Ballindine, Co. Mayo

Club History

July 9, 2009

Under-21 Title for Davitts (1984)


Davitts, who captured the county minor league title earlier in the season, added the county under-21 title to the honours list by easily accounting for Aughamore in a disappointing final at Ballyhaunis, in a game which was spoiled by the wind and rain.

The Ballindine/Irishtown club, who had previously captured the honours in 1977, were assisted by the elements in the first half, but after 20 minutes their chances of taking the title looked dim as all they had on the scoreboard was one point by Joe Reapy.    Aughamore, who never really go moving in the terrible conditions, had their opening score by Padraic Duffy. However, in the final ten minutes of the half the winners began to put their game together much better and following points by Liam Nyland and Joe Reapy, a fine goal by Jim Treacy left them 1-3 to 0-1 ahead on the restart. Credit for the loser’s low scoring rate in that period must be given to the winners’ defence where Owen Martin, Martin Cosgrove and Tony Connolly performed with great solidness.

With Martin Trench- who has now added an under-21 medal to his senior hurling award won with Tooreen- and Bert Penny dominating midfield on the restart, the game was finally pushed out of the East Mayo club’s reach when Jim Treacy had his second goal for Davitts. It was late in the game when Brian Duffy had a consolation goal for Aughamore.

Best for the winners were Owen Martin, Tony Connolly, Martin Cosgrove, Martin Trench, Bert Penny, Jim Treacy, Joe Reapy and Liam Nyland. Hard triers for the losers were T.J. Rogers (goal), Tommy Lyons, E. Waldron, John Hession, Padraic Duffy and Austin Kenny.

Scorers: Davitts- J. Treacy (2-1), J. Reapy (0-3), Owen Martin and Liam Nyland (0-1 each). Aughamore- B. Duffy (1-1), P. Duffy and A. Kenny (0-1 each).

Davitts: M. Kearns, T. Connolly, T. Ronayne, M. Cosgrove, A. McLoughlin, O. Martin, M. Trench, B. Penny, J. Treacy, L. Nyland, M. Mitchell, John Treacy, J. Reapy. Subs: K. Griffin for McLoughlin; T. O’Connor for J. Treacy).

Aughamore: T.J. Rogers, P. Nyland, T. Lyons, E. Waldron, M. Hunt, J. Hession, N. Greally, P. Duffy, A. Kenny, E. Gurren, B. Duffy. Sub: R. Jordan for Henry.

Ref: J. Harkin, Crossmolina.

July 9, 2009

Reapy to the Rescue as Davitts Retain Title (1985)

Ballina Stephenites…2-6

Davitts retained their county under-21 title in dramatic style at Charlestown on Saturday evening when they staved of the challenge of Ballina Stephenites in a memorable struggle.

It was a game that brought out the best in both sides in a match which could have gone either way, but in the end it was left to Joe Reapy in the dying seconds from a close range free to tilt the scales in favour of the Davitts lads.

And they probably just about deserved it having slogged much harder than Ballina over the hour, but it also could be argued that Ballina had the winning of this game and in the end they were punished severely for their tendency to overplay the ball when more direct football might have been more prudent.

The game got off to an electrifying start when inside two minutes Martin McGrath stuck the ball in the Davitts net with a goal of the highest quality.

Davitts were momentarily stunned but when Liam Brennan added a point for Ballina it was to be their last score of the half.

Kevin Griffin and Martin Trench were beginning to siphon off some of the power of McHale and Karl Rowe at midfield and two points were shaved off the Ballina lead in the 10th and 13th minutes, both from full forward Liam Nyland from a free and from play.

The goal which Davitts had been threatening to score finally came in the 23rd minute when Jim Treacy chipped the ball invitingly across the square where Nyland rose high to meet it with his fist and deflect it to the net.    
Minutes earlier Treacy himself had a golden opportunity to find the net but shot wide after Ballina keeper Kevin Garrett advanced to narrow the angle.

Ballina were reeling again in the 25th minute when John Treacy cut through the defence before shooting low to the net. Earlier Jim Treacy had tapped over a point and when Nyland finished the half with another point to leave Davitts 2-4 to 1-1 in front, Ballina looked beaten.

