Feakle’s Paddy Loughnane was the hero of the hour with five goals in Clare’s only replay win over Cork, writes Joe Ó Muircheartaigh.
12 July, 1936
Clare 9-1 Cork 2-3
@ The Gaelic Grounds, Limerick
FOR the script of 1936 where Clare and Cork are concerned, you could read the drawn All-Ireland final of three weeks ago.
It’s the first game between two – July 5 in Semple Stadium and Clare have had the whip hand over Cork for most of the game. With full-forward and captain Paddy Loughnane in sparkling form, bagging three goals they look to be on their way to a semi-final meeting with Tipperary as the lead going into the last ten minutes by 4-3 to 2-7.
However, Cork look like winning the day when a goal by John Kenneally in the 51st minute puts them two points clear. It looks lost for Clare only for a late, late strike by Cratloe’s PJ Quain to save the day.
The Saturday Record reported that “Quain, breaking away, added the equalising point, amidst tremendous cheering”, something Domhnall O’Donovan would get to know all about 76 years later.
It brought the sides together again seven days later with The Saturday Record exhorting Clare to “start quickly boys, you have taken their measure, you have put failure behind you”.
They did just that, thundering to a 19-point win in their greatest ever performance against the Rebels, with captain Paddy Loughnane again leading the way from the edge of the square, this time hitting five goals in a tour de force over the 60 minutes.
“There is little use in stressing the obvious,” thundered The Saturday Record. “I have exhausted all my parts of speech extolling the qualities of this Clare senior hurling side and candidly I hardly know where to begin or leave off after Sunday’s whirlwind.
“Whirlwind in weather, and whirlwind in excelsis, in hurling it was with a vengeance. It simply takes our breath away to think of it. Nothing like it was expected, although I felt confident of a three-goal win. It was a hurricane from start to finish.
“The Clare side stepped off their toes against that blinding rain storm confident and undismayed by the many forebodings of evil in which our expert critics indulged, during the previous week,” the Record added.
Clare led by 3-0 to 2-2 at half-time – their slender advantage built on Loughnane’s poaching instincts in front of goal and a stonewall defence in which his Feakle clubmate Flan Purcell excelled.
“Harrington, Blake and McGrath were simply powerful, flailing that ball form the wet sod with astonishing vigour,” noted the Record. “Behind them crouched and determined, pranced Purcell with Griffin lying shoulder-to-shoulder with his man. No quaking in those Clare defence men. There they stood, keen, solid, watchful – no quailing,” it added.
Another Loughnane goal soon after half-time had Clare on their way, with The Clare Champion reporting that “with a two goals lead the Clare team found the blood of victory tingling in their veins” as “Cork’s traditional luck in replays did not hold”.
That was putting it mildly as Clare cantered to victory, with The Saturday Record saying, “that’s the story boys, and I hope you appreciate the merit of this bunch of boys who have honoured your county and your race”.
The same line can apply after Saturday, as Clare go in search of their first replay win over Cork in 76 years.
Pappy O’Callaghan (O’Callaghan’s Mills), Michael Griffin (Clarecastle), Flan Purcell (Feakle), Paddy McGrath (Feakle), Mick O’Halloran (Clooney), Larry Blake (Ennis Dalcassians), Sean Harrington (Feakle), Michael Hennessy (Clooney), John Jones (Scariff), Jim Houlihan (Tulla), Jim Mullane (Clonlara), Jack Quirke (Ennis Dalcassians), Paddy Loughnane (Feakle), Michael Power (Clooney), PJ Quain (Cratloe).
M Casey, D Dorgan, T Kiely, J Lynch, P Collins, J Horgan, T Murphy, D Cogan, P Dowling, J Barrett, C Buckley, M Brennan, W Driscoll, B Barrett.
Willie Gleeson (Limerick)