1954 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final

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1954 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final
1954 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final programme.jpg
Event 1954 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
Date5 September 1954
Venue Croke Park, Dublin
Referee Jack Mulcahy (Kilkenny)
Attendance84,856
1953
1955

The 1954 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final was the 67th All-Ireland Final and the culmination of the 1954 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, an inter-county hurling tournament for the top teams in Ireland. The match was held at Croke Park, Dublin, on 5 September 1954, between Cork and Wexford. The Leinster champions lost to their Munster opponents on a score line of 1-9 to 1-6.

The 1954 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship was the 68th staging of the All-Ireland hurling championship since its establishment by the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1887. The championship began on 11 April 1954 and ended on 5 September 1954.

Hurling outdoor team game

Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin. It is administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The game has prehistoric origins, and has been played for 4,000 years. One of Ireland's native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, the number of players, and much terminology. There is a similar game for women called camogie. It shares a common Gaelic root with the sport of shinty, which is played predominantly in Scotland.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Contents

The game is notable for a number of reasons. The gates were closed 35 minutes before the start of the senior game due to the size of the crowd. A record 84,856 people were in attendance to see Christy Ring of Cork capture a record-breaking eighth All-Ireland winners' medal.

Christy Ring Irish hurler

Nicholas Christopher Michael "Christy" Ring was an Irish hurler whose league and championship career with the Cork senior team spanned twenty-four years from 1939 to 1963. He established many championship records, including career appearances (65), scoring tally (33-208) and number of All-Ireland medals won (8), however, these records were subsequently bested by Brendan Cummins, Eddie Keher and Henry Shefflin respectively. Ring is widely regarded as the greatest hurler in the history of the game, with many former players, commentators and fans rating him as the number one player of all time.

All-Ireland final

Overview

Sunday September 5 was the date of the 1954 All-Ireland senior hurling final between Cork and Wexford. Cork were appearing in their third consecutive championship decider, having beaten Dublin and Galway to take the previous two titles. Wexford last appeared in the championship decider in 1951 when they lost out to Tipperary who captured their own three-in-a-row. They last won the All-Ireland title in 1910 when they defeated Limerick to take their first championship. Cork and Wexford last met each other in the championship more than half a century earlier in the All-Ireland final of 1901 with victory going to Cork. An interesting statistic at the time was the fact that Wexford had never beaten Cork in the championship.

Dublin GAA Irish Gaelic football team

The Dublin County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) or Dublin GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in the Dublin Region and the Dublin inter-county teams.

Galway GAA Irish Gaelic Athletic Association

The Galway County Boards of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) or Galway GAA are one of the 32 GAA county boards in Ireland; they are responsible for Gaelic games in County Galway, and for the Galway inter-county teams.

Tipperary GAA Gaelic Athletic Association

The Tipperary County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) or Tipperary GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Tipperary and the Tipperary inter-county teams.

A record 84,856 spectators turned out in Croke Park to see one of the most anticipated All-Ireland hurling finals ever played. The charismatic Wexford men, one of the most talked about teams of the decade, had reached their second All-Ireland final in three years and looked well capable of winning this one. Cork, on the other hand, looked forward to creating their own piece of history. A win would give them a third All-Ireland title in-a-row while on a personal level a win would give captain Christy Ring a record-breaking eighth All-Ireland medal. The record crowd of spectators also looked forward to a scoring shoot-out between Christy Ring and Wexford's Nicky Rackard.

Croke Park stadium in Dublin, Ireland

Croke Park is a Gaelic Athletic Association stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Named in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is often called Croker by some GAA fans and locals. It serves both as the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Nicky Rackard Irish hurler and Gaelic footballer

Nicholas Rackard was an Irish hurler whose league and championship career with the Wexford senior team spanned seventeen years from 1940 to 1957. He established many championship scoring records, including being the top championship goal-scorer of all time with 59 goals. Rackard is widely regarded as one of the greatest hurlers in the history of the game.

Match report

At 3:15pm the sliothar was thrown-in and the game began in earnest. Cork got off to the better start when Éamonn Goulding, a future Cork dual player, latched onto the sliothar and deftly sent it over the bar for the opening score of the day. Shortly afterwards one of the biggest cheers of the day went up Christy Ring captured his first score of the day when he converted a 40-yard free. Wexford were visibly unnerved by the big occasion and the even bigger attendance and found it difficult to settle. Their first score of the day came from the stick of Nicky Rackard who later scored the equalizer after twenty minutes of play. Less than a minute later Ring was back in the thick of the action. He caught the sliothar, sidestepped three Wexford defenders and sent the sliothar sweetly over the crossbar to restore Cork's lead. He quickly increased his own personal tally by converting a free before passing the sliothar to Willie John Daly who captured Cork's final point of the opening thirty minutes. Wexford were equally accurate with their constant attacks on the Cork goal. A pointed free by Nicky Rackard was followed by the first goal of the day. Paddy Kehoe sent in the sliothar from a sideline cut before Tom Ryan tapped it into the net for the first goal of the game. At half-time the Wexford men had the narrowest of leads by 1-3 to 0-5.

