History In Brief




During this period there were numerous club in the Courcey Parish, these includes Castlepark, Ballyrub, Old head, Kilcoleman Old Blue (Ballinspittle) and Ballinadee

In 1905, the first official West Cork hurling championship drew Ballinadee versus Bandon. It was, in fact, the first recorded championship hurling game played in West Cork.

The 1905 Ballinadee team was as follows:

J Hailes, D Hailes, R Hailes, J Cahalane, J Kiely, J Lordan, T Crowley, C Crowley, T Brien, P Brien, Wm. McCarthy, J McCarthy, T Crowley, J Burns, P Corcoran, J Crowley, D McCarthy.

Both Ballinspittle & Ballinadee had success in the early 1940's with Ballinadee winning the South West Junior B Hurling Championship in 1944 and Ballinspittle (trained by Jim O'Regan) winning it one year later in 1945, beating Drinagh.

The Ballinadee selection in 1944 was as follows:

Charlie Crowley, Tommy Scott, David Jacko Crowley, Billy Connell, Sonny Nolan, Micka Murphy, Dan McSweeney, Donal Walsh, Christy Nolan, Jim McSweeney, Bobbie Sweetman, J. Galvin, John McSweeney, Liam Manning, Paddy Galvin, Bill Sweetman, Tom Crowley and Mickey Murphy.


1947 -1960

When Courcey Rovers was formed in 1947 the founding members of the new club were Jim O'Regan Chairman (RIP), Dave O'Sullivan Secretary (RIP) assisted by Dan McSweeney (RIP), Stephan Nolan, Treasurer (RIP) assisted by Jim Holland (RIP) and Humphrey Corcoran Vice-chairman (RIP).

Instant success came to Courceys with the winning of the 1947 SW Junior A hurling Championship, and a Junior A&B double would come our way in 1948. A glorious period would come in the 1950's with a five in a row in the South West between 1953 and 1957.

Courceys progressed to the County Junior A hurling final in 1957 only to be defeated by Tracton in gale force conditions in Farm Lane Kinsale on a scoreline of 4-5 to 3-4

The 1957 County final team trained by Stephan Nolan was as follows:

Tom O'Donovan (Dunmanway), Denis Paul Griffin, Jeremiah Keohane, Davie O'Sullivan, Con Coakley (Dunmanway), Mick Nolan, Seanie Hales, Connie O'Regan, John Nyhan, Gerald O'Donovan, Tadhgie Fitzgerald, Liam Keogh, Joe O'Regan (Captain), Paddy Bowen, Chris Corcoran



Courcey's would have to wait until 1964 for the return of the Flyer Nyhan Cup but for the remainder of the decade they would dominate the Junior A Hurling scene in West Cork with further victories in 1965, 1966, 1968 and in 1970, this was accompanied by four Junior B titles between 1962 and 1970 and also an U21 West Cork final win over Bandon in 1969 in Clonakilty.

In 1966 football success came Courcey's way winning their first South West Junior B football title since 1951.

After victories over Killeagh and Charleville in the Junior A County Championship, Courceys progressed to the 1970 County Final. However on the day they were defeated by a star-studded Cloghduv team in Ballinhassig.

The County team trained by Fr. Liam Ahern was as follows:

Jimmy McCarthy, PJ Minihane, Paddy Twomey, Anto Crowley, Teddy Harrington, John O'Donovan, Mick Murphy, Donal O'Donovan, Oliver Crowley, Liam Hurley, Gerard Collins, Andrew Hannon, Billy Nyhan, Tadhg O'Mahony, Vinny O'Donovan

Sub included: Vincent Crowley, Miah Collins, Liam Keogh, Ted Murphy, John O'Brien, Martin Nolan, Sheamie Hayes, Pascal Kiely, Chris Corcoran, John McCarthy,



In 1971 the Junior A team continued to hurl brilliantly and drew with Bandon in the championship in a game many observers thought they should have won. Courceys were out classed in the replay and that Bandon team went on to win the county championship against Ballinhassig, a game that was played in Ballinspittle.

There was success in 1971 however, with the winning of the South West Minor B hurling championship for the first time beating Newcestown.

Courceys hurled well in 1972 and were defeated by Newcestown in the SW final played in extremely poor conditions in Bandon. Again showing how near Courceys were to big success - this Newcestown went on to win their first County Championship that year.

1973 showed a return to glory with Courceys retaining the South West Junior A Hurling Championship; however we were defeated by Meelin in the first round of the County in the old Athletic Grounds.

The Flyer Nyhan Cup came back to the Parish for the final time in 1974 when Courceys defeated Dohenys at Ballineen.

