Keary, Johnny

Johnny was another great of the 1965-66 double winning side.

A native of Streete, he was a great servant to Castlepollard hurling. Quite a few young men from that area from as far back as 1911 to recent times, played hurling with the club and made significant contributions in various grades.

However, surely the greatest to emerge from that area has to be Johnny Keary. It seems down in Streete he was known as "The Hurler" and hurler he was without a doubt. He first came to notice in 1957 when he figured on the 'Pollard minor team that won that year's league, defeating Castletown-Geoghegan in the final. Inexplicably he was not on the 1956 minor side which won Castlepollard's first ever minor title, again defeating Castletown. The only possible explanation being that the club mentors were not then aware of this emerging talent. The general consensus in 'Pollard in 1957 was, that here was an automatic addition to the up-and-coming young senior team .

However he opted to play with an amalgamation of Ringtown and Crookedwood called St. Vincent's. This outfit lasted until 1962 when they disbanded, and thereby he missed out on a senior championship medal with 'Pollard in 1961, and certainly would have been an important part of the Senior team narrowly beaten in the 1960 final, again by Castletown. It was always a source of regret in the area that he was lost to 'Pollard for those five years.

By 1961 Johnny had caught the attention of the county selectors and figured at left half forward, alongside Jobber McGrath - centre forward- against Dublin in the Leinster semi-final. Result - Dublin 2-15 Westmeath 2-5. From then until 1973 he was a regular wearer of the maroon jersey.

Now back with 'Pollard he won his first senior medal in the 1963 Feis Cup final with Pollard defeating Clonkill by 3-4 to 2-5. He did not have too long to wait for the ultimate reward. While 1964 was a barren time,  back to back titles were just around the corner. During this time he had been forging a formidable partnership at mid-field with an up an coming Mickey Fagan (R.I.P.) and they were a rare handful for any opposing duo. Johnny collected his first senior championship on Sunday October 24th 1965 in a great win over Castletown Geoghegan who were the reigning champions. This was, especially sweet as Castletown had deprived Pollard in the finals 

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