Dublin Intermediate Winners 1948

1948 – A Good Year


1948 saw Crokes Hurling Club win the Dublin Intermediate Hurling Championship on Sunday 20th June 1948.  This returned the club to senior championship ranks during what was arguably one of the periods when Dublin club hurling was at its strongest.  Among fabled clubs such as Eoghan Ruadh, St Vincent’s, Faughs and Young Ireland in the early 1950’s Crokes were well able to hold their own. 


It took three games to reach the county final.  According to the Irish Press of 10th May 1948 Crokes beat Kevins 4-2 to 2-1 at Crumlin.  The Press of 24th May informs us the club then accounted for Fontenoys 8-3 to 1-2 at Parnell Park. 


Team Selected:


Sutton, N Ryan, Barry, J Hickey, Ecock, Gallagher, Doherty, Fives, Kelly, McDonald, Cooney, Purcell, Fingleton, Whelan, Leavy.  Subs: P Ryan, Hassett, Fahy, O’Reilly, Cowan.


Crokes overcame the holders, Faughs, 5-6 to 1-1 to win the semi-final at Crumlin (Irish Press14th June).  For “the much lighter and less experienced Crokes …….. the biggest factor in the win was Doherty at left half back, but other sectors were admirably filled by Sutton, Ryan, Gallagher, Fives, Ecock and McDonald” (Evening Herald ??)


Team Selected:


Sutton, Fahy, Ryan, Walsh, Ecock, Ryan, Doherty, Kelly, Fives, McDonald, Cooney, Purcell, Whelan, Barry, Leavy.  Subs: Fingleton, Hassett, Hickey


The Championship was won with a 4-6 to 2-6 victory over Erins Own at Croke Park.  According to the Irish Press of 21st June Erins Own led 1-6 to 1-2 at half time but failed to hold a second half Crokes rally.  Crokes scorers were Barry (2-0), Kelly (0-6) and Whelan (2-0).  The selected team for the Intermediate Final was:


Sutton, Fahy, Ryan, Hickey, Ecock, P Ryan, Doherty, Fives, Kelly, McDonald, Cooney, Purcell, Leavy, J Barry, Whelan.


For this game full back Nick Ryan travelled from Galway, while Jack Cowan and Patrick Gallagher came from Galway and Donegal respectively.  We assume the latter two were substitutes and it appears Nicholas Fingleton, Tadgh Cuneen and Tom O’Reilly were also on the final panel as they are included in a list of medal recipients in the minutes of 2nd September.


Following the Intermediate championship win the club had a 5-4 to 2-4 Boland Cup triumph against Young Irelands at the Hurling Grounds, Phoenix Park.  This was followed up with victory over Faughs 6-8 to 2-6 in the semi-final at Parnell Park on 12th September – “a major surprise”, according to a newspaper report.  The final against Eoghan Ruadh was played in 1949.


In 1948 the club also won the Corn Ceitinn, a much more prized trophy than it is now,  defeating Lusk 7-3 to 2-1 in the first round on at Coolock on 29th August.  In the second round the club overcame Civil Service 2-7 to 1-1 and in the semi-final on 3rd October beat Eoghan Ruadh 4-7 to 3-4.  In the final against St Dympna’s on 7th November the club’s second title of the year was achieved.




Sutton, J Barry, Ryan, P Ryan, Ecock, Gallagher, Doherty, Fives, Kelly, Cooney, McDonald, Purcell, Leavy, Cuneen, Whelan.  Subs:  McHugh, J McDonald, Cooney.  Subs: McDonald for McHugh, H Cooney, T Fahy.


This piece endeavours to give a little background on the players involved, fifteen of whom can be seen in the above photograph.  Corrections or additional information to info@kilmacudcrokes-hurling.com are very welcome.  There was considerable strength in depth on the panel.  The Dublin panel that captured the 1947 Leinster Junior Championship and lost the Home All-Ireland Final to Cork included Geoff Sutton, Jim Doherty, Maurice Fives and Paddy Gallagher as a substitute.  Three members of the panel won All-Ireland Minor Hurling medals with Dublin.


1948 Crokes captain was Maurice Fives, from Tourin in West Waterford.  Maurice was a UCC Engineering graduate.  Having spent time in Cork and Kilkenny he moved to Dublin in January 1946 where he took up a position with the ESB.  He moved into digs in Leinster Road and through one of his housemates, who was involved with the club, began playing for Crokes.  Maurice continued to play for Crokes until injury forced his retirement from the game in 1954.  He was a member of the Dublin team that won the Leinster Junior Championship in 1947 and lost the Home All-Ireland Final to Cork on 31st August 1947.  Club colleagues in the 4-10 to 2-5 loss were Geoff Sutton, Jim Doherty and Paddy Gallagher (sub).  Recognised as one of the country’s top centrefielders in the early 1950’s (at a time when Bill Walsh of Kilkenny, Galway’s Joe Salmon, Tipperary’s Phil Shanahan and Gerald Murphy of Cork were at their peak) he played for Waterford from 1949 to 1955 and played Railway Cup for Munster in 1953.  He regards 1953 as the year Crokes were strongest.  An all round sportsman Maurice later became a 2 handicap golfer with Elm Park (where he still plays off 13).  He also played squash for Munster alongside Eamonn Young, the Cork footballer, and international Seniors Tennis for Ireland.  He was secretary of Crokes for a number of years in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.


