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Cork's three-in-a-row 70s hurling teams honoured

23 March 2009
The Cork Hurling Teams that won three All-Irelands in a row, and ultimately brought Liam MacCarthy back to Leeside in 1976, 1977 and 1978, were honoured at a function held on Monday 23rd March 2009, at the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork.  

The event marked the first official reunion of the players that made up these three historic teams and is the latest in the Sporting Legends series of events which are organised each year by the Association of Sports Journalists in Ireland (ASJI) and Lucozade Sport.

Managed by Fr. Bertie Troy, the three Cork hurling teams boasted many well-known names associated with Munster GAA, including Martin Coleman, Brian Murphy, Johnny Crowley, Gerald McCarthy, Denis Coughlan, Jimmy Barry Murphy, Charlie McCarthy, Ray Cummins and Seanie O'Leary. Indeed, these nine aforementioned players each played in all three finals and were present at the function.

The late 1970s was a very exciting time for Cork Hurling, and until the current Kilkenny hurling team won their three in a row last September, this side has often been regarded as the standard bearers in hurling.

The success of the teams speaks for itself. In 1976 All-Ireland final, Cork beat Wexford by six points on an impressive score line of 2-21 to 4-11. The two sides met one year later in Croke Park and again Cork dominated on the day to overcome the men in purple and gold, 1-17 to 3-8. In 1978, there was much speculation ahead of the All Ireland final as to whether or not Kilkenny could halt Cork's progress to a three-in-a-row. However the Rebels remained steadfast and were not to be undone in their quest for glory. They beat the Cats by an impressive four points on a final score line of 1-15 to 2-8.

Well-known faces from the GAA community in Cork were present at the function, including Ray Cummins, who captained the side in 1976, goalkeeper, Martin Coleman, and Seanie O'Leary, whose son Tomas lined out for Ireland against Wales last Saturday. Also present were Nickey Brennan, President of the GAA and President elect of the GAA, Christy Cooney. Such was the sense of occasion around today's function that ex-pat Martin O'Doherty, captain of the 1977 team, travelled to Cork from San Francisco to attend.

Speaking at the event, ASJI President, Peter Byrne, said, "It's thirty years since that most impressive era in Cork hurling, and indeed, in Cork GAA. As a result, the ASJI felt it was timely to recognise the achievements of the players that made up the three teams. Their contribution to the game of hurling, and to the GAA in the wider sense, cannot be denied. Three-in-a-rows in any sport don't come by too often and indeed, when Kilkenny won the All Ireland hurling final last September, they became the only team since these Cork players to have completed such a unique feat".

"The players who made up these three teams are still widely regarded as some of the greatest exponents of the game and it's a pleasure to welcome them all here today." he continued.

Speaking on behalf of Lucozade Sport, Ronan McClafferty said, "Lucozade Sport is delighted to honour and commemorate the achievement of these players some thirty years on from when they won the All-Ireland in 1978. The men who made up these three teams are legends of the game, and it is only fitting to acknowledge those who have contributed to making the sport as exciting and exhilarating as it is."

Cork Hurling Team All-Ireland Final 1976
Martin Coleman, Brian Murphy, Pat McDonnell, Martin O'Doherty, Pat Barry, Johnny Crowley, Denis Coughlan, Gerald McCarthy, Pat Moylan, Mick Malone, Brendan Cummins, Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Charlie McCarthy, Ray Cummins (Captain), Se°nie O'Leary, Substitutes: âamonn O'Donoghue, John Horgan
Manager: Fr. Bertie Troy

Cork Hurling Team All-Ireland Final 1977
Martin Coleman, Brian Murphy, Martin O'Doherty (Captain), John Horgan, Dermot McCurtain, Johnny Crowley, Denis Coughlan, Tom Cashman, Tim Crowley, Mick Malone, Gerald McCarthy, Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Charlie McCarthy, Ray Cummins, Se°nie O'Leary, Substitutes: Pat Moylan, T. Murphy
Manager: Fr. Bertie Troy

Cork Hurling Team All-Ireland Final 1978
Martin Coleman, Brian Murphy, Martin O'Doherty, John Horgan, Dermot Mac Curtain, Johnny Crowley, Denis Coughlan, Tom Cashman, Pat Moylan, Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Gerald McCarthy, Tim Crowley, Charlie McCarthy (Captain), Ray Cummins, Se°nie O'Leary, Substitutes: John Allen, âamonn O'Donoghue
Manager: Fr. Bertie Troy        

Paths to the final

1976: Limerick, July 18th, Quarter-Final, Galway 3-12 Kerry 3-9
Pairc Ui Chaoimh, August 15th, Semi-Final, Wexford 5-14 Galway 2-23
Pairc Ui Chaoimh, August 22nd, Semi-Final Replay, Wexford 3-14 Galway 2-14
Croke Park, September 5th, Final, Cork 2-21 Wexford 4-11

1977: Birr, July 17th, Quarter-Final, Galway 2-12 Laois 0-8
Croke Park, August 7th, Semi-Final, Cork 3-14 Galway 1-15
Croke Park, September 4th, Final, Cork 1-17 Wexford 3-8

1978: Croke Park, July 23rd, Quarter-Final, Galway 4-19 Antrim 3-10
Croke Park, August 6th, Semi-Final, Kilkenny 4-20 Galway 4-13
Croke Park, September 3rd, Final, Cork 1-15 Kilkenny 2-8









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