from an early Edenmore goal scored after thirty two minutes. The Intermediate Cup dream was over. The team that day was: Ned Lehane, Stephen Neiland, Sean Powell, MIck O'Shea, John Redmond, Dan O'Callaghan, John Sheehan, Bob O'Donovan, Ronan Sheehan, Martin O'Brien, Stephen O'Brien. Subs: Paul Kelleher for John Sheehan (52), Kieran Bowdren for Sean Powell (80).
All attention now turned to the Harp Lager F.A.I. Cup match with Athlone Town, which saw United pull a home draw to be played in the Town Park. Major work would take place in the weeks leading up the the game to prepare for the tie. Tom Conroy, the club chairman, rallied the town to keep the match in Mallow and with voluntary help a stand donated by Noel C. Duggan of Millstreet was erected on the gully side of the pitch. This work was overseen by former club player Willie Mills. A souvenir match programme was printed by the Friends of Mallow United A.F.C.under the chairmanship of Lenny Robinson a player during the Golden Era.
The scene was now set and on Sunday the 10th of March 1991, United played in the F.A.I. Senior Cup for the first time. History was being made. The town park was packed with people from all over Cork attending the game. The Thomas Davis Pipe Band played both teams onto the field. United were led out by their captain Mick O'Shea.
Though United conceded an early goal they settled down and with great cup spirit took the game to Athlone in the second half. The equalising goal never came and Athlone were happy to go home with a 1-0 victory. The team was : Ned Lehane, John Redmond, Sean Powell, Paul Kelleher, Kieran Bowdren, Ronan Sheehan, Stephen Neiland, Bob O'Donovan, Dan O'Callaghan, Mick O'Shea, Martin O'Brien. Subs: Pat Gosnell and Denis Corbett.
The team would finish in third place in the Munster Senior League Premier Division. On all fronts this was a record breaking season, reaching heights never seen before. At the Mallow Sports and Leisure Council Awards former founder player and all round sportsman Jack Golden was honoured with the Hall Of Fame Award and Senior team captain Mick O'Shea received a Sports Award.
The Club committee was:
President: Tom Wallace
Vice Presidents: Bertie Gunning, Derry Blake and Dave Berry
Chairman: Tom Conroy
Vice Chairman: Billy Mannix
Secretary/P.R.O.: Greg Hickey
Treasurer: Chris Taylor
Committe members: Derry Blake, Gerard Spillane, Willie Mills, Bertie Gunning, Pat Scanlon, Tom Murphy, Pat O'Leary, Sean Powell, John O'Connell
After the highs of the previous season it was the turn of the Schoolboy section of the Club to grab the headlines. The Under 14 team was well in the running for a double having been declared Div. 1 League Champions well before the season ended. Hopes were high when they reached the Under 14 Cup Final where they would meet Premier side Glasheen. However Glasheen proved too strong for United winning 2-0. Players to catch the eye during the season were Mark Nagle, Dave Maher, Maurice Daly, John O'Regan, Kieran O'Sullivan, and David Howell who would be nominated for the Cork Schoolboys League Under 14 Player of The Year.
The Under 15 team worked away quietly and took the honours in the Div 1 League with a few points to spare over Kilreen Celtic.
Dave Berry won the Mallow Sports and Leisure Council Award for his continued involvement with the Club's Schoolboy teams.
The Senior team were going through a bad patch losing a relegation playoff with Cobh Wanderers on a 3-1 scoreline and so would play in Div 1 next season. The Club entered a team in the inaugural Over 35 League which was being run by the Munster Senior League, with all games being played at the Mardyke in Cork.
The Schoolboys section were again to the fore with the Under 12 team reaching the Cup final where they would face city team Leeds, who were having a really good year. The Mallow lads put up a strong show but could not match Leeds who won 4-1. Mallow's goal being scored by Pa Dineen.
The Under 14 team would finish runner up in the Div 1 League behind Casement Celtic by one point.
Pride of place must go to the Under 15 team managed by Brendan Walsh and Noel Dinan who reached the quarter final of the Evans Cup. To reach this stage the boys would win through the Cork area and enter the national open draw where they got a home draw into the last sixteen with Belvedere from Dublin. Encouraged by the large home support in the Town Park, Mallow took the game to the visitors right from the start. Mark Nagle struck home the games only goal after two minutes unleashing rapturous celebrations amongst the home fans. The outsiders were ahead and, try as they might, Belvedere could not breach the home defence where keeper Alan O'Flynn and his defenders coped with everything.
