Lyng’s men lay some historical ghosts to rest

Published date07 February 2023
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
Corrigan Park has been Antrim's home since Casement Park closed 10 years ago for its long drawn-out redevelopment

It has been the scene of some competitive hurling from Antrim over the past two seasons since the county returned to Division One and there was added historical resonance in Corrigan Park at the weekend.

Kilkenny hadn't played a competitive match at the ground since a famous All-Ireland semi-final, 80 years ago.

In Marcus de Búrca's history of the GAA, the significance of the date is made clear.

"The year 1943 was notable in Gaelic games for the appearance in each final of a county that had never before got so far - Antrim in hurling and Roscommon in football.


"Antrim's first appearance in a senior hurling final was the result of a freak defeat in Belfast of an unprepared Kilkenny side, wartime conditions notwithstanding."

The visitors should have been prepared, as in the quarter-final, a last-minute goal by Noel Campbell had beaten Galway by the 'of its time' score of 7-0 to 6-2.

Kilkenny still contained nine of the team that had won the 1939 'Thunder and Lightning' All-Ireland final but they were beaten 3-3 to 1-6.

Séamus King in his History of Hurling, outlines the scale of the surprise and the reaction.

"Antrim's success over Galway was regarded as a fluke and Kilkenny were expected to achieve victory. When the result of the game, 3-3 to 1-6, came over the radio on Sunday night it created a sensation and qualified the Northerners for their first All-Ireland.

"They had led at half-time by 2-2 to...

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