Moorefield Gathering 2013

Written by admin. Posted in Over the Years

Published on November 17, 2013 with

On Saturday night (16th November) we held a celebration of the

1962  Senior Football and 1963 Senior Hurling

Championship Victories 

On the night members of the winning teams or family representatives were presented with a framed picture of the winning team to celebrate the 50th Anniversaries.

It was a fantastic night in Moorefield where members of the teams spoke fondly of their many great memories of their playing years with Moorefield. 

Thanks to Johnny Peter and Gavin Duane for entertaining the crowd, a great night was had by all. 







for MOOREFIELD in 1963
In the long and illustrious history of the Moorefield GAA club, founded in 1882 as the J J O’Kellys club, 1963 will go down in the record books as its most significant ever on the playing fields. Because it was in that year that Moorefield annexed both senior football and hurling titles, albeit that the football final was for the 1962 championship while the hurling was for 1963 title.
And why was the final not played in 1962? Let the story unfold!
Having accounted for Athy in the first round of the championship by 5-8 to 0-3, a victory over Rathangan in the second round left the way clear for a semi-final clash with old rivals Kilcock in Naas. After a great game before a huge crowd, the match was a draw at 1-9 each. The replay, again in the county town venue, Moorefield triumphed by one point, 1-6 to 1-5, after a very tough encounter.
After an objection and a counter objection Leinster Council ordered a replay The match was again fixed for Naas in April 1963 and, after a great contest, ended in another draw at 0-9 each. Moorefield were victorious in the second replay outscoring Kilcock by 2-8 to 1-4.
After a lapse of 60 years since their only previous appearance in a county final – against Clane in 1902 – Moorefield were determined to win their first Kildare senior title. The game against Kilcullen attracted a huge attendance in anticipation of a great battle, as the Leinster Leader of 18 May reported: “For the first ten minutes of the 1962 senior football championship final at Droichead Nua on Sunday spectators had visions of an epic encounter but the best wine came at the beginning and for the remainder of the match the superiority of the Droichead Nua side was too marked to lend anything more than passive interest to the long postponed encounter.”
The Newbridge side ran out easy winners by 2-11 to 0-2 in a disappointing match. Ten of that team wore the Kildare jersey including Toss McCarthy for 14 years, Paddy Moore for 10, Jimmy Cummins and Dinny Craddock for six each, Jimmy Dowling for five, Joe Moran for four and Harry Fay of Wicklow fame for three.
Hurling Honours for the Moores
Moorefield had only one Kildare senior hurling title (1943) to their credit when they embarked on a title-winning run in the 1963 championship. With 14 players who donned the all-white shirt, they were confident of ultimate success.
In setting out their stall in the final against Broadford, Moorefield’s greatest asset was their fine teamwork and this was very apparent in attack especially where scores were registered from passing movements.
According to the Leader report, “Broadford had slightly the better of the exchanges at the start, but could not translate this into scores, due to a superb display by the Moorefield defence, brilliantly led by Harry Fay.
On the other hand, the winners with fewer chances notched valuable points from far out to give them the edge. Broadford needed a goal to give them confidence, but having failed to register this score much of the sting went out of their attack after the first quarter and it was left to their defence from then on to bear the brunt of the exchanges.”
After the first quarter, Moorefield took control in all sectors and ran out good winners by 1-10 to 0-3. Four of the footballers (Jimmy Dowling, Joe Moran, Harry Fay and Paddy Moore) were part of the hurling team. And six of the hurlers played football with the Lily Whites.


Leinster Leader, Saturday, October 12, 1963



A fine defence built around Harry Fay, who was an excellent centre-back, saw Moorefield through to their first ever senior hurling final against a fancied Suncroft side at Droichead Nua on Sunday.

Time and again, in the second half, especially when Suncroft had the pressure on, the Moorefield defence rose to great heights each of the sides excelling in turn.

Harry Fay broke up many dangerous raids down the centre with long well directed clearances, and, whenever he was by-passed, “Ba” Dowling and Paddy Moore in the full back line came storming outfield with the ball.

