IT WILL be a colourful occasion when the Fair Green plays host to a battle of the Blues.
This time around there will be a slightly older hue, as two former champion Freebooters teams face off in a novel fund-raiser for the club. The game will see the 1999 Leinster Junior Cup champions, who have been called the Old Uns, take on their 2008 counterparts the Young Uns on Friday, May 25 (kick-off is 6.45pm).
The 1999 team made history when they became the first Kilkenny side to lift the Leinster Junior Cup after two thrilling games against WFTA (West Finglas Tenants’ Association) in Newbridge. After a 3-3 draw on the first day it looked like curtains when the Blues trailed 2-1 going into stoppage time in the replay, but a late Eoghan Delaney strike sent the tie to penalties - ’Booters won 5-3.
They won their second Leinster Junior Cup in 2002 when, again under the care of Tony Scanlon, they beat Usher Celtic 2-1 in Derdimus. The 2008 title was also won in Kilkenny, this time in Buckley Park. The side coached by Sean Doyle - who won the 1999 Cup as a player - beat Cherry Orchard 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 stalemate, Dean Broaders converting the decisive spot-kick. Over the 10-year period only one player featured on all three teams - goalkeeper Graham Doyle.
Rolling back years
Freebooters will be rolling back the years when their 1999 team take to the Fair Green. With Davy Morris taking charge, players such as Eoghan Delaney, Alan Dowling, Johnny McEvoy, Andrew Doyle, Brian Coyne and Deccy Lawlor will tog out for the ‘vintage’ Blues. Their ranks will be swelled by the likes of Michael and Timmy Clifford, Joe Murray, John O’Hara, John Valentine and Brian Maher.
Although most of the team are still playing, the 2008 outfit will be without some of their title-winning side. Geoffrey Brennan and Keith Mulcahy have emigrated to Australia, but the side will feature 2008 captain Michael Falsey, James Kelly, John Hayes, David Kerwick, Dean Woods and Donagh Cantwell. Sean Doyle, who was manager in the triumph, will don his boots to play with the team, leaving brother Davy to run the line.
The match will be a precursor to an evening of celebrations in Bridie’s Bar at Langtons, where the club will hold their Player of the Year awards from 8.30pm. Tickets, costing E10, are available from committee members. Finger food will be served to ticket holders.
“The day is just a bit of craic, but will help us to raise money to redevelop the Fair Green,” said Freebooters’ Derrick Kenny. “We’re calling on all supporters to come out and cheer the lads on at the game and to help us raise money for some projects to bring our club on.”
Further information on the celebrations is available from club secretary Ger Kavanagh, tel 086-2082369.
Villa’s 40th birthday
Meanwhile another city club will have reason to celebrate a landmark occasion that same weekend.
Ormonde Villa will kick-off their 40th birthday celebrations with a special club day on Saturday, May 26.
The event at the Orchard House Bar, will feature attractions for young and old. The day will start with a match between former players at 4pm on the Orchard Rovers pitch. All who played for the club are invited to participate.
At 5pm the club will have music and a bouncy castle for children in the Orchard House yard. There will also be a barbecue, costing E6, with proceeds going to the club’s schoolboys and schoolgirls teams. The entertainment continues into the night with music and craic in the inside bar.
The club is also looking for people with old Ormonde Villa photographs to get in touch. Photos can be left with Stephanie Cahill, Hennessy’s Cleaners, Parliament Street or to Kevin O’Brien, tel 087-7958748 or Pat McCauley, tel 087-6367907.