From Annaghdown GAA 1887-1989, edited by Br. Michael John Burke
In the early twenties the playing fields of Galway gradually returned to normality after the inactivity associated with the militant years of the fight for freedom. This period was marked in particular by the resurgence of camogie. At the time the game in Galway had no worthwhile foothold in organised competition. True, it had been played in a haphazard manner in some areas and in some schools. An awareness of the necessity to tackle this situation began to develop in different parts of the county. Supporters were invited to meet and discuss tha position and it was decided to form a County Board. Sen. O’Duffy, the National Organiser, was invited to a meeting in Galway, at which a County Board was formed under the chairmanship of the late Mr. O’Callaghan, Principal of the Technical School Galway. Corrandrum were one of eight teams to affiliate. The others were Ballinasloe, Tuam, Headford, Derrydonnell, Prospect Hill, Galway City and the Technical School. The County Board decided to organise a competition on the league basis for the eight clubs. By the late twenties the league was firmly established. During this time Corrandrum were the premier team in the county and won at least three county championships – 1929, 1930 and 1932. On occasions the entire team represented Galway and on other occasions they had six representatives on the Connacht team in the Tailteann Games. The six who represented Connacht versus Leinster in Croke Park in 1932 when they were only beaten by four points were: Nora Greaney, Sadie Kavanagh, Mary Duggan, all from Kilgill; Kathleen Higgins, Turloughmore; Rita Hession, Claregalway and Kitty Varden, Anbally. Nora Greaney was the Corrandrum and Galway captain during this time.
The first game involving the Camogie Club of which we have a report was played on Sunday, May 6th 1928 when they played under the the name Corrandrum Club. They played the Tuam Camogie Club in Anbally. In the first half Corrandrum dominated the game aand scored 6 goals and one point while the visitors failed to score. The half-time score was Currandrum 6-1; Tuam 0-0. Rita Hughes scored the first goal, Nora Greaney scored 2 goals. Sadie Kavanagh and Kathleen Greaney scored a goal each. Nora Greaney who was the best player on the field scored the point from 25 yards. There was a large attendance at the game.
The Currandrum team was: Nora Greaney (Captain), Kathleen Greaney, Sadie Kavanagh, Kitty Kavanagh, Mary Duggan, Nellie Duggan (all from Kilgill), Eilen Hughes, Rita Hughes (Knockdoe), Nellie Varden (Anbally), Rita Hession, Bridie Morris and Peggy Lawless (Corrandrum).
In 1929 Corrandrum won their first County title winning six out of their seven games and finishing with twelve points.
On Sunday July 16th they defeated Headford in Headford by 4 goals and 2 points to 2 points. On August 14th they played Ballinasloe in Anbally under very bad weather conditions. After seven minutes Corrandrum opened the scoring with a goal. From the puck-out Ballinasloe got the equaliser which was their only score of the game. Currandrum settled down and scored 4-1 before half-time and added two more goals in the second half leaving the final score Currandrum 7-1; Ballinasloe 1-0.
The Currandrum team was: Nora Greaney (Captain), Rita Hession, Sadie Kavanagh, Peggy Lawless, Nellie Duggan, Kathleen Higgins, Josie Higgins, Mary Duggan, Della Kearney, Rita Hughes and Mary Lawless. Subs: Nellie Varden, Eileen Hughes and Kitty Kavanagh. On Sunday July 25th, Currandrum defeated Derrydonnell decisively. The game was well contested throughout, but clever tactics and skillful hurling by Currandrum eventually decided the issue. Sadie Kavanagh opened the scoring after two minutes of play with Currandrum playing against the wind. The Duggans, Mary and Nellie and Nora Greaney were working hard in the Corrandrum defence to keep the scores down in the first half. The half-time score was Corrandrum 3-3; Derrydonnell 1-1. In the second half Derrydonnell resumed in a lively fashion, trying to gain ground but with Sadie Kavanagh keeping up her scoring the odds were against them. It was difficult to single out any player in particular, but special praise was due to Kathleen Higgins and Rita Hession (backs) and Sadie Kavanagh and Della Kearney (forwards). Final score – Corrandrum 7-3; Derrydonnell 2-3. We also know that Corrandrum defeated University College Galway in 1929.