The 1974 final winning Panel was as follows:

Donal O'Donovan, Vincent Crowley, Andrew Hannon, T O' Mahony, Jimmy Nyhan, Pat Sweetman, PJ Minihane, Martin Nolan, J Deasy, Billy Nyhan, Jimmy McCarthy, Miah Collins, John O'Brien, Mick Murphy, Teddy Harrington, Teddy Nyhan, John Nyhan, Oliver Crowley

Having qualified for the Junior B football final in 1973, Courceys defeated Bantry Blues in in Ballineen in a great contest; this game was played in the spring of 1974. In 1974 Courceys played Junior A football in the South West beating Carbery Rangers before losing to O' Donovan Rossa in the semi-final at Clonakilty by one point. Credit must go to the team of 1974 to be able to compete so well with the strong football forces of West Cork.

In 1975 the club took a major decision. After a vote by club members at a special meeting an application was made to join the South East division. The clubs geographical location was one of the main reasons this decision was made.

Courceys played Ballymartle in the 1975 SE championship and were defeated narrowly when Ballymartle were awarded a late penalty in the game. The 1976 final brought together the same opponents but Courceys were defeated in their first SE Junior Hurling final.



The 1980's started on a winning note for Courceys winning the SE U21 A Hurling championship, beating Ballymartle in the final. This was the club's first major South East victory and was greeted with great joy and optimism.

Conversely the 1980's would prove to be a lean period for the club in terms of silverware.

1982 would see the club win the SE Junior B hurling championship, a feat that was followed again in 1987.

In 1988 Courceys made it to the South East Junior A final against neighbours Valley Rovers, This game was played in Riverstick and was a regrettable defeat for the club. Having played against the wind in the first half the team found themselves in a strong position at the break. But it was not to be, as the hugely fancied Innishannon outfit got the breaks in the second half and won narrowly.

The 1988 SE final team was as follows:

T Nyhan, G Nolan, P Sweetman, DJ O'Reilly, D Quinn, M O'Sullivan, D Cummins, J Corcoran, D Twomey, D Crowley, M Coholan, D Nyhan, G Sweetman, P O'Leary, W Sweetman

On the football front there was SE Junior A football final appearances in 1986 and 1987 and a victory in the Minor A Football championship in 1986.

On the 22nd of May 1988 the club officially opened its ground at Ballinspittle. The occasion was officiated by former GAA president Con Murphy. Jim O'Regan, GAA great and founding member passed in 1982. The field was named Pairc Ui Riogain in his memory. The opening ceremony was followed by a senior hurling challenge match between Cork & Laois. 



The decade started well with victory in the 1990 SE minor B hurling championship, the beginning of what would be a hugely fruitful period for the club's underage section. This was followed with a landmark victory in the 1991 U16 hurling final against Valley Rovers; this top grade win proved that the club had narrowed the gap considerably on other South East clubs, as this team was not in contention for honours two years previous.

Five SE Minor A Hurling Championship wins between 1992 and 1997 would prove to be the backbone of the Junior team later in the decade. U12 top grade wins came the club's way in 1992 and 1996, as well as U14 wins in 1993 and 1995; the 1993 team representing Cork in the All Ireland Feile Finals in Galway.

SE U16 hurling championship success was once more achieved in 1995 and repeated again two years later. It was this team in 1997 captained by Vincent Hurley who after 50 years finally brought a county championship back to the parish when they defeated Nemo Rangers in a replayed final played at Ballygarven.

The 90's brought Courceys back into real contention in the Junior A hurling Championship. A narrow 1991 semi-final defeat to Ballinhassig in Kinsale would bring an end to the championship season but few in the attendance could have imaged the rivalry that had just begun. The clubs would meet 13 times in the next 15 seasons in what many neutral observers would admit was one of the fiercest rivalries in Cork County. The two clubs shared the Junior A championship for the remainder of the decade with victories for Courceys coming in 1993, 1997, and 1999.

 In 1997 the club reached its first County Junior A hurling Final in 27 years, an enormous enthusiastic crowd followed the team to the final played at Pairc Ui Rinn against a fancied Castlelyons side.  After a pulsating game, Courceys lost 2-9 to 1-11. The largely youthful side did not have much time to dwell on the defeat as seven days later the club would play the famed St Finbarrs in the final of the U21A County Championship. A supremely fit Courceys team would outplay the Barrs from start to finish and won comfortably by 3-10 to 1-5. Scenes of elation greeted the final whistle and when Niall O'Donoghue lifted the Dick Barrett Cup players and supports witnessed a magic moment.

The Junior A hurlers would only have to wait two years before finding themselves back in the County final, this time South West Champions and neighbours Bandon would be the opponents. A hugely disappointing defeat by 0-11 to 1-7 resulted in a second County Final one point defeat in three years.

This withstanding the 1999 SE U21 A victory over Ballinhassig would be a fifth in a row for the club, and the players and supporters remained optimistic that their day would come - the club had come too far to fail.

1997 would prove to be a remarkable year on the football front also with the club winning the SE Junior A Football title for the first time beating Kinsale in a replayed final at Ballinhassig. This victory was by no means a coincidence with the team backboned with players from the 1993 minor A County League winning side, a game in which Courceys defeated Kilmacabee in Ballineen. This game was played in the spring of 1994.

