Newport ’s Hurling Men 1996
(Sung to the air of Sean South of Garryowen)
Written by Michael Collins to commemorate Newport’s victory over Lorrha in the North Tipperary Senior Hurling Final of 1996.
8th September: Newport 1 – 9 Lorrha 0 – 12
Replay 15th September: Newport 2 – 13 Lorrha 3 – 6
It was on a bright September day as the evening sun shone down;
Hordes of North Tipp’s hurling fans converged on Nenagh town.
The blue and white of Lorrha on the sideline did unfold,
But the stand was saturated with the purple and the gold.
The cheers that rose for Newport as they marched behind the band
Were heard for miles and miles around, resounding from the stands.
The mast on Keeper trembled and the old hill shook with pride,
As the cheers of ‘Come on Newport’, they rang down the mountainside.
Mid the colour and the atmosphere, the tension that was there-
Strong hearts were now a fluttering, with excitement hard to bear.
But the boys who conquered bold Portroe, with Toome and Moneygall,
Were all prepared for battle when T.F. threw in the ball.
Well I’ll not describe the action, suffice it now to say,
When T.F.’s whistle blew full time, Newport had won the day;
For they played with passion in their hearts, commitment, pride and flair
And brought the Frank McGrath Cup back to the banks of the Mulcaire.
Now let us toast our heroes, write their names in letters bold.
Proud champions of Tipperary North in the purple and the gold.
They shall never be forgotten while the Mulcaire waters flow,
From the hillsides of Sliabh Felim, to the lovely Ballymackeogh.
Ger Floyd our stalwart goalman, great guardian of the net,
Has kept his cool against the odds and many a fierce onset.
And the brothers Liam and Timmy Jones, who formed the famed last line,
Beside that stout defender, D.J. or ‘Cha’ O’Brien.
Young O’Gorman held the centre as his father did of yore;
McCabe and Barry Gleeson were always to the fore.
Pat Keating’s move to midfield proved the trump card in the pack
For himself and Tommy Moylan kept the harness on the ‘Lack’.
The captain bold big Con McGrath, his likes you’ll never meet;
Like the Trojan warriors of old, he does not know defeat.
Ger Bradley, champion of the frees, great forward staunch and true
And John Ryan, with dash and spirit played a hero’s game all through.
Ger Moloney and John Mahony are in the firing line.
There’s a buzz of expectation when the ball’s with Dinny Ryan.
The Cooper’s jinking side-steps; well you can safely bet
When he passes to John Mahony, he’ll plant it in the net.
Peter Coleman, Kieran Buckley, P.J. O’Rourke and Ken O’Brien,
With Eoin Bonfield and John Keating and ‘Blondie’ Paddy Ryan.
Ger Carey, David Hickey and the Coffey’s Mike and Brian
Are all ready to do battle as they’re waiting on the line.
Now a word in praise of the backroom boys, the men behind the team,
Who worked right hard with might and main, for to fulfil their dream,
Timmy Floyd and his selectors, Eddie Quigley, Martin Ryan,
With the shrewd, astute Len Gaynor, assisting on the line.
The coaches Paudie Butler, and Colm Honan too,
Keep concentrating on the skills as all good coaches do.
They raised to fame, the proud old name, of Newport once again,
So let’s raise our glass and drink a toast, to Newport’s hurling men.