In the 1/4 final Mallow were again drawn at home to Dublin side Stella Maris, a club with a tradition of producing top class players. A large crowd again gathered in the Town Park. The first half was even in terms of chances until just before half time. David Howell turned a Padraig O'Callaghan free kick into the back of the Stella Maris net. In the second half the visitors took control and scored three goals to clinch the win.
The Under 15 team travelled to Aldershot for a tournament during the Easter weekend and capped a fine season by coming home with a trophy. The Under 15 squad of players were: Alan O'Flynn, Alan Hickey, Kevin McCarthy, Barry John Ryan, John O'Regan, Mark Nagle, Noel Dinan, Gary O'Donovan, Don Murphy, David Howell, Noel O'Callaghan, Kieran O'Sullivan, Willie Cunningham, J.P. Sheehan, Padraig O'Callaghan, Emmett Gyves, Karol O'Donovan, Patrick Dempsey, David Maher.
The Schoolboy section were again on the winner's rostrum when the Under 13 team were emphatic winners of the Div 1 League taking maximum points on the way to the title. Their nearest rivals Fermoy only dropped points to the Champions. Players to catch the eye with consistent performances during the season were: Barry O'Driscoll, Thomas Daly, Glenn Kearney, Stephen Healy, and Brendan O'Sullivan.
The Under 16 team reached the Cup Final only to be defeated by a good Rockmount team.
The Senior team would regain Premier Division status when they secured runners up spot in Div 1 with a 2-1 victory over nearest rivals Crofton Celtic.
Lee Walsh was a member of the Cork Kennedy Cup panel who were beaten in the 1/4 final by the Brenfer League from North Dublin. Involved on the panel as well were Trevor Sheehan and Stephen Healy.
The Senior team would have a difficult time back in the Premier Division and would be relegated to the 1st Division with Cobh Ramblers.
On the field of play the Club's teams were going through a quiet time, but off it the club was still in the news picking up two awards at the Mallow Sports and Leisure Council Awards night. The main award, the Hall Of Fame recognition, would go to a former player during the "Golden Era", Dave Berry. Dave was still active with the Schoolboy teams at this time. The other award would go to Greg Hickey, Club Secretary and P.R.O.
The teams were still going through a quiet time although the Senior team had a good season, only fading near the end to finish third in the Div 1 League behind Midleton and Cobh Ramblers.
The Club would win the Club Award at the Mallow Sports and Leisure Council Awards night where Timmy O'Callaghan would accept the award.
Highlight of the season went to William Corcoran a goalkeeper with the Under 15 Schoolboys team when he was called up for the Irish Under 15 International trials in Dublin. Former Schoolboy player Stephen O'Flynn now with Wimbledon would get a call up to Brian Kerr's Irish Under 16 squad for a tournament in Malta.
Sports and Leisure Awards would again be won by Mallow United. Former player Frank Egan would win the Hall Of Fame Award and Stephen O'Flynn would win the Youth Award.
More awards were picked up by club members at the Mallow Sports and Leisure Council Awards. The main award went to Lenny Robinson as Hall Of Fame winner. Lenny was involved in the club for many years both as a player and as an administrator. The Youth Award went to talented young player Mark Buckley.
The playing side of the club was again not producing winning teams but there was some success for a former player when Jimmy O'Sullivan won the Hall Of Fame Award at the Sports and Leisure Council Awards. The Club would win the Community Award to mark it's 75th birthday. Another former player Gerard Spillane was honoured at the Cork A.U.L. Honours night when he was the winner of a Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his service to Cork soccer.
The winning feeling was back in the club again when the Under 16 Schoolboys team won the league title. Brian Kerr, Irish Senior International team manager, visited the Town Park during the F.A.I. Summer Camp.
Brendan Daly won an Irish International cap as part of the Under 16 Irish Schools team and at the Mallow Sports and Leisure Council Awards night he won the Youth Award. Stephen O'Flynn was winning a league Cup medal with Limerick in the League Of Ireland.
The Under 12 Schoolboys team came closeto winning the Div 1 League title under the guidance of Richard O'Rourke, missing out by only one point on the final day. Another award came to Brendan Daly at the Mallow Sports and Leisure Council Awards when he again won the Youth Award for his continued success on the soccer field.
The Schoolboys were back on the winning trail as the Under 11 team managed by Eugene Carey and Patrick Egan won the League title.