The millennium was marked with victory in a Special County Junior A Championship; Courceys defeated Carrigaline in this final which was played in early 2001. 2000 also saw a return to football form and victory in the Junior A Championship final over Kinsale in Ballygarven.



After wins against Carrigaline and Ballygarven in the 2001 South East Junior Hurling Championship Courceys were back the Carrigdhoun showpiece for the seventh year in a row, the usual opponents Ballinhassig lay in clubs way once more. This tension- filled game played at Kinsale would be forever known as the ‘Battle of Kinsale final'. Courcey emerged from the trenches that day with a great win and would go forward to the County Championship with confidence. Victories over Grenagh and Diarmuid O' Mathunas put Courceys back the final for the third time in five seasons. The North Cork Champions Charleville would stand between the club and the holy grail.

After a rollercoaster game in which Charleville scored three early goals two points separated the teams with the final whistle approaching. A spate of saves in the closing minutes from Man of the Match Anto Hegarty would prove the winning of the match. The final score was 3-09 to 3-07.

Derry O'Donovan wrote in this book ‘Ballinspittle and De Courcey Country' the following on the events of that day:

‘The outpouring of emotion that greeted the final whistle in Pairc Ui Chaoimh was unbelievable, as grown men and women shed tears of joy and sorrow - joy because their dear Courceys had reached the promised land and sorry for absent family and friends who had gone to their reward. But soon the tears turned to cheers as the ecstatic supporters hugged one another and savoured their moment of triumph'

The Courcey panel that famous day was as follows:

Anto Hegarty, Brian Hayes CP, Niall O'Donoghue, John  O'Donoghue,  David Murphy, Vincent Hurley, Tim Lordan, Charlie White, Seamus Twomey, Seamus Hayes, Denis Twomey, John Murphy Bdee, Michael O' Donovan, Brian Hayes KK, Niall Murphy, Seamus Hurley, Jamie Hayes, David Hayes, Brian Downing, Kevin Murphy, Vincent O'Donovan, Gary Moloney, Donal Twomey, John Murphy BS.

Courceys made it to the semi-final of the intermediate hurling championship in the very first year, losing to Delaneys but only had to wait two years before going one step further and reaching the final. St Catherines would be the opponent but Courceys lost by 1-11 to 1-.08. The 2004 county final was played as a curtain raiser to the County Senior Hurling Final between Cloyne and Na Piarsaigh, this game was played at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in front of over 20,000 spectators.

The club would have to wait until 2008 to reach the final of the Premier Intermediate Championship. Blarney who Courceys had defeated in the first round that season would stand in the way. In an extremely close game Blarney came out on top again by a single point 0-13 to -1-09.

Silverware would come to the club during this period by way of two SE Junior A football championships in 2004 & 2006, also there was a first SE U21 Football championship win in 2001 as well as two county intermediate hurling league wins in 2004 & 2008. Courcey's sixth U21 hurling title in eight years in was secured in 2002. Highlights for the underage would include a county win for the U16 hurlers in 2008 and SE U12 top grade win in 2007. Our U14 hurlers represented the club & county with honour in the 2009 All Ireland Feile finals.

In 2007 after winning a qualification playoff against Cullen in Knocknagree Courceys were regraded to the Intermediate football grade, The Club would remain there for three seasons before returning to Junior A Football in 2011.


A victory over Ballygarven in the 2011 SE Junior A Football final would bring a well needed win but shortly after there was more to come. After losing the semi-final of the 2010 Premier Intermediate hurling championship Courceys entered the 2011 campaign with a reasonable amount of confidence. Early championship wins over Inniscarra, Castlelyons & Carrigaline after a replay found the team back where they exited the championship in 2010. A titanic struggle and epic win against neighbours Killbrittain in Pairc Ui Rinn under floodlights would put the club back into the final for the first time since 2008.

Youghal would be the opponents in Courcey's third intermediate final, a club that was no stranger to success at this level. In the early stages of the game Courceys took control on the scoreboard, a half time lead of 0-09 to 0-03 could have been more. The second half however was a much tighter affair, Youghal goaled from a penalty shortly after the break and by the 46th minute the lead was down to three points. Courceys matched Youghal point for point in the final quarter and when the John Sexton the referee blew his whistle for the final time joy, relief and pride was the order of the day. The date was the 09th of October 2011.

Seamus Hayes and Killian Moloney lifted the cup and the former gave a speech fitting to the occasion and the journey it took to get there.

The panel that took Courceys to senior hurling in 2011 was a follows:

S Nyhan, D Duggan, T Lordan, Dan Lordan, O Gately, V Hurley, B Hayes, D Hayes, D Murphy, S Hayes, Dáire Lordan, S Lordan, K Moloney, N Murphy, C Lordan, A Hegarty, C Ryan, G Minihane, Gary Moloney, Gavin Moloney, C Minihane, J Duggan, John Murphy B'dee, John Murphy BS, T Collins, S Holland.