It had to take three games for Clarecastle to finally see off Tubber for their first Clare Cup title in 38 years and first major senior title since 1970. Such an epic thriller would turn out to be the catalyst for a senior revival as they retained their title the following year along with contesting the county final before finally making the long awaited championship breakthrough with back-to-back titles in ’86 and ’87 with the majority of this 1983 side.

Draw was a fair result in Clare Cup Final

Monday, October 31st 1983
Clare Cup Final
Clarecastle 3-6 Tubber 2-9

at Cusack Park, Ennis

In one of the most entertaining Clare Champion Cup finals for many years, Clarecastle and Tubber played a thrilling draw at Cusack Park on Monday. Hurling patrons who came along to see this game before the county final replay, certainly were not sorry as there were some great passages of play from two very committed teams.
Both teams missed some chances during the hour but few will argue with the end result as defeat for either side would certainly have been rough. They played as if they were contesting a championship final and the fact that both clubs haven’t won major titles for a number of years, certainly played a major role in motivating the players.
It was great too to see Enda O’Connor make a return to the game after sustaining a serious facial injury in the semi-final against Tulla. Enda wasn’t due to take any part in the game and he watched the first half from the stand. Ten minutes into the second half he entered the fray in the half-forward line and it was he who scored the equalising point a minute from full-time.
Tubber got off to a marvellous start and after nine minutes, they led on a score of 1-3 to nil. Their goal came in the second minute when Pat O’Connor crashed a penalty to the net after he had been fouled. With Noel O’Grady in brilliant form at centre-back, the underdogs continued to dominate and Clarecastle had to wait until the 12th minute for their first score which was a point from a free at a difficult angle by Paschal Russell.
At the turn of the quarter, Tubber lost Michael O’Connor with a recurrence of a leg injury and he was replaced by Michael Ryan before Paschal Russell had another point from a free again from a difficult angle. Six minutes from the break Sean O’Donoghue had a Tubber point but a minute later John Callinan got inside the Tubber defence to score their first goal after a fine move.
Before the break, Michael Ryan, who had a great chance of a goal and Dermot Fitzgerald exchanged points with Paschal Russell adding another in injury-time to leave the score at 1-5 to 1-4 at the interval in Tubber’s favour.
Pat O’Connor increased Tubber’s lead three minutes into the second half before Paschal Russell had a great point for the Magpies in the eighth minute. A minute later Clarecastle took the lead for the first time when Russell goaded after Dermot Fitzgerald’s shot had been blocked down. Tubber refused to die and three minutes later, they were back in front with a Michael Ryan goal after a mix-up in the Clarecastle defence.
Play was now swinging from end to end and within two minutes Clarecastle were back in front with a great goal from Victor O’Loughlin and this was quickly followed by a Paschal Russell point from a free to leave Clarecastle a goal ahead entering the final quarter. The Magpies failed to score after this as Tubber had the better of matters but the Clarecastle defence was holding firm.
Seven minutes from the end, Pat Taaffe pointed from a 40 metre free after he and Pat O’Connor had missed good chances. With three minutes to go, Noel O’Grady scored from a ’65 and then a minute from time came Enda O’Connor’s point to level matters.
Noel O’Grady shone at centre-back for Tubber enjoying great support from Noel Earley, John Clancy and Jimmy Droney, while Gerry Lee did well at midfield, with Pat O’Connor starring in attack. For Clarecastle, Tom Howard, Anthony Scanlon, Paul Higgins, Paschal Russell and John Callinan did best.

Clarecastle: Michael Nugent; Peter Leyden, Anthony Scanlon, Paul Higgins; Willie Halpin, Tom Howard, Barney Lynch; Victor O’Loughlin (1-0), Philip Colleran; John Callinan (1-0), Pat Tuohy, George Power; Christy Martin, Dermot Fitzgerald (0-1), Paschal Russell (1-5 4f)

Tubber: Paul Ryan; John Clancy, Jimmy Droney, Aidan McGann; Leo O’Donoghue, Noel O’Grady (0-2 1’65), Noel Earley; John Lee, Gerry Lee; JJ O’Dea, Don O’Loughlin, Sean O’Donoghue (0-1); Pat O’Connor (1-1, 1-0 Pen), Pat Taaffe (0-3), Michael O’Connor
Subs: Michael Ryan (1-1) for M. O’Connor (inj) Enda O’Connor (0-1) for O’Dea

Referee: Noel O’Driscoll (O’Callaghan’s Mills)