The severest critic could find little fault with the standard of play. Both sides deserve the highest credit for their performance under such adverse weather. It was indeed a pity that the losers should have gone under by a solitary point as a draw would have been a worthy result if a replay could be staged on a day conducive of good hurling.

High praise is due to both sides for their sportsmanship under difficult conditions. While marking was close and the issue very much in the balance until the final whistle there was no rancour in the heated exchanges.

Full marks too to referee Ger Tiernan from Kildare town, who spared the whistle as much as possible, but nevertheless gave full indication that he was in control of every situation throughout.


The game opened on a lively note with Suncroft forcing the pace. Moorefield defence was under pressure and not found wanting. Tom Connell at full back kept rolling back the attacks. But Suncroft had two narrow wides in quick succession from O’Brien and Phelan.

Mick Leahy cut through on a good run to shoot Moorefield’s first point. Liam Sherry added an opportunist goal but Suncroft struck back for Mick Cunningham to flash home a grand goal.

Excitement was high and play even for a long period. Forwards on both sides were not favoured by conditions and there was no room for fancy play. Harry Fay with a sixty yards free delighted Moorefield supporters as he shot straight and true to the net for the best goal of the day. Mick Costello, Suncroft, replied with a point from a 70, and the same player later landed a great goal from a long distance free to emulate Fay’s effort.

The winners’ full-forward line combined well to notch a further goal six minutes before the inteval which gave them great confidence. Suncroft changed their goalkeeper at this stage and fought back strongly for Derry Noonan to shoot a point on the run, being well placed by Pearson.

Mick Costello added a further point from a free before the break to leave the winners just two points to the good, 3-2 to 2-3.


Both sides made positional changes at the interval, but the move that saw Moorefield through was bringing Tom O’Connell from full-back to midfield, with Paddy Moore reverting to right full-back. Moore, not so much in the game in the first half, was a tower of strength in defence, while O’Connell showed all his brilliance outfield, where his long, well directed drives gave the loser’s defence a busy time.

It was an up and down battle with both sides all out to gain the initiative. Moorefield had a number of wides before they registered the only score of this half when a midfield free by O’Connell was flashed across the goal by Mick Leahy and Sherry was on hand to finish it to the net at the three-quarters stage.

Derry Noonan had cut the lead to a point after ten minutes, so this goal proved a tonic to the winners. A spell of Suncroft pressure was rewarded when a free by Mick Costello was finished to the net seven minutes from the end to leave a point in the difference again.

Substitute goalie Joe Kiely brought off a series of great saves for the losers and their defence conceded two 70’s in succession before Suncroft lost a great chance of the equalizer at least, when Costello and Pearson were barely wide in turn.

A fine well-contested game ended on a high note with Suncroft attacking and the final whistle a welcome relief to a harassed Moorefield defence.


Tony Breen in the Moorefield goal brought off a few fine saves and had splendid protection from Jim “Ba” Dowling, Ned Goff, Tom Connell and Paddy Moore in turn. As stated previously, Harry Fay was tops at centre half back, giving his best performance to date. Jim Barker on his right was back to his best form while Colm Ruffley, although opposed to a speedy elusive forward in Billy Pearson, also had his moments.

Stephen Schwer played with great dash and determination at midfield throughout, and was at his best when partnered by Tom Connell in the second half.

The winners’ attack was not on par with the rest of the side, but in fairness to them they were opposed to a strong defence and were not suited by the conditions.

Mick Leahy was very prominent early on but faded towards the close. He landed two very well taken points and also had a hand in two goals. Liam Sherry as usual proved an opportunist, while Davy Dennis and substitute Timmy Durney were the pick of the remainder.

Suncroft were extremely well served by Joe Kiely who took over goalkeeping from Fintan Morrissey before the interval. Tom Bolger, Paddy Costigan, Mick Phelan, Noel Commins and Frank Fogarty, who moved to centre-back at half-time could not be faulted in defence. Mick Costigan was a top class midfielder and accurate free taker.

