2021 Beale Club History

Club of the Week  Beale  by Brid Griffin, Secretary of Beale G A A.

The Beale Club as we know it today did not come into existence until 1971 and in its lifespan so far has achieved fantastic success both in North Kerry and County competitions. The Clubs first success came in 1973 winning the North Kerry Junior Championship and their first senior success came in 1977 when the won the Bernard O Callaghan Memorial senior football championship which was to be the first of their 3-in-a-row bid, which reached a total of eight success’s in total. So this week we dwell on how the two-in-a-row petered out.
So the hunt for back-to- back North Kerry Championship titles began in 1978. Beale came through the quarter final with two points to spare over Ballylongford. Emmets were their opponents in the semi-final but the game was abandoned due to water-logging on the Ballylongford pitch. In the re-fixture, Beale emerged convincing winners.

Moyvane provided the opposition in the final in Finuge on December 17th. Beale manager, Bernie O’Callaghan, had secured the use of the thatched house of the Sheehan brothers (Ned Joe, Patrick and Tom, who lived near Finuge Cross), for the Beale team to tog out in comfort and privacy of the huge old-styled kitchen. The Finuge club were hosting two games that day and, with only two dressing rooms available, there was a real possibility of congestion in the dressing room area.
Owen McCroughan, Kerry team masseur, was on hand to give the Beale team a rub down before the game. The teams were led on to the pitch by the Ballybunion Pipe Band and James Chassie Cronin was the man in charge of the whistle.
While Beale emerged victorious by 1-9, to 0-8, the result was in doubt right up to the final whistle.
Seamus O’Neill; wrote the following in his match report in The Kerryman: "Although they were the better team over the hour, the game had actually gone into extra time before Beale made sure of victory with a peach of a point from full-forward, Dods Liston, to be quickly followed by a cheeky, but well-taken, goal by scorer-in-chief, Mike Shanahan.”
At half-time, Beale led by 0-5 to 0-4 and the fact that all their scores came from frees is a fair indication of the closeness of the marking. Scores were level four times in all; three times in the first half. O’Neill further reported: “Looking at this game, as a neutral observer, it was obvious that Moyvane meant to stop the Bomber Liston at any costs and at least three of their players could have received marching orders. Otherwise, the game was a very hard, close and exciting tussle with very tight marking, which meant very little open football.”

The Beale lineout was: Tony Griffin, Tom Griffin, Liam Browne, Tom Hayes (captain), Tim Griffin, Gearóid Griffin, Ogie Moran, Pádraic Liston, Mike Joyce, Jimmy King, Eoin Liston, Tom McMahon, Mike Shanahan, Donal Liston and Joe Casey. Substitutes: Paddy O’Connor for Casey, Pádraig Murphy, Gerry Casey and Tim Joe Griffin. The Moyvane panel included B Carroll, M Flaherty, J McEnery, B Sexton, J Moloney, M Mulvihill, E Fitzmaurice, J Mulvihill, S Walsh, E Sweeney, T Keane, S Kennelly, S Beaton, Paddy Mulvihill, Colm O'Callaghan and Donal Mulvihill.
Tom Woulfe, former vice-president of Beale GAA Club, shared his memory of this final. “The enduring passion that that 1925 ‘goal’ generated, when Newtown, in the opinion of our side, was credited with a questionable goal against Faha, came home to me with a bang at a North Kerry final between Beale and Moyvane in Finuge in 1978. In that Finuge game, Beale were holding on grimly to a one-point lead as extra time beckoned, when a glint of light appeared in the Moyvane defence and sharp as a hawk diving on its prey, Beale delivered the killer punch.
An ageing spectator behind me nearly knocked me out as he became airborne. His scream of frenzied exultation, wind assisted, could have caused an echo on the Cliffs of Dooneen. As he came to himself and with gritted teeth, he announced to all who were prepared to listen ‘that makes up for the 1925 goal that never was’. So I asked him to tell me about the 1925 episode, as if I hadn’t heard all about it many a time, whereupon he spelt it out in minute detail. As an afterthought of no consequence he added ‘of course, I wasn’t at the game!’”

The following week Beale under-21s made it a back-to-back North Kerry Championship double. They defeated St Senans in the semi-final, by 1-8 to 1-3. The final was played in Finuge on Christmas Eve and a much-fancied Ballydonoghue side provided the opposition. Both teams served up a top class game and Beale emerged victorious by 2-10 to 1-8. The team and substitutes were Tony Griffin, John McCarthy, Liam Browne, James Griffin, Tim Griffin, Ted Griffin, Pádraig Murphy, Eoin Liston, Leo Griffin, Harry, Sheehan, Gerry Casey, Jimmy King, TJ McCarran, Paddy O’Connor and John Griffin. Substitutes: Roger Conroy, Liam Lynch, Brendan O’Connor, Kevin Keane and John Enright. Many of these players went onto form the backbone of the super Beale team of the late 1970s and 1980s.