On October 12th, 1929 the Connacht Tribune carried the following extract about an upcoming game between Corrandrum and Roscommon to be played in Kilkerrin.
“On Sunday October 20th a ompetition in ladies hurling will take place in Kilkerrin, Moylough, when a Roscommon County selection will cross camans with Corrandrum representing Galway. Perhaps in meeting such a combination, Corrandrum, by themselves, are undertaking too much. They are however a first class combination and will not readily accept defeat from any selection. The team as a whole is little, if anything, under inter-county standard, and includes several players who competed on the Connacht team at the last Tailteann Games. They have recently defeated the University and several other teams in the Galway League and finished on top of the list with 12 points. In view of all this, a grand game should be witnessed and before a record crowd here in a locality where a hurling match is rarely seen”. Even though we have no result of this match we do know that Corrandrum won easily.
Information on the 1930 league campaign is very scarce. All we know is that Corrandrum defeated U.C.G. by 2 goals to nil in a good game at Claregalway on Sunday, 9th November 1930. That win gave Currandrum the 1930 League/Championship in which nine teams took part. This was their second title in a row.
THIRD TITLE IN 1932
On Sunday June 5th at Anbally, Corrandrum played UCG in the second round of the County League, a game they won on the score of Corrandrum 15 goals; UCG 4 goals. Both teams played a fast, neat game.
On Sunday, 19th June, Corrandrum Camogie Club beat the Technical Institute, Galway in the final match for the 1932 League/Championship on the score of Currandrum 4 goals, 2 points; Technical Institute, 2 goals 1 point, in a fast, exciting game played in a sporting manner. Corrandrum were first to score with a goal after four minutes. That score was quickly cancelled by the Technical Institute. Then after wides at both ends Corrandrum went ahead with a point from a “25”. Play reached fever pitch when Technical Institute equalised with a point. Following this there was no score until just before half time when Della Kearney, for Currandrum got posession twenty yards out and scored a lovely goal, putting her side ahead at half-time on the score of Currandrum 2-1; Technical Institute 1-1. On the resumption of play both sets of backs were on top for a time. Eventually Currandrum scored a goal, but it was disallowed for a square infringement. However, from the puckout Corrandrum, again won possession and scored another goal. Soon after this their opponents replied with a similar score. Nora Greaney scored a point for Corrandrum from 30 yards out and this was followed by another goal for Corrandrum by Kathleen Higgins. This goal just three minutes from the end, was the final score of the game. This win made the Corrandrum Camogie Club the League Champions for the third time in four years.
In 1932 Nora Greaney, Mary Duggan, Kathleen Higgins, Sadie Kavanagh and Rita Hession played for Galway in the Tailteann Games, played between June 29th and July 10th in Dublin.
The Currandrum club was made up of sisters except for Rita Hession, Della Kearney, Bridie Morris and Sarah Glynn.
The following were sisters:
Sadie and Kitty Kavanagh – Ardgaineen
Nora and Kathleen Greaney – Ardgaineen
Mary and Nellie Duggan – Kilgill
May and Peggy Lawless – Anbally
Kitty and Nellie Varden – Anbally
Rita and Eillen Hughes – Knockdoe
Kathleen and Josie Higgins – Turloughmore
The other team members were:
Della Kearney – Knockdoe
Rita Hession – Claregalway
Bridie Morris – Tavanagh
Sarah Glynn – Corbally
Trainer/Coach – Brendan Meehan N.T., Currandrum.
Assistant Trainer/Coach – Bill Mannion N.T., Baunmore.
Claire Meehan won an Ashbourne Cup medal with UCG in 1957.