St. Mary's College RFC

Founded 1900

Co. Dublin

A Conversation with Glenn Tracey (Part 3 of 3) - 11th February 2021

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'A Conversation with Glenn Tracey' (Part 3 of 3)

Following on from the last two weeks, we spoke to Glenn one last time over the phone again to discuss the 1990s and to finish our first ever ‘A Conversation With…’ series! So get comfy, enjoy the read, and reminisce about days gone by in the club! There’s yet again lots of familiar names below - enjoy:

This week we said we would talk about the 1990s in St. Mary’s College RFC - once you’re ready, Glenn off you go!

I forgot to mention one thing last week - during the 1982/83 season we beat Palmerstown to win the Guilfoyle Cup – it was J8s and we won it out in Seapoint!

1990

The Captain of the 1st XV was Ray Hernan - it wasn’t a good season for us! Vincent McGovern and the late Joe ‘Banana’ Fanagan were the managers. No trophies for them that year - we were beaten in the quarter final by Nure in Lansdowne Road. The J1s were Captained by Peter MacGillory but they were beaten in the playoff by Longford RFC in the Metro League. Jim Norton was the coach and John ‘Pyner’ Pyne was the manager - they won their section, but then lost the playoff.

The J2s won the league that year - Captained by Johnny Muldoon - they won the league and the Albert O’Connell Cup - a great year for the J2s. The manager was Jim Curran and the coach was Eddie Wigglesworth. The J3 Captain was Norman Byrne but they lost 15 - 10 to Greystones in the semi final – I was still the J3 bagman! We were beaten in the cup quarter final by Belvo in Anglesea Road on a Friday night The J4s were Captained by Hugh Mullen, coached by Patsy Fogarty with Sean Jennings the manager. They won the league by beating Blackrock!

The J5s were beaten in the cup by Rock - Paul Glynn (Titus) was the Captain. They were managed by Johnny McCullough and coached by the late great Rory O’Connor. The J6s lost the cup semi final to Bective Rangers - I can’t remember the Captain though! The J7s won the Grainey Cup - Enda O’Riordan was the Captain - a great number 8! Louis McMullen was the manager. The J8s were beaten in the cup 2nd round at home that year.

1991

Kevin Potts was the Captain, the late Joe Fanagan the manager, Rory O’Connor the coach and Greg Maher was the bagman. We finished 6th in the league and we were beaten in the cup quarter final. Our J1s won the metro league when they beat Old Wesley in the final. Johnny Carville Jr. was the Captain that year. Jim Curranwas the manager and Eddie Wigglesworth the coach. We were beaten in the quarter final by Wesley at home in the cup though.

Our J2s were Captained by future Club President Mick ‘Flats’ O’Flaherty, coached by Johnny ‘McCloud’ McCullough and managed by Conor Byrne. I think the bagman that year was Gerry Reilly. As far as I remember we were beaten in the league quarter final by Rock and in the cup by Lansdowne. Our J3s were beaten in the league by Lansdowne 9 - 3. Sean Jennings was the manager, Des Early the coach, Sean Dunne the pack’s coach and I was the bagman! Unfortunately we lost in the cup semi final to Bective out in stepaside. I don’t think the J4s won any silverware that year.

The J5s won the cup that year when they beat Monkstown out in Stradbrook. Titus was the Captain - it was his 3rd year as J5 captain (89 - 91). Titus was a great player - he played on the left wing. I think the manager was ‘McCloud’. The J6s might have got to the cup final (and possibly won it) - someone would have to check that! The J7s - not a good year - enough said!

1992

The 1st team were beaten by Young Munster in Lansdowne Road in the All Ireland League and finished 3rd in the table. The Captain was Steve Jameson, Jim Curran was the Manager and Eddie Wigglesworth the Coach. We won the cup by beating Old Wesley in Lansdowne Road in a great contest!