James (Jim) Doherty and his brother Paddy were two of the chief personalities involved in Crokes at the time.  They were born and brought up in their early years in Kilkenny before moving to the North Circular Road area.  Jim Doherty played Junior and senior hurling with Dublin.


John McDonald and his brother Joe came from the North Circular Road area.  Joe, in particular, had a long association with Crokes and later Kilmacud Crokes being an active Committee member up to 25 or 30 years ago.  Joe was a substitute on the Dublin minor team that won the All-Ireland Minor Hurling title in 1946. 


In 1945 his clubmate, Nicky Fingleton, was also a panel member, winning the first of two All-Ireland and three Leinster Minor Hurling medals in arrow.   Fingleton played Junior for Dublin in 1949 and later emigrated to Australia.


The 1946 Dublin Minor team was captained by Crokes goalkeeper Geoff Sutton.  Carbery, the famous GAA writer, reporting on the 1946 Final described him as “Sutton, the Dublin genius, guarding his net like a young Cuchulainn.”  Sutton won an Oireachtas medal with Dublin in 1948 and was on the panel for the winning of the Leinster Senior Championship and the loss to Waterford in the All-Ireland Final the same year.  He emigrated to England and played on the London team that lost the 1957 Junior All-Ireland Final to Limerick.  Famously he returned for the 1953/54 Senior League Final win over St Vincent’s played in 1957.



The suited Barney Sheridan was the “rubber” (physiotherapist in today’s parlance) and bag man who received much credit for his medical skills.


Originally from the Stoneybatter area, Mick Ecock, played for the club for several years.  He also played Junior for Dublin and served on the club committee.  He is now resident in Spain.


Tony Kelly hailed from Bennettsbridge Co Kilkenny.  His brother Ted won a Leinster medal as a Crokes player with Dublin in 1952.  Another brother also played for the club.  Tony Kelly was secretary in 1951-52.  He was chemist with Kellys in Cabra.and introduced a professional colleague, Denis Ryan, from Limerick, to the club.  Ryan was a prominent 1950’s player.


Padraig O’Faolain was a Waterford man who played senior for his native county.


Nicholas (Nicky Ryan) was from Inchicore and played full back.  He was a committed club man and a member of a family that did trojan work for the club.  His brother Phil was active and their father P.J Ryan was club chairman for a number of years in the early to mid 1940’s.  Nick was particularly interested in the underage affairs of the club and at Dublin Minor Board level.  He played Junior for Dublin in 1948


Hugh Cooney and his brother Donal were from Wicklow and both brothers played with Wicklow.


Thomas (Tommy) Doyle was for many years club Treasurer and hailed from the Inchicore area.  He later became Principal Officer in the Department of Finance


Patrick (Paddy) Gallagher was a teacher and a native Irish speaker from Donegal who played as a half back or midfielder.


Patrick (Paddy) Leavey gave great service to the club and along with Ben Power, John Maher, Martin White and others was one of the people involved in the amalgamation with Kilmacud in 1966.


Edmond (Ned) Purcell, a centrefielder, was from Clare Road on Dublin’s Northside.    He was a nephew of Mick Kennedy from Tipperary who played hurling for Limerick.  His brother Donal also played with the club.


Tadgh Cuneen was from Kinsealy.  He served the club as a board representative for a number of years.


Kevin McHugh was tragically killed in a motor cycle accident a few years later, having been very active in the club.


Tom O’Reilly worked in insurance and was a Dublin man.  He was club treasurer for many years.


Jack Hickey, a Tipperary native, later became a well known orthopaedic surgeon.  According to one account he went to work in Africa and treated Queen of England for a bunion on her trip to the continent receiving some form of recognition for so doing.  Brother Paddy also played for Crokes.


Dermot Hasset was a brother of Mick Hasset who played for UCD and Dublin.


Jimmy Walsh is not to be confused with Seamus Breathnach (“Red” Jimmy Walsh), club chairman in the 1950’s.  Jimmy Walsh was from Kilkenny who “went out foreign” to join the Bermuda police.  He was Pat Kenny’s (of RTE) father-in-law. 


Jackie Cowan was a Dublin minor panellist in 1942.  He played briefly for St Vincent’s around that time before returning to Crokes.  His father Captain Peadar Cowan was a TD for a while.


Jim Barry was a two goal hero in the Intermediate County Final and is thought to have been from Limerick


County Final corner back, Tom Fahy, is felt to have been a country man.