Football History

Football History


Kilworth were first affiliated as a football club in 1928 and the following year played their first championship game when they were beaten by Mitchelstown. Whilst the game continued to be played in the village for the following years it wasn’t until 1964 that a first success was recorded.

That year, having lost to Mitchelstown by a point in the Junior Hurling championship, a greater effort was placed on football and the team, captained by John Carey, made it to the North Cork Novice Final which was played in Shanballymore. On the day, Kilworth who were coached by Dermot Costello proved to be much superior to the men from the Sons of Liberty club to run out deserving winners in a somewhat one sided game.

Novice Football North Cork Champions – 1964

Having re-graded to Novice football after a number of years in the Junior A grade, Kilworth, captained by Lar Flynn, fought their way back to the North Cork final of 1972 which was played in Buttevant. The opposition on the day were a hotly fancied Clyda Rovers team and Kilworth did very well to be on level terms at the break. Two early second half goals from Bill Kiersey and Sean Long gave Kilworth some breathing space however the men from Clyda Rovers refused to give in and played some excellent football to take the lead by 1-09 to 2-05 with only 5 minutes remaining. The newspaper report on the game recorded a crucial passage of play at this point with the Kilworth net minder Sean O Callaghan pulling off a point blank save. From the resulting clearance the ball made its way to Dan Fenton whose delivery was fisted to the net by Sean Long for the crucial score in a 3-05 to 1-09 victory for Kilworth.

A further 9 years later, Kilworth made their way to the Junior B Football final of 1981 against Ballyhooly. At a rain lashed Castletownroche, the nickname Two-Four was born as Kilworth sharpshooter Ger Griffen scored all of Kilworths scores in a hard fought 2-04 to 1-05 victory. As in the final of 1972, Kilworth once again did very well to be on level terms at the break. Having played against a very strong breeze it took some outstanding displays from an under pressure rearguard in which Pat Shanahan at full back and Paddy Flynn at centre half back were particularly impressive in keeping Ballyhooly at bay. Dave McCarthy, Martin Howard, John Kenny, Pat Greehy and John Joe Shanahan also came in for special mention on a day which saw Kilworth collect their third title.

1985 saw Kilworth competing strongly in both codes however following defeat in a replayed hurling North Cork final, all efforts were made to make amends in the Junior B football decider against Liscarrol at  Killavullen. The team managed by Mick Twomey, Paddy Whealan and Lar Sheehan and led by captain Martin Howard put in an excellent display to record their 4th victory in the grade. Having annexed North Cork, Kilworth went on a memorable run in the county championship which saw them get the better of Russel Rovers from the Imokilly division after two titanic struggles at Castlelyons to gain their place in a first football County Final in any grade since the formation of the club. The fairytale ending was not to be however as a single point victory sent the cup to Kilbrin. It was a disappointing end to a superb year for this band of players which saw 17 games played in all with their only defeat coming in the county final in Mallow.


Novice Football North Cork Champions & County Finalists - 1985

A barren spell followed the 1985 defeat and it wasn’t until 10 years later in 1995 that Kilworth rose again to the top of the Junior B Football tree in North Cork. Coached by Meath native Ciaran Hynes who had come to reside in the village and ably assisted by Tom Pierce & Jimmy McCarthy along with playing selectors Liam Kenny & Ollie Sheehan, Kilworth beat a gallant Buttevant side in the North Cork final by 0-13 to 0-07 at Kilorrery.

Junior B Football North Cork Champions & County Finalists – 1995

As 10 years earlier the team went on another run in the county championship which saw them beat Ballinora to reach that years county final which was played in Bishopstown. Unfortunately a brave display in the decider was not enough and once again Kilworth had to watch the cup slip from their grasp as Diarmuid O Mathuna’s proved too strong in the second period to record a 2-09 to 2-05 to victory.

Kilworth v Diarmaid O Mathuna’s – County Junior B Football Final at Bishopstown on 12th November 1995. Referee Eddie Murphy


The Junior B football championship in North Cork in 1996 was somewhat delayed by the Avondhu Senior hurlers run to the County title and Kilworth, as champions from the previous year, were nominated to represent the division in the county championship. Unfortunately defeat was once again our lot outside the division as we had to give way once more to our conquers from 1985, Kilbrin.

Following the completion of the Senior Hurling Championship, the divisional Junior B Football Final against Grange was played at Glanworth. That game had the distinction of having John Sheehan wearing the red of Kilworth line out against his brother Tommy who started at corner back on the Grange side. Kilworth were the fancied team coming into the game however the loss of Alan Carey who was one of the teams stand-out players early on led to Kilworth playing the majority of the match with 14 men. True to the values of the club however, the team worked tirelessly and proved to be a better balanced side to record a memorable victory and it was with much delight that Sean Carey accepted the cup to record Kilworths first double in North Cork, having won the Junior A hurling decider against Charlaville earlier in the season.

Junior B Football North Cork Champions - 1996

Since 1997 Kilworth have competed at the Junior A Grade and have been unlucky to have been on the losing side in the North Cork finals of 2007 (Kildorrery) and 2008 (Glanworth).


To date, Kilworth’s finest period on the football field came over 13 fantastic days in the spring of 1996. Coached by Liam Kenny who was assisted by Tom Twomey & Ciaran Hynes and playing at the A grade in the division Kilworth had the distinction of beating all 3 towns and the then powerhouses of the grade, Fermoy, Mallow and Mitchelstown to gain our first Under 21 A grade title.

