Division one 1996
Reading through the player Q&As recently, there was a common wish of seeing Naomh Brid playing Senior Football again in the future so staying on that theme, we stay in 1996 and the last time the club played Division 1/Senior Championship football. Tommy McFadden had taken over as manager of the Senior team in 1995 and got them promoted at the first attempt. Only the second time in the clubs history to play in the top flight, after the great team of 1988-89.
Unfortunately for Tommy, he lost almost a third of his experienced players to a combination of Emigration, Retirement and Injury before the season even started. Thus, it was a relatively young and inexperienced team that lined out for Division 1 football, with seven U-21s including five teenagers on the regular starting fiveteen. Despite beating Naomh Chonaill and putting up stern battles against the likes of Aodh Ruadh, Kilcar and Gweedore, the failure to win games regularly saw Naomh Brid at the foot of the table for most of the year, ultimately ending in relegation.
When Senior Championship time rolled around, Naomh Brid were given little chance by the press to cause an upset against established Division 1 side MacCumhaills. They were shocked when the favourites were forced to a play-off game. Played in Tir Chonaill Park, it was a controversial game that was suspended for over 30 minutes due to an injury to Rory Sweeney that saw him taken to hospital by ambulance. In the end the difference was a disputed goal that saw MacCumhaills through, but Naomh Brid had proven no pushovers. Sadly we never got to see the full potential of that young team as quite a few headed off to college, momentum was lost.
The last Naomh Brid team to line out in the Senior Championship was:
Terence Kilpatrick, Paul McGroary, John Joe Travers, Shane Gallagher, Rory Griffith, Eoin Ferriter, Donal Martin, Gerard Gallagher, Matt Gallagher, Joseph Griffith, Eamonn McNulty, Rory Sweeney, Pauric Rooney, Dermot Curristun, Brendan Griffith Subs: Stephen Walls for Sweeeney (inj 26mins), Dennis Kelly(RIP) for Rooney(inj 58mins)
If you have any old team photos, please send them in with the year, team listing and little backstory.
Photo 1: Big Gerard Gallagher bursting through against future Finn Harps star Shane Bradley
Photo 2: Matt Gallagher, John Joe Travers, Donal Skimmer and Eamonn McNulty in the thick of things. Not sure who is on the ground