There were great celebrations when the Youths team won the Div 1B League title as the last time a Youths title was won was the 1979 season. The management team of John Walsh and Bobby Ward had every reason to be pleased.
As the Committee prepared to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the club, the successful Youths team of last season would win a special award at the Mallow Sports and Leisure Council Awards night to mark that success.
There was a very successful golf classic organised to raise funds for the Schoolboys section of the Club by a committee of the Friends of Mallow United. The venue was the Mallow Golf Club and Damian Richardson, manager of Cork City F.C., was a special guest. The organising committee included James Stanton, David Howell, Paul Cosgrave, Joe Dowling, Paul Lyons, Roy Cunningham, and John McDonnell. Photo here.
The Senior team had a good season under manager Jason Kabia and secured Div 1 status when they finished third in the League.
The Schoolboys section were looking to the Under 14 team to lift the title. All through the season they were one place off the pace setters for League honours but in the end had to settle for runners up spot behind Avondale.
During the season a committee of James Ward, Willie Mills, Lenny Robinson, Con O'Flynn, and Colm Hickey, published a pictorial history of the club which had been compiled by Gerard Spillane. The book entitled "Memories of Mallow United Soccer Club" includes over two hundred photographs covering the past eighty years. The book was launched at a function in the Hibernian Hotel on the 14th of April where many former players gathered to relay past stories. Prior to the book launch the Club was honoured by Mallow Urban District Council with a civic reception in the council chambers of the Town Hall. Pictures from the launch here
This season saw mixed fortunes for the club teams with the under 11 Premier side and the Junior team bringing success to the club.
The U.11 Premier side set an early pace in the league and from an early stage looked to be the team to beat as they advanced also in the Cork Cup. On reaching the Cup final which was played at Turners Cross our boys took on Ballincollig in the cup final before a very large crowd. On the day we were beaten on a 2-1 scoreline by a better team. Our goal was scored by Ross Fitzpatrick.
The following week the U.11Premier league title was secured by the boys and the scenes of joy and relief were followed by great celebrations by all concerned.
The U.14 side bowed out of the Cork Cup when they were befeated at the Quarter Final stage.
The schoolboy section was reorganised at the start of the season with a seperate committee set up to oversee the schoolboy affairs. The first task taken on by this committee was to organise a trip to Southend in England during the Easter term. The U.11 and U.14 panels travelled by coach with committee members to Southend. A very successful trip for the club was highlighted by the twinning with the host club Southend Manor.
Both teams took part in a tournament with Southend Manor and another local side Trinity Boys. Both our teams came away with winners trophies. On their return home the U.11 team travelled to Dublin to compete in the Danone Cup which was held in the AUL Complex.
Not to be out done by the schoolboys the clubs Junior side progressed quietly in the Senior Leagues Junior Super Cup where they reached the final which was played at Turners Cross against city team UCC. After a very tight game which ended 1-1 after extra time it was into the dreaded penalty kicks which went to sudden death. The Mallow lads winning on an 8-7 score.
Panel; W.Corcoran, J.Madden, D.O'Flynn, K.Aherne, D.Browne, J.Clow, J.O'Connell, C.Murphy, R.Willis, J.O'Driscoll, T.Chung, B.Doody, M.Scanlon, T.Coakley and M.Murphy.
The season concluded with the UDC Chairman James Kennedy turning the sod on the dressing room development at St.Gobnaits Park which is the home of the schoolboy section.
The season began with the schoolboy section playing their matches at St.Josephs road pitch while the dressingroom developement continued at St.Gobnaits Park. This developement would be officially opened at the end of the season by Mr.John Delaney CEO of the FAI before a large gathering of past and present players as well a parents of our schoolboy players. The U.11Premier schoolboys retained the league title after a long season.
U.15 player Liam Attridge attended a week long trial with English Premier club Everton where he aquitted himself very well.
Two members of the U11 league winning side Trevor McEvoy and Kean Buckley were part of the Cork Schoolboys team that travelled to play Waterford in the Frank O'Byrne Tournament and contributed to a great victory for the Cork team.
The U.17 team were in the hunt for league honours all through the season and finally clinched the title at home in their last game. The U.17 league was secured for the first time. Well done to all concerned.
Long standing club member John O'Connell was honoured at the Sports and Leisure Awards with the Clubman of the year award.
Near the seasons end two games were played to remember former clubmen. The first was the Legends match to remember Wilsy Cremin. This was to see the present senior team take on a team of former senior players.
In the second match Killmallock would be victors over our junior team in the Colm Sheehan Memorial Cup.