Clare Cup thriller – but still no result

Sunday, November 13th 1983
Clare Cup Final Replay
Clarecastle 3-9 Tubber 3-9

at Cusack Park, Ennis

Report by Austin Hobbs, The Clare Champion

The outcome of the Clare Champion Cup Final still remains undecided after 120 minutes of brilliant hurling between Clarecastle and Tubber. The skilful and wholehearted efforts of both teams at Cusack Park on Sunday last surpassed their performance in the first game and the 3-9 all draw was a very fair result.
No extra-time was played in spite of strong protestations from Clarecastle officials, as the Under 21 final was to follow and light was already very poor when the game ended level at 2.45pm. Though by rule extra-time must be played in the event of a drawn replay, Hurling Board Secretary John Ryan, was perfectly right in sticking to his guns on his common sense decision.
Given the exceptionally high standard of hurling in both games, the supporters of both clubs will no doubt savour the prospect of a third meeting. At this stage, the scoreline stands at Tubber 5-18 (2-9 and 3-9), Clarecastle 6-15 (3-6 and 3-9).
The pattern of the replay was almost a carbon copy of the first clash with Tubber settling early and dominating the first quarter. Noel O’Grady opened their account with a pointed ’65 after two minutes and this was added to by Patrick Taaffe (20m free) and a long range score from John Lee.
Clarecastle got off the mark with a point from a Paschal Russell free in the 11th minute. He scored from another free three minutes later to cancel out a point from play scored by Michael Ryan for Tubber.
A good build-up in the Clarecastle forward line led to their first goal in the 16th minute. George Power sent a high shot to corner-forward Christy Martin and he crossed the ball low to the goalmouth to leave Paschal Russell sell the easy task of first-timing to the net.
The Clarecastle lead was extended with points from John Callinan and Russell. However, Tubber struck back with a Noel O’Grady pointed free after several good chances had been wasted by Taaffe. Two minutes from the break, he made amends for his errors when his low hard shot beat Michael Nugent and restored Tubber’s lead (1-5 to 1-4).
Both teams started the second half with great determination and exchanged points up to the 15th minute, Paschal Russell (2), Tom Howard and Victor O’Loughlin for Clarecastle and Pat O’Connor (2) and substitute Martin Clancy for Tubber.
Christy Martin snatched Clarecastle’s second goal when he was quickly in to get a rebound from the goalie’s hurler after a shot from Dermot Fitzgerald. Again Tubber responded quickly, Martin Clancy pointed a free in the 19th minute and they edged ahead when John Lee crashed home a goal when the ball broke loose after a ’65. Clarecastle were awarded a free and Russell scored to level the sides for the fifth time on 25 minutes.
A lucky goal in the 26th minute for Clarecastle looked like sealing the issue. Victor O’Loughlin shot low from 35 metres and and Christy Martin swung at the ball but failed to connect. However, this was enough to distract the Tubber goalie and he let the ball through his legs.
Two minutes later, it was Tubber’s turn to get a lucky break. Taaffe sent a long range shot goalwards and Michael Nugent got his stick to it but the ball bobbed away from him. Clancy was on hand to tap the ball across the line for the crucial equaliser.
Man of the Match was Clarecastle’s Paschal Russell who scored 1-6. He seemed to be everywhere in the forward line and scored well from play and placed balls. Also impressive for Clarecastle were Haulie Russell, Tom Howard, Barney Lynch, Victor O’Loughlin, George Power. Noel O’Grady and Noel Earley were Tubber’s best players while Don O’Loughlin, Pat Taaffe, Pat O’Connor and Martin Clancy gave good support.

Clarecastle: Michael Nugent; Peter Leyden, Anthony Scanlon, Paul Higgins; Tom Howard (0-1), Haulie Russell, Barney Lynch; Victor O’Loughlin (1-1), Philip Colleran; John Callinan (0-1), Pat Tuohy, George Power; Christy Martin (1-0), Dermot Fitzgerald, Paschal Russell (1-6 3f)

Tubber: Paul Ryan; John Clancy, Jimmy Droney, Aidan McGann; Leo O’Donoghue, Noel O’Grady (0-2, 1f, 1’65), Noel Earley; Don O’Loughlin, Gerry Lee; Sean O’Donoghue, Pat O’Connor, John Lee (1-1); Enda O’Connor, Pat Taaffe (1-1 1f), Michael Ryan (0-1)
Subs: Martin Clancy (1-2) for S. O’Donoghue, Michael O’Connor for M.Ryan

Referee: Noel O’Driscoll (O’Callaghan’s Mills)


Clarecastle’s title, but Tubber had the chances

Saturday, November 19th 1983
Clare Cup Final Second Replay
Clarecastle 2-12 Tubber 2-09