Leinster Leader, Saturday 9 November, 1963
Greatest Asset Was Fine Teamwork
Moorefield in their second year in senior ranks brought the Kildaremen’s Association Cup to Droichead Nua for the first time with a very convincing win over Broadford at Naas on Sunday. After the first quarter, Moorefield took control in all sectors and ran out good winners. Their margin of victory would have been far greater but for the brilliant goalkeeping of Johnny Mangan.
Broadford had slightly the better of the exchanges at the start, but could not translate this into scores, due to a superb display by the Moorefield defence, brilliantly led by Harry Fay.
On the other hand, the winners with fewer chances notched valuable points from far out to give them the edge. Broadford needed a goal to give them confidence, but having failed to register this score much of the sting went out of their attack after the first quarter and it was left to their defence from then on to bear the brunt of the exchanges.
Moorefield’s greatest asset was their fine teamwork and this was very apparent in attack especially where scores were registered from passing movements.
Mick Leahy was top scorer with seven points (two from frees), but he had excellent support from Davy Dennis, Mick Monahan and Stephen Schwer in particular, who provided the openings.
Tom O’Connell was in sparkling form at midfield, ably assisted by Paddy Moore, and it was their domination in this sector which brought about Broadford’s greatest difficulties. Star of a very solid defence was Harry Fay, whose lengthy clearances and shrewd positional sense proved an inspiration to his colleagues.
Jim Barker on his right also had one of his finest hours and played a big part in success. Jim (“Ba”) Dowling and Joe Moran were also prominent under pressure.
Game Battle
In addition to goalie Johnny Mangan, the star of the Broadford team, Ted Duffy, Owen Malone and Sean Mooney battled gamely in defence. John Cummins and Joe Lynam tried hard at midfield throughout, while in attack only Joe Ennis proved a threat with scoring efforts.
Moorefield’s total was compiled by Mick Leahy (0-7), Billy Quinn (1-0), Mick Monahan (0-2) and Davy Dennis (0-1) with Joe Ennis (0-2) and J. Lynam (0-1) replying for Broadford. Referee, John Kelly (Suncroft) had excellent control over a sporting, well conducted contest.
Moorefield: Tony Breen, Joe Moran, Ned Goff, Jim Dowling Jim Barker, Harry Fay, Colm Ruffley, Paddy Moore, Tom O’Connell, Davy Dennis (capt), Stephen Schwer, Mick Monahan, Mick Leahy, Art Kiely, Liam Sherry. Subs: Billy Quinn for A. Kiely, Hugh Byrne for J. Sherry.
Broadford: J. Mangan, S. Mooney, P. Gorry, S. Leonard, O. Malone, T. Duffy, S. Hynes, J. Lynam, J. Cummins, J. Ennis, M. Conlon, J. Flood, S. Conway, D. Thornton, S. Hackett.


Leinster Leader, Saturday 6 October, 1962


Moorefield 1-9 Kilcock 1-9

Opportunity knocks but once. How that was proved in Naas on Sunday when Moorefield and Kilcock met in the replay of the semi-final of the county senior football championship.

At the first meeting it was the Droichead Nua side who just managed to gain a return after being led al the way but on Sunday they took full advantage of the second chance. They were again early in arrears – Frank Caffrey shot a goal for Kilcock two minutes after the throw-in – but recovered well and making much better use of openings, they cut down the lead.

Then with a dramatic goal seconds before the interval, they shot ahead and were in front on the scoreboard to the final whistle which saw them deserving winners.
Deserving winners because:
• they took fractionally better advantage of the scoring chances;
• maintained throughout a slight pull at centre field;
• their backs were equal to the best efforts of the men of the north.

The pull at centre field was, perhaps, their biggest asset. It was here that so much of Kilcock’s hopes rested in Peter Maguire but Peter, enjoying anything but top form, never made any real impression n the game.

His opponent, Toss McCarthy played a very live role in the trend of the hour, however, and his heroic efforts around here – well helped by Pat Moore – with his assistance to defence and attack were prime factors in the Moorefield victory.

