2021 Knockanure Club History

CLUB OF THE WEEK. With Club Secretary Willie Joe Leahy and John Looney.

Knockanure football is almost as old as the G A A itself, as it is recorded as having played in the 1890 Senior County Championship. A conference of athletes and others interested in the G A A was held in 1900 and Knockanure was represented by M. Leahy and Patrick O Connor.  Knockanure played in the County Senior Championship and also the Listowel tournament in 1901. They defeated Ballylongford in the first round of the Championship but were defeated by Tralee in the quarter finals. Some of the players were; Tom L Leahy, captain, Patrick O Connor, Martin O Connor, S. Kelly, J. Kennery, Jermiah Fitzmaurice, M. Stack, Billy Keane, B. O Connor and Paddy Scanlon. In the period 1927-48 Knockanure played in various North Kerry competitions and tournaments. In 1938 the team was; Larry Collins, ? O Connor, Con O Connor, Paddy Kearney, Jack Stokes, Connie Joe Mulvihill, Timmy Relihan, Pat Flavin, Jack Nash, Connie Buckley, Mikie Finucane, John Mikie O Connor, Patrick Finucane, Jack Leahy, Johnny Jimmy O Connor. In the next few years emigration took its toll and the club struggled to get 15 players on the field of play. This drain on playing members forced the club into merger with part of Duagh parish “Islandanny” to form a tean known as “Kilmorna Ramblers” in 1949, but having failed at the semi final stage to Finuge in that years championship the combination split up, and reverted to Knockanure once again for the 1950 campaign. The 50s once again proved a lean period; the highlight s been the contesting of the 1953 final against Listowel, Emmets resulting in defeat. During this period Jackie “Baker” Enright, Fr. Tom McMahon, and Fr. Paddy Larkin all represented Knocknure and various County Championships. On the administrative side Tom Flavin was Vice Chairman of the North Kerry Board from the 1952 t0 56 period, as well as been an active and popular referee within the division and also at County Championship level. The 60s were to prove rather disasterous culminating in 1966 with the decision to discontinue in North Kerry football. The only highlight at this stage was the selection of local players Jim Collins on the Kerry Minor team of 1967, he thus becoming the firs Knocjanure man to wear the County colours. The Club was revived in 1973 under the Chairmanship of Willie Finucane and success was last achieved on the 9th of December 1973 in Ballybunion, when the North Kerry Junior Championship was won by defeating a strong Ballylongford selection.A remarkable feature of this team was the selection of 3 sets of brothers with the Collins providing 4 members, Frank, Jim, Maurice and Patsy, two Stacks Willie and Brendan, and the O Connor twins Pat and Michael.After this the Club fell on lean times and victories were few. In 1977 things took a turn for the better when Knockanure took the North Kerry Minor League Division 2 title. A star player on this team was Johnny Stack. From then the club went through a valley period, until 1884 under the tutelage of Trainer Connie Riordan, the club had its greatest victory when lifting the Division 4 league title, beating great rivals Leanamore. This was the first defeat suffered by Leanamore in the 10 consecutive games and they having beaten Knocknure earlier in the year, were strongly fancied to win. However powered by 5 veterans from the  1973 triumph, Knocknure upset all the odds with a magnificent display and carried the day by 5pts. This was a fitting reward for the players, coming as it did in Centenary year, for the effort and commitment shown by them. 1984 was the start of a very successful period for Knocknure. Three-in-a-row North Kerry Championships were won in 1986/87 and 88. There were also victories in the North Kerry League. Murphy Cup and Novice Championship culminating with back to back victories in the Novice championship in 2005 and 2006. This was followed by lean periods when players were scarce and was often difficult to field a team. However, in the past few years the Committee Chairman kevin Stack, Secretary Willie Joe Leahy, Assistant Secretary Cathy Finucane, Treasurer Alex McMahon and North Kerry Board Delegate Paudie Flavin have done Trojan work. The pitch has been drained and resurfaced and the surrounding are and clubhouse refurbished. There is also plans for a walkway around the pitch. The great work done in the local school by Julieanne Donegan and her staff and is paying dividends and puple numbers greatly increased. So with excellent facilities and plenty of new talent we are confident that the glory days will return to Knocknure before long.