Played over successive weekends, Kilworth first beat near neighbours Fermoy in the first round. Seven days later they met a highly thought of Mallow side in the semi-final and playing a superb brand of football came out on top. The final saw Kilworth, who were led superbly by captain Donal Kenneally, once again as underdogs against hot favourites Mitchelstown on a beautiful Friday evening in Fermoy. Showing little respect for the form book however, Kilworth produced one of the finest displays seen from a team from the village for a long time to claim an unexpectedly comfortable 1-08 to 0-04 victory. Unfortunately the team had to give second best when they came up against an excellent Clonakility side in the county championship but this in no way took from their achievements within the division.

Under 21 A North Cork Football Champions - 1996

Whilst 1996 has been our only A grade success at Under 21 level thus far, B grade titles were won against Clyda Rovers in 2006 by 2-12 to 0-10 at Shanballymore and again in 2008  against the same opposition by 1-10 to 0-07 at Doneraile. Most recently in 2013 the team who were managed by Pat (Tuccy) O Brien and captained by Will Condon got the better of Buttevant in the final at Castletownroche. Sean Keane gave a man of the match winning display in that years final and was ably assisted by Kieran Twomey who had a fine hour at full back nullifying the threat of Buttevants danger man.


U21 B Football North Cork Champions - 2013

Minor Football

The mid to late 1990’s proved to be successful times for the minor footballers of Kilworth. Led by Mick Twomey the team of 1994 won a first B grade title when they defeated Ballyclough in the final at Killavullen. Victory over Ballyphehane at Watergrasshill by 2-06 to 2-05 followed, which saw the team qualify for that years county final against Cannovee. Unfortunately the final proved a step too far as Canovee proved to be a very capable side and they ran out convincing winners on the day.

Minor B Football County Final v Canovee - 1994

However, the following year, having stepped up to the minor A grade, Kilworth once again proved to be a match for all-comers within the division and for the second year in a row got the better of Ballyclough to take the divisional title. Two heart-stopping encounters with Youghal followed, both played at the Ballynoe venue in east Cork with Kilworth just getting over the line in a superb replay. Indeed anyone who had the pleasure of being at these games remembers them for the quality of football played and indeed it is fair to say that there was very little between the 2 sides. A hard fought victory over Cullen followed in the semi-final which meant Kilworth progressed to a second county final in two years, this time with Muskerry side Iniscarra providing the opposition. The early exchanges in the final, played in Carrig na bhFear, proved very tight and Kilworth were unlucky to miss two clear cut goal chances. As the game progressed however Iniscarra’s greater physicality on what was a very heavy pitch began to prove too much for Kilworth and they ran out somewhat convincing winners in the end.

Two years later in 1998 Kilworth once again found themselves competing in the B grade competition. The team was coached by Aidan Hyland who was ably assisted by Brian Carey, Aidan Kenny, Brian Sheedy and Lar Flynn whilst Will Hegarty (who was the minor hurling coach) also had an involvement. The competition took on added significance for the team, and that management team in particular, as the cup to be presented to the winners had been presented to the board by the family of the late Richard Clancy from Kilworth. Indeed the story goes that following a loss to Clyda Rovers in Ballyhooly in an early round Aidan Hyland gathered his troops around him and outlined in no uncertain terms what was expected of them in order to ensure that the cup made its way to the village that year. To their credit the players responded to go unbeaten for the remainder of the championship to force their way into a final against Buttevant in Ballyhooly. The team having struggled to find their best form for the majority of the game found themselves a point in arrears as the watch ticked past full time. Kilworth were not to be denied however and a late late left footed point from corner back Shane (Gerdy) Condon ensured Kilworth got a second chance.

The replay, which was delayed until after the minor hurling final which also featured Kilworth and Buttevant, was once again played at Ballyhooly. On a beautiful evening for football, Kilworth made no mistake at the second time of asking to claim a third minor title in 5 years for the club.  Unfortunately however, and also for the third time in 5 years, a good run in the county championship which saw a quarter final walk over being granted by Castletownbere and a hard fought victory over Sliabh Rua in the semi-final at Glanworth led to a county final defeat, once again to Canovee. On this occasion the game was played in Glantane and in a low scoring encounter the mid Cork men were victorious on a scoreline of 1-04 to 0-03.

Following a four year break Kilworth once again claimed the B grade title in 2002 when playing as St. Martins they got the better of Charlaville by 1-10 to 2-06 in the final at Castletownroche. In what was a very similar year to 1998 that team won their minor football crown in the same year as they annexed the county B grade hurling title.

Minor B North Cork Football Champions - 2002

Two years later in 2004, one of the best minor teams to ever come out of the village took to the field. The team won a Premier Grade (Country section) hurling title but also acquitted themselves with great distinction on the football field. Plying their trade at the A grade in the division they swept all before them to win a first A grade North Cork title since 1995 with a thrilling victory over Mitchelstown. Indeed was it not for some wayward shooting against Castlehaven in the county championship we could very easily have had double county champions on our hands.

A further B grade title was won in 2009 and whilst we have had somewhat of a barren spell in the interim the good work being done at juvenile level leads to hope that it will not be too long more before a minor football championship will once more come to the village.

Updated 11/07/14

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