Following the suspension in 1940, mentioned in the last section, a mostly new team was formed that was to carry the Caherlistrane colours with distinction for the rest of the forties. A measure of the support that the parish G.A.A. followers were willing to give this new team can be gauged from the huge crowd that turned up at the old Fair Green in 1941 for their first match with Headford. At a time when 15. was the admission price, a total of £34 was taken at the gate. Nor were the Caherlistrane supporters disappointed, for the home side went on to a good win, and they beat Headford again in the championship that same year.

In 1942 Caherlistrane changed from the West to the North Board, for the long journeys to Oughterard for matches, and to Galway for meetings, were too difficult in those wartime years of petrol shortage. However, before leaving they took the 1942 West Board League title with them. Encouraged by their early successes, the team went senior in 1943, and went on to beat Corofin at Abbeyknockmoy, all the players having cycled to the match.

We were back at junior level in 1944. In a win over Tuam that year, the team was descnbed as “a fine set of men; they played robust football which was far too strong for the lighter Tuam boys”. That robust football was to bring the team to the North Board League Final that year. Their opponents were Mountbellew, and the game, played in Abbey(knockmoy), ended in a draw.

The outcome was finally decided at Tuam in the spring of ’45, when Caherlistrane won by two points. There was another go at senior level in 1945, but a big defeat by Ballinasloe in Tuam dampened our spirits for a while.  So it was junior football again for 1946, but there was some consolation m a good win over Dunmore (who had no senior team that year). In that match, we find that “Fahy, Hoade, Glynn and Monaghan did great work in defence,  and with goals coming from Gannon, Flanagan and Keville, Caherlistrane finished ahead (3-5 to 1-7), At the time of that match, the team was described as “possibly the heaviest in the championship, and their height and weight have proved a decided advantage. They lack polish, but are a hard team to beat . The same teams met again in a league game early in 1947, and Dunmore were leading by two points when the ball burst. There were no reserve footballs in those days, and the referee had to go and have a repair job done. But then Caherlistrane refused to restart the game, and so Dunmore were awarded the match. Soon scuffles broke out, and players and spectators were struck. At the next Football Board meeting Caherlistrane got a six months’ suspension. However, this was lifted in time for the team to take part in the 1947 Championship F0ll0wing a win over Carrantryla in the Tuam area final, all was set for the big day of the North Board Final. Newbridge were the other finalists and the match was to be played in Kilkerrin. The Caherlistrane minors were playing at the same venue that Sunday, and the great enthusiasm that had built up was evident as two lorries packed with players and supporters set off from the paris with blue and white flags flying. And there was cause for celebration. Although the minors went down against Caltra (1-6 to l-l), there was to be no disappointment in the Junior Final. which Caherlistrane won with a score of 2-3 to nil. The celebrations after the match were so hectic that when the lorries set off for home, two supporters were left behind in Kilkerrin.

The next big event was the 1947 County Final, played at Menlough in early March 1948. The opponents were Kilgerrill, and Caherlistrane were lucky to come away with a draw (0—3 each) that day, for “they wasted golden opportunities time after time, and were lucky in the closing minutes to equalise with a point by Fahy from far out”. Others to play well included P. Hoade, M. Glynn, M. Monaghan and P. Gannon. The replay was fixed for Tuam on St. Patrick‘s Day, and arrangements were made to have the Caherlistrane (Feeragh) Pipe Band play at the Final But Kilgerrill did not turn up, and Caherlistrane were awarded the match to become 1947 Galway Junior Football Champions.

Whatever about Caherlistrane taking part in senior football earlier in the forties, now, in 1948, they were there on merit. They confirmed this in the early rounds of the senior championship, with a good win over Dunmore (3—5 to 2—5), and then going on to meet Father Griffin’s in the quarter-finals. That game was played at the Sports Ground in Galway on a day of heavy rain and wind. The scores were level when Paddy Hoade, standing just outside the square, went for an incoming ball. He connected and drove under the bar, but just then the rain was particularly heavy, and the umpire had run for shelter. So there was no one to verify the score, and in the circumstances of the day, the referee decided to call off the match amid protests from Caherlistrane.

In the replay in September of that year (1948) “Caherlistrane might have made it a closer game if they had played more direct football in the first half, when on several occasions they hand-passed so much that they almost lost track of the posts. They could have taken points galore, but were bent on goals, and one or two of their backs made the fatal mistake of playing the man rather than the ball, and this policy gave the city team a spate of frees, which they turned to good account”.

The disappointing result (3—8 to 1—5) did not reflect Caherlistrane’s standing in Galway football. Followers of the game who remember the forties can vouch for it that Caherlistrane were as good as the best of them that year. They could easily have beaten Father Griffin‘s, had the first game not been called off, and then gone on (as Griffin’s did) to take the county title. The team’s senior status was recognised when two of its members were chosen for the county team, Paddy Hoade playing in the National League against Kerry, and Mattie Monaghan with the Galway seniors in the Connacht Championship.

No account of the 1940s would be complete without mentioning Caherlistrane’s great achievements in the Shrule football tournaments. Those tournaments, in the years just after World War 2, attracted some of the best footballers from two counties. The great Tom Sullivan of Oughterard played there as did Sean Purcell and Frank Stockwell But great names held no fear for Caherlistrane in 1947, when they put in some memorable displays of football in beating, first Mayo Abbey, next Tuam Stars, and then Oughterard in the final.

Another feature that made Shrule special was the great support behind our team there, for the venue was so near the parish that supporters, from the schoolchild to the pensioner, found no difficulty in getting there. Then to add to the atmosphere, those were the days when the Caherlistrane Pipe Band was going strong, and after the 1947 win the band led the team in a victorious march down through Shrule. Nor was that the end, for Caherlistrane were back to win again in ’48. (The players at the Shrule seven-a-side tournament in 1947 were Paddy Flanagan (Goal), Mick Glynn, Paddy Fahy, Mattie Glynn, Paddy Hoade, Matie Monaghan and Tom Quinn.)

The end of the forties brought Caherlistrane and Annaghdown together in a combined team for the senior championship. They were known as St. Brendan’s, but the saint didn’t inspire them very much, if we are to judge from a report after their match with Father Griffin’s in October 1949: “The standard of football would not be seen in the worst junior game”. Still, they drew with Griffin’s that day, only to lose the replay.

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