But similar to their whirlwind opening to the game, Ballina had the ball once again in the Davitts net within 30 seconds of the restart. And again it was a goal of the highest quality with Liam Brennan sending a fine shot from 30 yards after McHale and Brennan had set up the movement.

By the 41st minute Ballina had hauled themselves back into the game with points from Martin McGrath (2) and McHale levelling the matters.

With eight minutes remaining they still stood level- Dave Honan and Joe Reapy having exchanged points- and with four minutes remaining they were level again with McHale and Jim Treacy swapping points from play.

It was left to Reapy in the dying seconds to snatch victory with a 21-yard free but he could have saved the large Davitts support a lot of anxiety if he or Liam Nyland converted an earlier opportunity from a free while the woodwork also came to Ballina’s rescue in those tense final few minutes.

For Davitts, as for Ballina, it was very much a team display with Tom Ronayne, Bertie Penney and Owen Martin proving very solid along with Anthony McLoughlin and Martin Cosgrove in defence.

Kevin Griffin worked hard at midfield where Martin Trench tried his best, while up front John and Jim Treacy, Liam Nyland and Joe Reapy were always a threat.

Davitts: M. Kearns, T. Ronayne, B. Penney, O. Martin, A. McLoughlin, M. Cosgrove, K. Griffin, M. Trench, J. Treacy (1-0), J. Reapy (0-2), M. Mitchell, L. Nyland (1-3), Jim Treacy (0-2). Subs: T. O’Connor (for Mitchell), P. Cunnane (for Trench).

July 9, 2009

Davitt Park (by Dr. Ken Egan)

After being elected chairman of Davitts in 1976, the committee and I discussed the possibility of improving the existing pitch and building dressing rooms.

In 1977 we levelled and removed the dip on the “1916” side of the pitch; this work was down by Michael Griffin from Irishtown. We then considered purchasing some extra ground in order to widen the playing area and build dressing rooms but this was not possible as there was no adjoining land for sale. At this time we also became aware of the impending development of the road, passing the pitch, as a national primary route and there was a possibility that with the widening of the road we would lose some of our ground fronting the road. This development also made it more dangerous for adults and children walking or cycling to the pitch. Because of this we decided to look for an alternative site.

During the following years we looked at various sites in Ballindine and Irishtown. It was not until September, 1981, that a suitable site at the back of the handball alley became available. The committee, having been informed that the site was for sale and being aware that other parties were interested in the site, moved quickly and agreed to purchase the site for £12,000. Two weeks later a general meeting was held and the members unanimously approved of the committee’s action.

The committee then set about raising funds and I am sure many in the parish will remember the committee calling on them in December, 1981, when we did a house-to-house collection. The response to this collection was phenomenal and most encouraging. In three nights we collected over £6,000 for funds. The committee at that time was: Tom Connolly (President); Dr. Ken Egan (Chairman); Frank Hyland (Secretary); M.J. McLaughlin (Treasurer); John Halligan; Frank McGrath; Billy Kearns; Pa Kirrane; and Paddy O’Connor (Committee Members).

This committee, with the addition of Larry Goggins, was re-elected at the 1982 A.G.M. Larry’s election to the committee was a great help as his knowledge and expertise in the building area proved invaluable. Michael Brennan, solicitor, Claremorris, was appointed to look after the legal interests of the club at that meeting.

The committee continued raising funds and during the summer of 1982 we ran a draw for a trip to America. This raised £3,000. Also at this time we organised a number of functions in Sean Bourke’s in Irishtown.

John Joyce from Branraduff helped us with the plans for the pitch and dressing rooms. He did all the drawings and submitted them to the council for planning permission in October, 1982. We applied at this time for a grant from the Youth Employment Agency to employ 10 men and a supervisor to build the boundary walls and dressing rooms.

