Marys V Terenure
Star wars becomes a tame tiff compared to a clash between these two old adversaries, and ever since Terenure RFC joined the senior ranks in 1959-60 season their rivalry has riveted Dublin 6 with shrill intensity, while over the forty eight years personal friendships have strengthened, grown and matured.
In those early days when Dennis Hickie and Mick Hipwell clashed on the field it was like two stags in rut, add in the wonderful Ned Carmody, Sean Cooke, Kevin Prendergast and Bela Kos on the Marys side and Jasser Walsh, the Church brothers ( Brendan and John), the Doyle brothers (Joe and Brendan) and Paddy Gaffney for Terenure and you had fearsome passion and superb skill, with the crowds ten deep on the touch lines (no terraces in those days), and the roar reverberated around the entire Terenure and Templeogue. Then a little later the games between the two sides, with front row greats like Sean Lynch, George Cree and Tojo Byrne in against Paddy Kelly Tommy Bermingham and Paddy Browne, with marvellous Johnny Moloney and Sean Cooke at half back taking on Brendan Sherry and the tremendous Gerry Tormey, with Terry Young versus Eddie Coleman out wide(and Joe Sherwood of the Press, half in love with Eddie), then you had consummate club rugby. The fortunes swayed and the crowd followed suit with many a sedate mid lifer tempted to stop a winger’s break with a judiciously placed umbrella crook; then getting one against the head often meant exactly that.
Even with the ground changes and upgrades, the friendly feud continued, with talented teams on both sides chopping chunks off each other and fortunes tipping in both directions through the Leinster Leagues and cups (and junior competitions where the rivalry was and is often even more intense) and later the AIB AIL. Teams from both sides contributed to the provinces and Ireland, players like Sean Lynch, John Moloney, Dennis Hickie, Shay Deering (deceased), Ciaran Fitzgerald, Rodney O’Donnell, Declan Fanning, Terry (the Rat) Kennedy, Paul Dean, Tony Ward, Vinnie Cunningham, Kevin Potts Steve Jameson , Dennis Hickie Jr, Victor Costello, Mal O’Kelly and Peter Smyth to name just a few on the Marys side and Mick Carroll, Mick Hipwell, Brendan Sherry, Eddie Thornton,Mick (Slick) Mahoney, Brian Gorevan ( deceased), Bosco Morrissey, Mick Smith Snr (deceased), Paul Haycock, Ciaran Clarke, Niall Hogan, the Blaney brothers and Girvan Dempsey. Great rivalry and great friendships developed between many of our players and alickadoos on both sides, like Paul Andreucetti and the Doyles, (Terry, Benny and Marty), John Hussey and Eddie Coleman (both great IRFU men), JB Sweeney and Willie Flynn, the ubiquitous St Mary’s Jr vice president Niall (Rynner) Rynne and Joe Dunne and current president of Marys Frank Kennedy, with sadly recently deceased Liam O’Dea, who was to be Terenure president this year and whose two brothers are stalwarts of Marys, Frank and Noel. Both clubs are full of characters and both clubs carry pride and desire as their badges.
In recent years not only do brothers names appear but sons’such as Hickie, Fanagan, Fanning, Sweeney, O’Flanagan and Cooke for Marys, while Walsh ,Coleman, Smith, Thornton, Kelly and Mahoney are names that appear on Terenure team sheets with JB (wonderfully restored to full health after major surgery) Sweeney’s two sons Rob and Richie (Chops and Chips) and Dec Fanning’s son Darragh in the St Mary’s squad and Slick (now happily recovered from a very serious illness)Mahoney’s son, Mark and Ray Flannery’s nephew Mark O’Neill, in the current Terenure squad, with history like that it is easy to imagine the depth of rivalry.
Easter Eggsitement and the Munch in the Marquee
The passion may have dimmed the slightest bit, but still burns strongly and hearts still flutter and chests heave with impending games, so now we have a big one on March 22nd when Gareth Logan the very popular Mary’s captain leads his team onto the pitch, newly adorned with international standard floodlights, at Templeville Road, against his Terenure counterpart Steve Nolan (former rugby league international). Terenure’s position of 3rd from the bottom of the AIL league division 1 and fighting for their survival willstoke up their fervour, as though it might need stoking. Both teams play a fast rucking game and try to keep the ball in hand, whenever possible. They have top class coaches with Steve Hennessy, Peter Smyth and Ciaran Potts for Marys and Kevin West and Brian Blaney looking after the Nure. There are many fine young players on both sides, with lads like the Sexton brothers Jonno and Mark, Mike Skelton, Keith Douglas, Phillip Brophy, Frank Lynch and Matt Darcy behind the scrum and the Sweeneys, Matt Duggan, Conor Mc Inerney, Hugh Hogan, Barry O’Flanagan and super skipper Gareth Logan up front with Mary’s and Shane Cullen, David Mc Allister, Graham Crawford (his father, brother and sister are in St Marys) and Mark Mahoney and in the backline and the Blaney brothers, Johnny Barretto, Peter O’Malley and Mark Mahoney’s cousin Kevin Mahoney in the forwards for Terenure we will be assured of extreme exertions , expletives and explosions for the entire eighty minutes. This will beworth watching, do not miss it.
To get all into the mood for this great game, which unlike most AIB AIL games kicks off at 3.30PM, there will be a fine lunch, sponsored by very generous and loyal club sponsors Investec Bank, in a large marquee, with over 600 seated. As the tension grows and the great characters such as senior members Paddy Bolger, Joe Banana Fanagan (captain of the 1st team to win the LSC for Marys in 1957-58), Matt Gilsenan and Bill Fagan and some less mature like John Cunningham, John Doddy, Spike Fanning, Reggie Foley, Robbie Lyons, Springer, Deano, Titus and Barney mingling, chatting, slagging with Terenure counterparts Maurice Downing, Flash Morrissey (still chasing the girls in -Shaw’s Wood-Bushy Park to you), Tommy Bermingham, Ted Reid, Willie Flynn, Terry Doyle, Peter Walsh, Bosco and Colm Jenkinson. Soon rumbustious Rynner, the MC, marshals the crowd and gets everyone safely to their seats, president Kennedy flanked by his vice president Eoin Quinn and junior vice president Rynner, will have the VIP guests at his table, including of course Terenure president Dave Mc Gowan and his committee. Lunch will no doubt include the amusing post prandial anecdotes and predictions and then interclub friendships are put on hold for an hour and half with, “may the better team win, so long as it is ours”.
Well now, after a game between these two great rivals you would hardly expect supporters to traipse home in delight or disgust; no they must express it and share it, so that is when the fun begins and the bonhomie resumes and every drop goal or missed pass is tri and tetra-sected, over and over again over pints or Perrier, while the five metre pass becomes ten and the twenty metre break becomes a 50 metre one. Then the music will start, the players will join in and a wonderful night of chat and music will follow, cars will be left overnight, indelible memories will be inserted, new friendships will be born; and so the evolution of the relationship between these two special clubs continues and matures, with rivalry and respect in equal measure.