Text is taken from ‘Caherlistrane G.A.A. and 150 Years of Parish Life’ by Michael J. Hughes.

Caherlistrane were strong contenders for the county championship in 1901. They gave notice of what opponents might expect, in a game against Corofin on May 4 of that year: “The Caherlistrane men proved themselves superior in everything, kicking strongly and safely, defending surely and coolly, and acting on the offensive with great science and dash. Peter Burke, the Caherlistrane full back is a wonderful player, his saving being the finest I ever saw. Monaghan and Moloney were very conspicuous in their play all through, and captain Mulroe was always the right man in the right place .” They finished that game with a score of three goals and one point, to Corofin‘s one point.  Caherlistrane had the advantage of home ground 1n their match against Tuam Krugers in the county semi-final that summer. The Tuam Herald reporter was highly impressed as the following accounts shows: “What was without any manner of doubt the greatest football match played in the West of Ireland for years, was witnessed by an enormous crowd of spectators on Sunday last, 30th June, when Tuam Krugers met Caherlistrane St. Patrick’s on their own ground in the semi-final for the Galway county championship. The home men looked a firm lot, well set up hardy fellows, and much heavier than the Tuam men. All in all, the two teams were as fine a lot of Gaels as would be found on any football field. On play commencing, Monaghan got away for Caherlistrane, and followed closely by Casey and Glynn, invaded the Transvaal. Just in the nick of time Bruen caught the invaders, and passing well to Gallagher, Opened the way for Tuam, who soon made the home team feel what invasion was. Dashing up to stop the attack came Mulroe and Pat Burke, as the Krugers pressed home. But Peter Burke saved magnificently, and down the field raced Moloney and Higgins in a fine attempt to get into Krugerland. There was some fine play now from Curry and Dooley, and with Thomas Burke ably assisting, the ‘Saints’ got through the Kruger line. For ten minutes round the Tuam goal line the battle raged, and right splendidly did the wonderful line of Kruger backs answer to the call”. Although Caherlistrane lost by two points that day, their great display was recalled for many years afterwards. Tuam Krugers went on to become county champions in 1901, and the following year they represented Galway, but lost, in the All-Ireland Final. The Krugers picked one of the Caherlistrane team, Michael Moloney of Lisdonagh, to play with them in that final.

In 1903 Caherlistrane seemed to have difficulty in fielding a team, and the following year they decided to amalgamate with Belclare. The combined team was to be known as Caherlistrane St. Patrick’s in 1904, as Belclare Harpers in 1905, and so on. However, the new team was soon in some difficulty, as the following report shows: “A meeting of the County Galway Board was held in Tuam on May 15th 1904 to hear a Caherlistrane objection to Athenry being awarded the football match played on May 1st. The referee in his report said that the score was one point to nil in favour of Athenry when Caherlistrane left the field with eight minutes still to go. Mr. E. Canavan, for Caherlistrane, said the referee was one-sided, that the disputed score should not be allowed because the Athenry man picked the ball from the ground and ran more than the legal distance. He went on to say that when Athenry got a ‘fifty’ the referee gave them the right distance, but when Caherlistrane got one he put them back to the seventy mark. Another time an Athenry man said to him: ‘Now that free is for ye, but we’re getting it’. Mr. Burke (Galway Gaels): Were you playing Mr. Canavan? Mr. Canavan: No, but I was looking on, and the whole field saw it as well as I did. The objection was overruled, but Mr. Canavan went on speaking to shouts of “Order”, “Sit down”,  “Obey the Chair”, “Suspend him”, etc. Finally a motion to suspend Mr. Canavan was passed by a vote of 12 for to 9 against. Among the clubs to vote for suspension were Tuam Stars, Tuam St. Jarlath’s, Athenry, Galway Sarsfields, Dunmore, Turloghmore and Castlegar. The clubs voting against suspension included Corofin, Ahascragh, Rahoon and, old pals, the Tuam Krugers. Mr. Canava was then suspended for nine months.

The golden years (1888-1902) of Caherlistrane football were now over. It was said of the team In those years that in over forty appearances they never lost a match- their worst result being a draw. A bit of an exaggeration, maybe, but it gives us an idea of how highly they were regarded.

The following years were fairly quiet for parish football. Then 1913 brought a Junior county title, and we hear about Caherlistrane again in 1916 when their Junior team “with their speed and training” overcame Abbey with a score of 1-2 to 0-2.  The same year Caherlistrane drew with Dunmore.

The War of Independence was now drawing near, and soon the playing of football matches would be hazardous. The next chapter of Caherlistrane football begins after the Civil War (1922—23).

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