Éamonn Goulding was an Irish hurler and Gaelic footballer who played as a forward for the Cork senior teams.

Dual player or dual star is a term used in Irish English to describe someone who competes in multiple sports - for example in Victorian Ireland cricket and hurling. The term today in Gaelic games typically describes a male player who plays both Gaelic football and hurling or, if a female player, a player of ladies' Gaelic football and camogie. The player does not necessarily have to play at the same standard in both sports. The number of dual stars at county level has decreased recently due to the increasing demands placed upon the best players of both sports.

William John Daly was an Irish hurler and coach who played as a centre-forward for the Cork senior team.

Immediately after the restart Wexford got off to the better start courtesy of a Tim Flood point after a jinking solo run. With six minutes gone in the second half the Cork players found their rhythm again. A long clearance by Gerard Murphy fell to Christy Ring who weaved his way through the Wexford defenders. He was 30 yards out from the goal when he sent off a powerful shot that looked like a certain goal. The players and spectators were convinced that Ring had put Cork back in the lead, however, the umpire had his finger raised for a 70-yard free. There was no goal as the sliothar struck Wexford full-back Nick O'Donnell and went out over the end line. Such was the force of Ring's shot that the impact of the sliothar broke O’Donnell's collarbone and he had to retire from the game. Bobby Rackard was switched to the full-back position; however, it turned out to be a tactical error as his clearances failed to go as far as O’Donnell's. Ring sent over his fourth point of the game in the forty-second minute before Vincy Twomey moved outfield with the sliothar and sent another sweet shot between the posts. In spite of the onslaught Wexford clung on to their two-point lead, however, the turning point of the match was just around the corner. With four minutes left in the game nineteen-year-old Johnny Clifford became the hero of the day for Cork. Wexford goalkeeper Art Foley was caught out of position and off his goal line leaving Clifford with an easy shot into an almost empty net. Cork had regained the lead but only by the smallest of margins. It had given them some breathing space; however, Wexford launched one final attack. This failed and when Josie Hartnett sent over another point the title looked to be Cork's. Fittingly, the final score of the game came from the man who was about to make history. Christy Ring pointed to give Cork a 1-9 to 1-6 win and a third All-Ireland title in-a-row. Furthermore, the victory gave Ring a record-breaking eighth All-Ireland winners’ medal.

Timothy "Tim" Flood was an Irish hurler who played as a left corner-forward for the Wexford senior team.

Nick ODonnell Irish hurler

Nicholas "Skinny" O'Donnell was an Irish hurler who played as a full-back for the Kilkenny and Wexford senior teams.

Robert "Bobby" Rackard was an Irish hurler who played as a right corner-back for the Wexford senior team.

Statistics

Cork 1-9 1-6 Wexford
C. Ring (0-5)
J. Clifford (1-0)
É. Goulding (0-1)
W.J. Daly (0-1)
V. Twomey (0-1)
J. Hartnett (0-1)
T. Ryan (1-0)
N. Rackard (0-3)
T. Flood (0-2)
P. Kehoe (0-1)
Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 84,856
Referee: Jack Mulcahy (Kilkenny)
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CORK:
GK1 Dave Creedon
RCB2 Gerry O'Riordan
FB3 John Lyons
LCB4 Tony O'Shaughnessy
RWB5 Matty Fuohy
CB6 Vincy Twomey
LWB7 Derry Hayes
M8 Gerald Murphy
M9 Willie Moore
RWF10 Willie John Daly
CF11 Josie Hartnett
LWF12 Christy Ring (c)
RCF13 Johnny Clifford
FF14 Éamonn Goulding
LCF15 Paddy Barry
Substitutes:
LCF Tom O'Sullivan
WEXFORD:
GK1 Art Foley
RCB2 Billy Rackard
FB3 Nick O'Donnell
LCB4 Mick O'Hanlon
RWB5 Jim English
CB6 Bobby Rackard
LWB7 Ned Wheeler
M8 Jim Morrissey
M9 Séamus Hearne
RWF10 Paddy Kehoe
CF11 Tim Flood
LWF12 Padge Kehoe (c)
RCF13 Tom Ryan
FF14 Nicky Rackard
LCF15 Bobby Donovan
Substitutes:
CB Tim Bolger
RWF Dom Aherne

MATCH RULES

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