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Club History - 1990's - Back On Top

1990's - Back On Top

This decade, represented a return to the glory days, with the younger home-grown talent finally moving out of the shadow of that great 70's era to write their own history. As per usual, this revival was led by the hurlers who, having secured four senior titles in a row, (94-97) maintained a unique spirit that often secured victory when the 'chips were down'. This was none more evident than the 1990 final with a winning goal in the last minute. A notable feat was the number of 'masters' who had played through three decades to ensure the survival of hurling within the club.

 

The potential for the senior football team was denoted as early as 1991 with the Senior League title being secured. With another league title and B&I 7's title in between, the breakthrough was finally made with championship success in 1995 under the guidance of player/manager Edmund Meeghan (Snowy). The treble was soon to follow and but for the luck on the day, a provicial club title slipped through the net with a narrow 2 point defeat in the final. Testament can be laid to the earlier underage success of the 1980's with no less than nine of the team being Birmingham born.

After a shock defeat in '96, the senior football title was recaptured in '97 and this continued with a clean sweep for the decade. At this time, the only serious challenge was outside the county in the club championship an unfortunately the lack of consistent competition at county level proved to be the downfall when required to 'step up a gear'. Our Nemesis in that era was a highly decorated Tir Chonnaill Gaels side. A side that Macs could never seem to surmount, but who fondly recall the tough battle of '98 when Macs dominated the play, but failed to convert that to the scoreboard. Another agonising defeat to Hugh O'Neills in' 99 saw the oppurtunity for that great side to secure a club championship diminish. After two hard fought battles against Erin Gaels of Hertfordshire, Macs thought the Holy Grail was in sight but sadly it was not to be on the day. 

 

On a sadder note, this decade witnessed the passing of two great Sean McDermott's men, namely Jimmy Smith (RIP) and Tony Jordan (RIP). On both occasions the Club responded in true style by securing victories in their memory with the '96 league and the '97 championship respectively. Their work and dedication to Sean McDermotts will long be remembered and is widely recognise not only within the club but throughout Warwickshire and Great Britain alike. 

 

The latter part of the '90s saw Sean McDermotts help create a revolution in the Underage structure for GAA games in Warwickshire. Throughout the years, the club had been most vociferous of the benefit of a strong Underage system, with the success of the current senior squad being seen as the prime example. However, it was not until one of our very own members, Kevin McEvoy, a stalwart of the 80's senior teeams and a prodigy of the 70's underage structure, began the revolution. The idea was simple but untried in the UK. Bring GAA games into our schools and with a more involved support from Croke Park, implement a structured coaching programme and a more varied level of competition to attract the young players from other sports. The idea quickly spread and in a new period of acceptance in the UK where it became fashionable to be Irish, the scale of its success was unprecendented with Gaelic games becoming the fastest growing sport in the region year on year. 


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