In January, 1983, during a public meeting we called in the D.D.A.I. to discuss the future of the handball alley and surrounding grounds, it emerged that Pat McHugh and Sons were the legal owners of the ally and grounds. I met with Kieran McHugh shortly after this meeting and it was agreed that Davitts would give McHughs the portion of land beside Mr. Paddy Gleeson’s house and, in return, McHughs would hand over the alley and its ground to Davitts. This would enable Davitts to build a straight wall on the roadside boundary as far as the dressing rooms and give us an extra 50 feet in width for the pitch. We then approached Martin Donoghue and the D.D.A.I. and they allowed us to remove the trees between our respective properties and build a wall. They also conceded 5 feet to us along the boundary on the Logalisheen side. This was to enable us to include natural drains which were on their land in our drainage plans.

In January, 1983, we received planning permission, the deposit on the field was paid and the youth employment grant was passed. Work commenced on the project shortly afterwards, the supervisor was Larry Goggins and his team of workers were: John Glynn, Jimmy Giblin, John Hynes, Paul Noone, John Roache, Martin Kearns, Eugene McDermott, Ger Reilly, Pat Sheridan and Tommie Regan.

In February, 1983, Tim Durning helped us with the plans for draining and levelling the field. These plans were ready by April and we put them out for tender in May. Joe Trench from Garryduff was given the contract. In March we did a football marathon from Castlebar to Tullamore. This was a most enjoyable and profitable outing.

In order to have a straight boundary wall along the main road it was necessary for us to apply to the Western Health Board for a small portion of land. In April we applied for a portion of land 43 ft. x 180 ft. from the board and thanks to the help and cooperation of Mr. E. Hannan, C.E.O., and his officials, especially Mr. Walter Raftery, technical officer with the Board, this was dealt with quickly and we were able to buy the land in September for a nominal sum of £100.00.

We then approached Joe Turner and asked him for permission to allow us to run the drains from the pitch through his land which adjoined the pitch at the Claremorris end. Joe readily agreed and this was of great help to us in the draining of the ground. We also asked Joe if he would agree to sell us a portion of land 60 ft. x 140 ft. as this would add an extra 20 yards length to the pitch. Joe agreed too to this and we bought this portion of land from him in September.

In July of 1983 we received approval for a second grant from the Youth Employment Agency and the work continued on the boundary walls and dressing rooms.

During the summer of 1983, Davitts ran a Mayoral election. This was the most successful financial project ever undertaken by the club and the four contestants- Winifred (Freddie) Goggins, M.J. McLoughlin, Jimmy Treacy and the winner , Billy Kearns- deserve special mention for all the work they put into raising approximately £17,000 which was used for the purchase of materials.

In September, 1983, the committee organised a 25 drive card game in Sean Bourke’s. these games were run on Tuesday nights during the winter. This turned out to be quite a long running financial venture for Davitts, whose hard working card committee consisted of M.J. McLoughlin, Frank Hyland, Larry Goggins, John Hynes, Michael Roache, Tom Diskin, Owen Martyn, Bertie Penny and Billy Kearns.

During 1984 the boundary walls and dressing rooms were completed and the Youth Employment Scheme finished in March. All the book-keeping involved in this scheme, which lasted for 15 months, was completed by April and approximately £11,000 was paid to the Revenue Commissioners to cover PAYE and PRSI.

The levelling of the pitch continued during the summer of 1984. At one stage there were three bulldozers working on the pitch. The levelling proved more difficult than expected as there were a lot of large rocks and a shortage of good quality soil. Thanks to the help of Kieran McHugh, Michael Mooney and Sean Kirrane, who supplied us with lorries, 500 loads of top soil were carried to the pitch from Joe Trench’s land at Deerpark. Robert Brannick also helped carry soil with his tractor and trailer and we were all shocked when Robert was killed shortly after this in an accident while working on the new road. Davitts lost a good friend and a great club man on that day. Ar dheis Dé go raibh.

The club was lucky that at this time the new road was being developed. We were able to get 500,000 tons of soil for an embankment. Thanks to local Council engineer Patsy Burke and his men we now have a football pich with a capacity for 5,000 spectators.

Davitt Park was opened on the 18th May, 1986, by Mr. Paddy Muldoon, Mayo County Chairman. Davitt stand was since erected and officially opened on the 30th April, 1995, by P.J. McGrath, President of the Connaught Council, and Pat Rabbitte T.D., Minister of state.

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