herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Rovers return gives minors hope of being major success

THERE'S a new team in town, Fingal Rovers.

The minor hurling side are a merger of Wild Geese and St Maur's.

They include the Dublin minor, Eoghan Conroy, and the Fingal panellist, Dara O'Brien.

"That gives them a solid foundation for the 'C' Championship which starts in July," notes Aidan Lenehan, who adds: "Both clubs had sufficient numbers to field minor teams, but that would have meant relying on lads who are doing their Leaving Cert and Junior Cert.

"We have a squad of 25, and we have been boosted by the sponsorship of Kinsella Home Improvements, who gave us a complete new kit for the team."

The name of the newly formed team recalls the 1950s in the North County when Fingal Rovers played in Malachy Griffin's field.

They were formed in 1952, and they played in County Board competitions for newly formed junior clubs, winning a knock-out competition in 1954.

The players came from Oldtown, Rolestown, Ballyboughal and St Margaret's. Paddy Lawless travelled the biggest distance of all - from Santry.

The late, great Liam Collins of St Margaret's and Dublin was the full-back.

The team was the brainchild of men like Tommy Butler, Austin Gleeson, Billy Bell, Johnny O'Brien and the McBride brothers.

TRUCK

They went to away matches in Tommy Butler's truck.

"As they say, the apple never falls too far from the tree," explains Aidan.

"The captain and trainer of the adult Wild Geese side this season is Tom Smyth, the grandson of Tommy Butler."

Aidan is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, 'There is an 'F' in Hurling,' which charts a year in the life of the Dublin junior hurlers, Wild Geese.

Aidan hails from Galway. He played for Kiltormer and then Pádraig Pearse's of Roscommon.

He moved to Dublin in 1989 and joined the Wild Geese in 2008. The book is still available in good book shops. And with the advent of Fingal Rovers, Aidan might have to start thinking about a few more chapters in the onward march of Fingal hurling.

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