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Back in Time - 1933

Emyvale Athletic Event.

Patsy Brady, during his research for the Margaret Skinnider story, came across an account in the Northern Standard of July 7 1933, which he thought we might be interested in and we were delighted to get a copy of the article.  So thanks to Patsy this very interesting story comes to you from the pages of the Northern Standard.

It was headed – ‘Great Crowd Witnesses Fine Evening’s Sport – Brilliant and Colourful scene’

To hold a crowd of some thousands of people on a sports field for over six hours and keep such a large assembly going with amusements and thrills all the time takes some doing. The promoters of the athletic sports meeting at Emyvale last Sunday succeeded in doing that and doing it well. They are the parish sports and annually they provide a great treat for the people of Donagh and the neighbouring parishes of Truagh, Tydavnet and Tyholland.
Sunday was an ideal day for the meeting. A glorious sun shone from a cloudless sky on a colourful and animated scene in the splendidly appointed grounds adjacent to the village of Emyvale. The heat was very oppressive. It was just grand to be out. The fair ladies had donned their fine summer frocks. The cares of the farm and the times were all forgotten and there were smiles everywhere during the six hours of the splendid sports programme.
Those responsible for the organisation of this great event deserve to be warmly congratulated and praise is due in particular to Father Victor Marron, whose equal in promoting both religious and social events in the life of the people would be difficult to find. He was assisted by a capable committee and officials including Dr. T J Leonard; Messrs Charles McCluskey MCC; Patrick McEntee NT; Peter Loughran MCC; P Woods NT; P J O’Hanlon NT; Edward Hughes MRCVS; O. Connolly; J McAvinchey; J Flynn; J P McKenna; S McPhjillips NT; J McCormick; P Kelly NT;  P. Lavery etc.
The entire programme was carried through with perfect order and without any delay between events. Rev. J J Ward, PP Donagh, was present throughout the evening and at the conclusion presented the prizes to the winners of the various events. The splendid Donagh Temperance Band, under the conductorship of Mr J T Barbour, enlivened the proceedings at intervals with selections of Irish airs. The

Ladies in Action
Ladies are coming more to the fore on the field of sport. Within a comparatively short period of time numerous Camogie teams have been started. There were no less than four teams seen in action at the sports and great interest was taken in the games. The girls are speedily acquiring a knowledge of how the camán should be used.
The first game was a good closely fought one between Emyvale and Moy Bridge. Both sides put all their energy into it. The decision went in favour of Emyvale who defeated the border team by two goals to one.
Later in the evening a great game was provided in the meeting of Monaghan Town team and that from Goland. They were marched onto the playing pitch and around the side lines headed by the band and cheered as they went along. Both these teams have been seen in action before and they certainly have made good progress since their first meeting. Each side put up a strenuous fight. The second half was particularly good. Miss Hyland with a  major sent Monaghan ahead early on and Goland, though it made a great effort to do so, could not equalise. Monaghan got the victory.

The seven-a-side football matches also provided great interest. Tyholland had an easy victory over Emyvale in the first match. It was a closer thin between Truagh and Tydavnet but Tydavnet gained the victory by a small margin. The final between Tyholland and Tydavnet was a hard fought game throughout. Tydavnet put up a great fight against their sturdy opponents and won the set of medals. The members of the Tydavnet team were: T. Treanor; F McCarron; Pat Sherlock; E. Treanor; J. Clerkin; P McKenna and Jim McKenna.

A Great Pull

Usually in Tug ‘O War contests the crowd rushes the enclosure but everything was carried out with the greatest decorum at this meeting. No one intruded and the whole crowd witnessed two great pulls between Truagh and Donagh teams. The former got the first pull without much difficulty but the second was as exciting and could be witnessed. From the strain went on there was a dead even pull. Alternatively each side gained and lost a few inches and the crowd cheered. In the end Truagh put a mighty effort into it and won amid much cheering.

Thrilling Race.
 There was one pony race at the conclusion of the programme. Now the spectators thronged the enclosure while the ponies ran outside. In all six competed and after a thrilling race a nice grey pony, the property of Mr. Edward Hughes, came home first , followed by that of Mr, J McQuaid, with an animal ridden by Mr S. Chapman in third.

Other Events

100yds Boys U12 – 1.  Andrew McKenna, Killyrane NS;  2  John Treanor, Edenmore.
100 yds Boys U15 – 1.  Brian Mulligan;  2.  John Curley.
100yds Girls U 14 – 1.  Kathleen Kelly, Corracrin NS; 2.  Eileen Callaghan, Corracrin;  3.  Maureen McKenna.
Egg and Spoon – Girls – 1.  Mary Kelly, Killyrane; 2.  Rose McDermott, Edenmore; 3.  Cassie Hughes.
Three-legged – John Todd and H. McAvin.
High Jump – U15 – W. Kelly, Killyrane;  P. Treanor, Edenmore.
Sack Race – P. Treanor, Edenmore; D. Connolly, Corracrin.
Wheelbarrow – McKiernan and Woods, Killyrane.
In the Pillow Fight, which provided great amusement, the decision went to Barney Treanor, Edenmore, with Owen McKenna, Knockconan in second.

100yds (Confined) – M.Lavery, Emyvale; Jack McKenna, Emyvale.
100yds (Open) – Joe Hill, Portadown; Jack Taylor, Aughnacloy.
220yds (Open) – B. Conlon, Ballybay; J. Taylor, Aughnacloy.
880yds (Open) – John McKenna, Emyvale; P McEntyre, Monaghan.
High Jump – P McEntyre, Monaghan, 5ft 3ins; J.H McElwaine, 5ft 2ins.
1Mile Cycle Race – Peter McMahon, Emyvale; P. Cassidy, Emyvale.
2 Mile Cycle Race – E. Brankin, Portadown; Peter McMahon, Emyvale.

We have been requested to state that the Sports Committee wish to thank all those who helped to make the sports such a great success. The Stewards and all who contributed to the programme as well as the Davagh Band and the Donagh band for attending and giving selections at intervals.’

The Peter McMahon, winner in the Cycle Race above, is my late father and he is pictured here with some of the Trophies he won as Ulster Champion in cycling. He and PJ Logan from Dungannon, and late father of TV personality Adrian Logan, were enemies in competition but buddies when off the bikes. They often shared the spoils at Cycle Races throughout Ulster. They also competed against each other in the Pole Vault. Today Emyvale Cycling Club presents the Peter McMahon Shield annually to the most improved juvenile in the club.