at Cusack Park, Ennis

Report by Seamus Hayes, The Clare Champion

After three hours hurling, Clarecastle have captured the Clare Champion Cup at the expense of Tubber. The third meeting of the sides in as many weeks, at Cusack park on Saturday last, again produced a very lively contest and the result was in doubt right up to the moment referee Noel O’Driscoll signalled the end. Clarecastle were naturally thrilled with the outcome but it must be said that Tubber did have the chances and have only themselves to blame for losing this one.
In the two drawn games, Tubber had started well and had opened up an early lead. On Saturday, it was Clarecastle’s turn to jump into an early lead and they were 1-3 to nil up after ten minutes. Paschal Russell, their top scorer, opened the scoring after 30 seconds with a good point from play and he followed with a similar score from a free in the fifth minute.
Tubber came more into the game after the Clarecastle goal and they went into a one point lead with just under five minutes to go to the break. Clarecastle hit back to lead at the interval by a point and they held the lead until three minutes before the end when Tubber went back in front by a point. Clarecastle hit back immediately to regain the lead and they held out for a win.
Both teams showed changes from the previous week with Clarecastle making a couple of positional changes. Pat Tuohy moved from centre-forward to wing back with Tom Howard going to midfield and Victor O’Loughlin going to wing-forward. Haulie Russell moved up from centre-back to lead the attack with John Callinan dropping back to centre-back.
Tubber had Michael Ryan at corner-back for Aidan McGann who was surprisingly omitted from the side while in the forward line, Enda O’Connor was on the 40′ with his brother Pat at full-forward and a third member of the family, Michael in the corner.
Three points from Russell in the early minutes gave Clarecastle a slight advantage and they increased their lead with a good point from Dermot Fitzgerald before striking for their first goal.
Tubber’s goalie, Paul Ryan failed to hold a shot from Paschal Russell and Philip Colleran was quickly in to knock the ball into the net. After this, Clarecastle lost Christy Martin with a head injury following a collision with Mike Ryan who continued after treatment. This led to an amazing decision by Clarecastle to send in selector, veteran Paddy Kelly, who wasn’t a member of the panel, to the attack. This move had repercussions at the interval when most of the Clarecastle substitutes togged in and did not come back into the enclosed area. Kelly, who failed to make any impression, was replaced 12 minutes into the second half by Christy Leyden.
Tubber’s first score came eleven minutes from the break when Martin Clancy pointed just after they had missed a great opportunity of a goal when a shot from Pat O’Connor rebounded off the upright and his brother Michael failed to apply the finishing touches. Clancy added another point before Enda O’Connor had a good score after taking a pass from his brother Michael.
Another Clancy point from a free reduced the deficit to just two points and then Tubber struck for their first goal – the best goal of the game – when Michael O’Connor brilliantly grabbed a Martin Clancy cross to shoot to the net. Clarecastle struck back for two points from frees to lead at the break on a score of 1-5 to 1-4.
The first half saw a total of eight players booked while a few others received warnings and one felt at this stage that some may not finish the hour. The teams must have seen the danger as it was obvious that, while still very determined, there was less needle in the second half.
Three minutes into the second half, Russell increased Clarecastle’s lead with a point from play before Martin Clancy scored from a free for the Tubber men. In the fifth minute, Tom Howard had a great point for the winners after a great solo run.
During the next ten minutes, there were no scores and each side made a change with Tubber sending in Sean O’Donoghue for Pat Taaffe who had been doing reasonably well. Clarecastle sent in Christy Leyden for Paddy Kelly. Incidentally when Kelly went on in the first half, it resulted in the Clarecastle selectors – Kelly, Paschal Russell and Dermot Fitzgerald – forming the full-forward line.
At the turn of the final quarter, Russell had another great point to put his team three points in front. In the next ten minutes, each side had two points before Pat O’Connor left just two points between the teams with four minutes to go.
A minute later, Tubber were in front when the O’Connor brothers, Pat and Enda combined for a goal after Pat had made a fine run on the left flank. Their lead was short-lived however as Clarecastle fought back immediately for their second goal. Dermot Fitzgerald won the ball on the far wing and Philip Colleran ran onto his cross to first time the ball goalwards. Tubber’s Paul Ryan got his hand to the ball but allowed the sliotar to drop over the line. John Callinan, now up in attack, added a point before Tubber came back with a point from Martin Clancy when his shot from a 20 metre free was deflected over the bar. The Magpies had the final say when Russell pointed from a free.
Paschal Russell was a deserving winner of the Man of the Match award sponsored by Peadar O’Keeffe Oil. Indeed, Russell was the difference between the teams and his ability to score – he accounted for 0-9, five of which came from play – was decisive. In defence, Pat Tuohy had a great game at wing-back while others to impress were Tom Howard, Paul Higgins and Dermot Fitzgerald.
For Tubber, Noel O’Grady, Noel Earley and the O’Connor brothers were most prominent. Tubber had a total of 13 wides, seven of which came in the first half while Clarecastle had six, one coming in the second half.

Clarecastle: Michael Nugent; Peter Leyden, Anthony Scanlon, Paul Higgins; Pat Tuohy, John Callinan (0-1), Barney Lynch; Tom Howard (0-1), Philip Colleran (2-0); Victor O’Loughlin, Haulie Russell, George Power; Dermot Fitzgerald (0-1), Paschal Russell (0-9 4f), Christy Martin
Subs: Paddy Kelly for Martin (Inj), Christy Leyden for Kelly

Tubber: Paul Ryan; John Clancy, Jimmy Droney, Michael Ryan; Leo O’Donoghue, Noel O’Grady, Noel Earley; Don O’Loughlin, Gerry Lee (0-1); Martin Clancy (0-6), Enda O’Connor (1-1), John Lee; Pat Taaffe, Pat O’Connor (0-1), Michael O’Connor (1-0)
Sub Sean O’Donoghue for Taaffe

Referee: Noel O’Driscoll (O’Callaghan’s Mills)