Despite the undoubted effect the centre field exchanges had on the game, the hour was mainly noted notable for displays in the back divisions and some flashing thrusts by Moorefield wing halves Harry Fay and Paddy Anderson. Fay also operated at centre half where he had some rare tussles with Kilcock’s Billy Maguire.

Joe Moran was the star of the Moorefield defence and he completely subdued Larry McCormack. Jimmy Cummins was much improved since the first meeting of the teams and full-back Ned Goff was extremely sound.

The game opened startlingly as Kilcock jumped into a goal lead two minutes after the referee, Kevin Burke, threw in the ball. A 14-yards free was hammered to the net by Frank Caffrey but Moorefield replied within 90 seconds as Paddy Anderson pointed after receiving a pass from Harry Fay.

Caffrey also had the next score, a point, after a lovely solo down the left wing, a pass to Joe Murray and a return. On this 1-1 Kilcock parked until the interval before which they had lost the lead.

Fay shaved the Kilcock lead to a point when converting frees in the 16th and 22nd minutes – he missed two in the 17th and 20th from 21 and 14 yards – and laid the groundwork for Moorefield’s ultimate success just before the interval. Jinking in from the left wing he slipped two defenders and left footed centred on to the parallelogram where 14-stone Ray Clinton, who two minutes earlier had shot inches wide, gained recompense as his punch flew over goalkeeper Tommy Hanrahan’s grasping fingers.

This goal gave Moorefield a lead they were never to lose. But they did not have the luxury of tenure of a final place until the long whistle had sounded. Until the end of the rugged hour, laced with bright football and moments of drama despite an extremely heavy shower at half-time, Kilcock were there with a better than average chance.

Kicking wide three times after the restart did not help them any and, in ascendant spell between the 9th and 12th minutes, Moorefield moved nearer the laurels with three points. In the 13th and 14th minutes Kilcock narrowed the four-point lead to two per Bernie O’Rourke and Joe Murray but try as they would they could get only one more point five minutes from time.

Each goal had its narrow escapes in the last quarter as excitement reached its highest; Moorefield forwards, too acutely angled to shoot for scores, kicked right across the Kilcock goal three times in trying to land on the parallelogram while at the other end two punched balls and one booted were saved inside ten seconds of the 18th minute.

Very exciting at times with some good football and Moorefield narrowly averting extra-time with a save from Larry McCormack two minutes from the end, the game showed considerable improvement on the initial meeting of the sides.

Scores for Moorefield were H Fay, 0-4 from frees; R Clinton, 1-0; J Farrell and P Anderson, 0-1 each. Kilcock’s scores came from F Czaffrey, 1-1; goal from free; Murray, 0-2; S O’Rourke an F Gibbons, 0-1 each.

Moorefield: T Breen, J Gibson, E Goff, M Behan, J Cummins, J Moran, D Craddock, P Moore, T McCarthy, H Fay, P Whyte, P Anderson, J Farrell, R Clinton, J Dowling. Sub: W Quinn for Farrell.
Kilcock: T Hanrahan, M O’Malley, P Kane, B O’Connell, P Gibbons, W Maguire, G Griffin, P Maguire, F Caffrey, S O’Rourke, L McCormack, P Flynn, J Murray, P Gibbons, Pat Maguire. Sub: J Daly for Pat Maguire.

