This story originally appeared in our 16-page county final preview in this week's Southern Star sports section which is available in shops across West Cork now or online via our digital edition ➡ http://bit.ly/2Z9T9Z1
THE class of 2021 wants to write their names into the club’s history books in Páirc Uí Chaoimh this Sunday – and it’s thanks to the club’s heroes of 1931 that they have this opportunity at senior level.
That season, 90 years ago, was the last time Clon footballers campaigned outside the senior ranks in championship football. That was the year, 1931, that Clon won the intermediate championship. They built the stage that Clon teams had flourished on ever since.
Known as ‘Dan Taylor’s Fifteen’, after legendary captain Dan ‘Taylor’ O’Donovan, this was a team that had everything. Mick Lillis, a Darrara student from Clare; Dan Burke, the great Union Hall inter-county footballer; Jack Finnegan, a flying forward from Galway; Sean Griffin, a native of Tralee living in Ardfield, the top scorer on the team; Mick Bateman and Jack O’Connor, two Darrara students from Kerry; Tim O’Donovan, a UCC student from Leap; Pat Nyhan, Ballinacarriga; and Tim Coughlan of Ardfield were the ‘blow-ins’ who stood shoulder to shoulder with Clon natives ‘Big’ Jim Hurley of Cork and Blackrock hurling fame, Dan O’Donovan, Con ‘Sam’ Collins, Jer ‘Gull’ Leahy, Cha ‘Dempsey’ McCarthy, Jimmy O’Sullivan, Dan ‘Hurley’ Grey and teenager, John ‘Shutter’ Crowley, destined to win seven county senior medals with the club.
In 1930 Clon swept through the junior championship in West Cork, beating Dohenys in the final and then going on to beat Ballincollig in the county final. It was Clon’s first county title since winning the intermediate football in 1913.
Clon played only three games in the intermediate championship in 1931. They beat Éire Óg 8-7 to 0-0 in Killumney. They beat St Nick’s 1-4 to 1-2 in the semi-final, Jack O’Connor scoring two late winning points and Sean Griffin getting the goal in the first half. In the county final, Clonakilty defeated Dromtarriffe 3-6 to 0-2. Hero of the hour was Sean Griffin who scored 2-3, as Clon hit the senior ranks – and they’ve been there ever since, winning nine senior titles. Fingers crossed, number ten arrives on Sunday.