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The Men of '46

posted 1 Dec 2016, 14:59 by ballymacnab armagh

Ballymacnab McOscar Cup winning team 1946 

Back Row LR Edward Halpin, Frank McCone, Mick Short, James Toner, James Short, Con Toner, Mick Mackin, Fr J.Clarke.

Front LR Patrick McKenna, John Molloy, Patrick Toner, Mickey McCone (Captain), James McCone, Seamus Cassidy, Art Molloy

Sitting LR Sean Reilly, Joe O'Hare

There has been some form of football played in the Ballymacnab area since the turn of the last century. Records show that the first affiliated team from Ballymacnab was in 1925 when the team was known as 'Brian Ogs'. During the 1930s and '40s the Parish League was of high prominence and Ballymacnab Round Towers sides were competitive throughout.

However, in this year of centenary celebration it would be remiss of the Gaels of Ballymacnab not to remember the 'Men of 1946' who claimed the first trophy in the Club's history.

Having reached the Final of the Mid Division McOscar Cup in 1943, the Club went one better in winning the Cup three years later. The 1946 Final wasn't fixed until Sunday 14 September 1947 against St.John's, Lilo in Armagh. For some reason, St.John's did not field and the match was refixed for a Sunday in October. Ballymacnab won convincingly and by doing so brought their first success in any competition organised by the County Board. Those who featured on the side are listed & pictured above. It would be a further 53 years before the Club would claim a Championship title when they won the Junior in 1999. 

Many of the descendants of those on this team have represented Ballymacnab down through the years. The grandsons of three of those players are current playing members: Brian, Declan, Shane McCone (grandsons of Frank McCone), Caoimhin Rafferty (grandson of Mickey McCone who was the Captain of the team and also represented Armagh Junior team of 1948) and Ciaran Connolly (grandson of Seamus Cassidy).

Joe O'Hare (who played for Armagh in the 1953 All Ireland Final) was the last surviving member of the team until he passed away in 2015.

The Club has had its most successful period over the last ten years, winning the Intermediate Championship in 2006, reached the Senior Championship Final in 2011 and have played in the top division since 2011 also. All of which would seem an incredible dream to those men who brought the first success.