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The Early Years - 1886 to 1900

Drumconrath GFC has a long and proud history going back to the earliest days of the GAA. Our Association was officially founded in 1884 in Thurles in Co Tipperaryand a few short years after that we have documented evidence of a Drumconrath team playing in a Tournament in Slane in 1886 however no report is available on that game just a mention of the fixture in the “ Drogheda Independent”.

However the same paper reports in its edition on 25th June 1887 that a game took place between Drumconrath Brian Borus and the Nobber Hibernians on Sunday 19th June @ 6pm. The referee was Mr James Connell, Nobber and there was “a large and enthusiastic assemblage”

The Drumconrath men control the 1st half and led 1-4 to 0-0 at the break. However the Nobber lads played better in the 2nd period and the final score was;

Drumconrath Brian Boru’s 1-5 Nobber Hibernians 1-3.

Later that year the Drogheda again reports that in the Stackallen tournament the Boru’s took on Slane and states as follows “Slane and Drumconrath then took the field. The Slane men showed weak play and were defeated easily 1-2 to nil. Meath records show that the 1st Club Championship took place in 1888 and it appears that there was only one grade, Senior, once again the Drumconrath Brian Boru’s took part and again the “Drogheda Independent” reports on the 3rd of March 1888. “On Sunday last, the 25th February 1888 the 2nd round of the Meath Senior Football Championship was renewed at Preston Vale Nobber, on a beautiful pitch supplied by P McDemott Esq. The following teams competed. Nobber Hibernians, Moynalty Owen Roes, Ladyrath Parnells, and the Drumconrath Brian Boru’s. An immense concourse of people assembled from different parts. Nobber defeated Moynalty in Game 1. After a short interval, the Ladyrath Parnells entered the arena to contest with the Brian Borus for superiority. It was with a certain amount of diffidence that the Parnells commenced play. The Drumconrath men have the name of being rough, but there is an old saying “the devil is not as black as he is painted” So it was with the Brian Borus on Sunday and except in the one instance not more than the usual amount of roughness was exhibited.

On the commencement of hostilities, the Parnellites favoured with the wind invaded the territory of the Borus and kept the ball in close proximity to the goal line for some time. The Borus, concentrating all their energies to relieve their backs, forced through their opponents forwards and went to within an ace of scoring a point. After the kickout the Borus made another effort, this time more successful as the ball went flying over the pointsman McGuinness who could not possible stop it. McGuiness, the Ladyrath Goalkeeper now sent the ball to the wings on his right who dribbled the leather almost the whole ground, it was sent quickly back but Markey, Taighue, Reilly and Barazon, the Parnell half backs sent it flying forward again. This time Traynor the left wing got possession and brought it between his feet for nearly 30 yards when a rush was formed. It did not avail of anything however but in a few minutes Callery kicked a goal in splendid style.

The Parnells were now on good terms with themselves and where content to defend. Then this till half time nothing else was gained on either side. On the change of ends, the Borus assumed the offensive in earnest and 10 minutes smart play gained another point. This seemed to rouse the Ladyrath team as they carried the ball into the teeth of the breeze to the Borus Lines. During the remainder of the game they gave the Borus no chancewith the result that the Parnells left the field victorious amidst the enthusiastic cheers of the vast majority of spectors.

Final Score: Ladyrath Parnell 1-0 Drumconrath Brian Borus 0-2.

No Drumconrath lineout is available but we do know that teams lined out at 21 aside in those years.Is of interest to note that even in those days there was 2 teams in our Parish of Drumconrath. A list of the fixtures in the Meath SFC of 1890 shows Drumconrath were drawn to play Barley Hill in Ladyrath. No report can be found for that encounter but we can assume it was a lively affair.

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