Death of last member of Carlow's 1944 team.

November 8, 2018

The death of Ted Joyce last weekend marked the end of an era as the 90 year old was the last surviving member of the Carlow team that won the county's one and only Leinster Senior Football Championship in 1944, defeating Dublin by 2-6 to 1-6 in Athy. At 20 years of age, Ted was the youngest player on the panel.

For anyone under 60, it may be hard to believe that for over 20 years from the early-40s to the mid-60s, Carlow were one of the best teams in Ireland – reaching the Leinster Finals in 1941, 42 and 44, National League Final in 1954, League semi-final in 1962 and numerous Leinster semi-finals and tournament wins, regularly beating teams like Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Wexford etc 

Carlow were unlucky to lose to Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final (3-3 to 0-10) on 22/8/1944 with star midfielder Luke Kelly being injured in the first half. A newspaper report stated: "Carlow's fluent handpassing game was troubling Kerry until the Kingdom adopted disruptive tactics evidenced by the free count of 32 frees to Carlow and 17 to Kerry".

In 1945, Carlow players made up most of the Leinster team which won the Railway Cup with Peenie Whelan as Captain. Peenie had the unique distinction of captaining his club, Tinryland, to win the county c'ship, Carlow to win the Leinster c'ship and Leinster to win the Railway Cup in less than 12 months.

Many observers reckon that if Carlow had the services of Fr Paddy Shine (Tinryland) and Tom "Drakes" Walker (O'Hans) in 44, they could have gone all the way and won the All-Ireland. But Shine, an exceptional footballer and athlete, had just been ordained a priest and was not allowed play football, and Walker, another outstanding footballer, had retired the previous year. The loss of midfielder Luke Kelly through injury against Kerry was also a big set back.

A number of descendants of the 44 team would be familiar to younger readers – Willie Quinlan is grandson of goalkeeper "Pim", Simon Rae is grandson of Jimma, Willie Hosey Junior was Irish Squash Champion, John & Mick Murphy of Tinryland are sons of Andy "The Prince" Murphy, Ted Joyce Junior is a promising hurler with MLR & the County Minor team and our own Jamie Farrell is grand nephew of Paddy Farrell.

The team that played Kerry was:

                                                       1. John "Pim" Quinlan (O'Hanrahans)

2. Johnny Lawlor (Fighting Cocks)       3. Jim Archbold (Tullow)         4. Ted Joyce (Ballymurphy)

5. Peter"Peenie"Whelan(T'land)CAPT   6.Brian O'Rourke(Ballymurphy)   7.Paddy Farrell (Kilbride)

                         8. Luke Kelly (Ballymurphy)          9. Jim Morris (Ballon & Erins Hope)

10. John "Buller" Moore (O'Hans)     11. Mickey Byrne (O'Hans)    12. Willie Hosey (Tinryland)

13. Paddy Sullivan (Army/Tinryland)    14. John Doyle (T'land)    15. Jimma Rae (O'Hanrahans)

Subs: Mattie Doyle (Ballymurphy), John Brady (Palatine), Andy Murphy (Tinryland), Seamus Corcoran (O'Hans), Joe Brennan (O'Hans), Johnny D'Arcy (Tullow), Michael "Ding Dong" Hughes (Tinryland), Chris Meagher (Tullow),

Score at half-time: 2-1 to 0-6. Final Score: 3-3 to 0-10

Frees for Carlow: 15 (FH), 17 (SH), Total: 32

Frees against Carlow: 11 (FH), 6 (SH): Total 17

Attendance: 40,727 (a record for an All-Ireland semi-final at that time)

Ní beidh a leitheidí ann arís – we will not see their likes again.