FREEMOUNT roll back the years for a nostalgic blast from the past on remembering their first win in the Duhallow Junior Hurling Championship. Those vivid memories from 1988 will be recalled at a function in the Springfort Hall on Sunday, December 29.
Hunger is a great sauce and Freemount had dollops of it, crucially when it came to a replay deciding the outcome against Kilbrin in the decider. Of course, Freemount were affiliated to Avondhu division for a number of years yet immersed with Duhallow from its initial set up. Clubman Frank Hayes became the first Duhallow Board Chairman in 1933.
Just over a decade late, Freemount shifted to Avondhu in 1944 and remained there for thirty years. Apart from reaching a number of Junior finals, Freemount relied on the novice grade for silverware.
A return to Duhallow in 1974 co-incided with the opening of their GAA ground where a focus on underage talent yielded the 1983 U21 title follow by a Singleton Cup.
That provided the spur to go in search of the biggest prize in Duhallow hurling. Not since 1935 under the guise of Ceap Rovers had a Freemount side previously contested a decider. Excitement mounted ahead of a return to a Duhallow divisional final and Freemount escaped with a share of the spoils against Kilbrin in Kanturk to a game that finished at 1-11 apiece for the first draw since 1957.
And a thrilling replay was suitably embellished by excellent hurling, the accuracy of Damien Keane offsetting a John Sheahan goal for Kilbrin to allow Freemount lead by the minimum of margins at the break.
Kilbrin appeared to redouble their efforts upon the restart to jump ahead. Still a hungry Freemount held firm, their touch and decision making was first class that brought about a hurling fluency to create chances, none more so than a Martin Enright goal.
As Kilbrin came in search of an equalising goal, the decibel levels rose yet Freemount had the scent of victory once Michael John O'Regan hit over the insurance score to allow team captain John O'Flynn lift aloft the prized silverware to confirm a new name on the roll of honour much to the delight of jubilant supporters.
For the record the teams lined out as:
Freemount: Pat Keane, Mick O Sullivan, John O Connor, Pat Larkin, Pat O Callaghan, John O Flynn, Liam O Flynn,Damien Keane, Mossy O Callaghan, Tim Mullane, Liam Noonan, Francis Keane, Martin Enright, Jim Casey, Timmy Coleman Subs: Larry Browne for M. Enright, Padraig Goulding for Timmy Coleman
Kilbrin: Jerh Aherne, Brendan Barrett, Pat O Reilly, Jessie O Callaghan, Mick O Donoghue, John O Donoghue, Bill Cashman,Jim O Reilly, Tim Cronin, John Sheehan, Donal Sheehan, Dan O Sullivan, Donie O Mahony, Stephen O Reilly, Brian Aherne Subs: Pat Breen for B. Aherne, Tom O Riordan for P. Breen
Referee: Richard Murphy (Lyre)