Two more replays followed before Moorefield qualified for the final, their first in 60 years.
Leinster Leader, Saturday, May 18, 1963
Moorefield 2-11; Kilcullen 0-2
For the first ten minutes of the 1962 senior football championship final at Droichead Nua on Sunday spectators had visions of an epic encounter but the best wine came at the beginning and for the remainder of the match the superiority of the Droichead Nua side was too marked to lend anything more than passive interest to the long postponed encounter. Moorefield won easily and fully deserved the victory but full marks to Kilcullen for a game display against a vastly better side. While the result of the game was generally anticipated, for the first ten minutes it looked as if Kilcullen were all set to fill the role of giant killers in this opening period they fielded beautifully, passed adroitly and combined so well generally that they looked a better team than the home side, rattled and unsettled by the unexpected co-ordination and speed of the visitors.
But the picture changed completely in the thirteenth minute when a high shot from Moorefield sharp-shooter Harry Fay found the back of the Kilcullen net. From then on Moorefield were always shaping the better and at half time it was obvious that only a miracle would prevent the Droichead Nua team from winning their first ever senior football title. But Kilcullen battled back and a ball which seemed to have the defence well beaten dropped in a muddy patch on the goal line and was scrambled clear. And the visiting defence was best during this period when many Moorefield raids were broken up or cleared. The fact that Moorefield had eleven wides in the first half was by no means entirely due to inaccurate shooting but was to a great extent brought about by the wholehearted efforts and close policing of the Kilcullen defence.
Kilcullen had only three wides in the first half and one of them was from a 14-yards free almost directly in front of the goalmouth. After the interval positional changes were noted on the Kilcullen lineout but they proved of little avail against the rival side which became more the masters as the second half progressed.
In retrospect, the outcome of the game came as no surprise, for the Moorefield team, even on paper, seemed to outclass the opposition so completely that their victory was assured. Yet all honour to Kilcullen for a valiant effort, especially in the early stages. This was their first venture in senior standard for a number of years and they did well to reach the county final and put up such a spirited display against a side with the services of three county regulars and quite a number of “possibles” for All White jerseys. While Moorefield shaped the better in all sectors their greatest asset lay in attack where Fay, McCarthy and Farrell were outstanding. Fay was particularly accurate on most occasions and McCarthy using his weight and undoubted football “brains” and experience to play a captain’s part in his comparatively new role as centre forward. In the centre, Paddy Moore and Paddy Anderson had the edge on Tom Connell and Shamie Aspell, although at times Moore found himself with his hands full trying to cope with the resourceful Kilcullen captain, Connell.
Joe Moran, Jimmy Cummins, and Jim McDermott were most noted in a sound Moorefield defence and one must again record the fine efforts of Jimmy Cummins, surely one of the best “small men” in football in the province to-day. For Kilcullen, full-back, Jim Barker had a great game and he was ably assisted in the defence by B. Doyle and B. Duffy. In the circumstances, the midfield pairing of Connell and Aspell did quite well, while in attack the Mitchell brothers, J. Kelly and C. Aspell did well.
The Play
Moorefield opened the scoring when McCarthy sent over in the third minute but the advantage was short lived as Kilcullen shaping really well, stormed back and C. Mitchell sent over the bar from a free. Kilcullen continued to press without avail and the next score, in the thirteenth minute, was a Moorefield point punched over by John Farrell. Seconds later came Harry Fay’s grand goal, and sustained Moorefield pressure brought points from Fay (18th minute) and McCarthy (21st)) before Sean Lambe sent over for Kilcullen in the 24th minute.
Moorefield were soon rampant again and had points from Fay (26th) and McCarthy (29th) to leave the interval score – Moorefield 1-6, Kilcullen 0-2. It was very much a case of one-way traffic in the second half with Moorefield always on top and their rivals mounting only occasional and ineffective attacks. Seven minutes after re-start, Dowling sent Moorefield further ahead with a point, a minute later McCarthy punched another and in the 14th minute Clinton had a Moorefield goal. Moorefield were then complete masters to the end, further scores coming from Fay who had three points to leave the final tally Moorefield, 2-11; Kilcullen, 0-2.

Moorefield – D. Craddock, F. Whyte, M. Behan, J. McDermott, J. Cummins, J. Moran, D. Stapleton, P. Moore, P. Anderson, R. Clinton, T. McCarthy, J. Dowling, J. Farrell, H. Fay, J. Gibson.

Kilcullen – T. Lynch, S. Schwer, J. Barker, N. Emanuel, B. Doyle, B. Duffy, T. Aspell, T. Connell, S. Aspell, G. Mitchell, H, Mitchell, J. Kelly, S. Lambe, C. Aspell, M. Lambe. Sub – M. Kennedy for Emanuel. Referee – Kevin Burke.