The Sean MacCumhaill’s G.A.A. club in the Twin Towns, is holding a reunion for its greatest teams of 50 years go, a side regarded as one of the top teams in Ulster in the early sixties. The function will honour the teams of 1962, ‘63 and ’64 on this Saturday 14th July at the Clubhouse.
The club has many reputable players to name but a few with the likes of Tom Prendergast, an All-Ireland winner with Kerry; John Dan McMenamin, who played full-back with Donegal and Seamus Given, father of international soccer star Shay Given.
The reunion will also allow the club to acknowledge some of their now deceased football stars from that period including brothers Harry and Mickey Laverty, Paddy Finnerty, Andy Gallen, Liam Doherty and Connie Houston, who passed away suddenly in an accident while in England in ’64.
In 1962, MacCumhaill’s saw a shocking rise in form to beat Gweedore in an incredible final played in Letterkenny, surprising all to end a season which appeared to be entirely in Gweedore’s favour. They fought hard and persevered with a greater energy than thought possible, fighting the scoreboard to surpass Gweedore by 1-9 to 1-7.
1963 saw MacCumhaills take the county championship for a second time running, this time at home taking on Kilcar, with a final score of 1-6 to 0-4. An early loss to the MacCumhaill’s side was manifested through an arm injury for Liam Kelly was met with Seamus McKelvey stepping in. The first half saw both sides maintaining a balance on the scoreboard, with a last minute point before the whistle from Kilcar’s Des Houlihane set the board at 0-4 to MacCumhaills, 0-3 to Kilcar. Six minutes into the second half, careful possession and placement allowed MacCumhaills to earn a solid goal, an attack followed up by Harry Laverty’s 14-yard point. Des Houlihane of Kilcar responded by earning another point for his side. The Kilcar attack came into full force but were stopped by John Dan McMenamin at the goal line. Following a point from Harry Laverty’s 45, Frankie McFeely pegged the final point to earn MacCumhaills’ second county title.
Returning to Letterkenny in 1964, MacCumhaills took on Dungloe for yet another county win, MacCumhaills demonstrating significant domination over the match, ending with a clear cut win of 1-11 to 1-3.
Scores opened with a Dungloe point from Joe Joyce in the second minute. This was met in kind with Frank McFeely’s play to Tom McMenamin who ended the run with a point. A barrage of attacks from MacCumhaills led to the half time scores at 0-6 to 0-1.
MacCumhaill’s ’62 – Joe Leeper, Michael Laverty, John D. McMenamin, Bernard Laverty, Paddy Finnerty, Jim Fleming, Brendan McFeely, Liam Doherty, Frankie McFeely, Dan McCool, Andy Gallen, Harry Laverty (capt.), Tommy McMenamin, Jackie Reilly, Tommy Sweeney. Subs – Seamus Given for Joe Leper, Michael Sweeney for Tommy Sweeney.
MacCumhaill’s ’63 – Joe Leeper, Mickey Laverty, John Dan McMenamin, Eamonn McGroarty, Dan McCool, Connie Houston, Brendan McFeely, Frankie McFeely, Liam Kelly, Michael Doherty, Ian Farren, Harry Laverty, Hugh Temple, Sean Young, Tom McMenamin. Sub – Seamus McKelvey for Liam Kelly
MacCumhaill’s ’64 – Joe Leeper, Mickey Laverty, John Dan McMenamin, Eamonn McGroarty, Dan McCool, Connie Houston, Liam Kelly, Brendan McFeely, Sean Young, Tom McMenamin, Frankie McFeely, Tom Prendergast, Harry Laverty, Jackie Reilly, Bernard Laverty.