Sunday 21 January 2018

Carlow salute their heroes of '65

Carlow Rugby Club members had a night of nostalgia and celebration last Friday when heroes of the past gathered together in the Oakpark clubhouse to mark special Provincial Towns Cup Anniversaries.

Pride of place went to the team who won the Provincial Towns Cup in 1965 as this year marks the 50th anniversary of this achievement. That group of players had also won the coveted trophy in 1957 and 1961 in what was a golden period for rugby in Carlow.

Five of the 1965 team have passed on and are missed by all that knew and loved them. These are Peter O'Gorman, Austin Lalor, who captained the side, Harold Ardill (still in Kilkenny College in 1965), Jim Oliver and Hugh Handcock. Of the 10 members still living, eight attended the Anniversary Dinner.

Rugby in 1965 was a different game to today. A try was only worth three points. There was no lineout lifting. You could kick directly into touch from all parts. Nevertheless, the Towns Cup was then, as it is now, the Holy Grail for provincial rugby. Even allowing for the phenomenon of "the older I get the better I used to be", it was acknowledged at the Carlow dinner that the 1965 team was multi-talented. And their contribution to rugby in Carlow continued well past their playing days.

Irish Independent

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