The J1s won the league this year - Johnny Carville Jr. was the Captain, D O’Brien was the manager and Dave Gardner the coach. The J2s were beaten in the cup final by Wesley (I think) and as far as I remember the coach was Johnny McCullough. The J3s were beaten in the league semi final 10 - 9 by Aer Lingus out in Stradbrook. The Captain was Neil Campion, the manager Paul Opperman, the coach Barry O’Sullivan and I was still the bagman! We were then beaten in the cup quarter final by Old Wesley in the Mountains!

The J4s might have won the league - but I can’t remember! The J5s, Captained by Frank Kennedy, Coached by Michael Fearon and managed by a good friend of Victor O’Connor whose name escapes me! We did win the cup though! A good year for the J5s. I don’t think the J6s or 7s won anything (maybe the cup for the J6s but I’m not sure!)

1993

This year Steve Jameson was the Captain, Jim Curran the manager and Eddie Wigglesworth the coach. We finished 4th in the league and were beaten in the quarter final by UCD – I think Kevin Hogan was their Captain that year. The J1s won the metro cup that year. The J2s were beaten in the league final by Wanderers by a score of 9 - 8. Niall Rynne was the Captain, the manager was Pat O’Byrne, Jim McCullough was the coach and Gerry Reilly the bagman.

The J3s were Captained by Enda O’Riordan, managed by Mick O’Connor, coached by Paul ‘Floody’ Flood, with Mick Fearon working as the pack’s coach. I was still the bagman - this was my 14th year as bagman of the J3s! We won the league and the cup that year. We beat Rock in the league final in Anglesea Road and in the cup we beat a very strong Monkstown team in Donnybrook. The J3s had made a habit of winning the double!

This year the J4s were beaten in the cup semi final by Old Wesley in Lansdowne Road on the back pitch. Peter ‘Pokey’ O’Kelly was the Captain, Patsy Fogarty the coach and Bobby Cowen the manager. The J5s won the cup - Bobby O’Connor scored a try in the first minute against Bective Rangers in Donnybrook and we won the match! Managed by Woody and coached by Pat O’Brien. The J6s won the cup - Sharks was the Captain and we beat Lansdowne in the final out in Donnybrook. The J7s won the Grainey Cup that year.

1994

The 1st team won the Leinster Senior Cup - Captained by Kevin Devlin. Greg Maher was the manager and the coaches were Dr. Jim McShane and Noel O’Dea. They finished fifth in the league that year. Not a good year for the J1s - leave it at that! The J2s had a better year! The Captain was Enda O’Riordan, the coach was Mick Fearon, the manager was Pat O’Byrne and the bagman was Gerry Reilly. We won the league and the cup that year - another J2 double! We beat Lansdowne in the cup final that year.

The J3s were beaten in both the league and cup finals by Belvo! Captained by Sammy Brennan, managed by Paddy Drennan and coached by Niall Woodcock and Pat O’Brien. I had finally retired! I had been the bagman for 14 years but it was time for me to take a well deserved break. Lots of medals and trophies were won but I’d had enough and needed a rest! I still went to all the games I could but it was nice to enjoy the game from the sideline - no pressure and less stress!

The J4s won the league by beating Tarf in the final in Donnybrook. The captain was Derek ‘Del Boy’ McCabe – a hooker – a good player (I won’t say great because he’d love to hear me say that!) The coach was John Boyle and the manager was Mick O’Connor. The J5s were beaten in the cup semi final and the J6s were beaten by Greystones in the cup final in Donnybrook. The Captain was Patsy Fogarty - He was a very good player – he played from the 1st team all down through Junior Rugby - a great club player. I think the J7s were beaten in the cup semi final.

1995

The Captain was ‘Bomber' Brown, the manager was Greg Maher and the coaches were Dr. Jim McShane and Noel O’Dea. We were beaten by Lansdowne in the cup. After winning a Leinster Schools’ medal, Dennis Hickey Jnr (who went on to play for Ireland the following year) played for the first that year. When he wasn’t on Leinster and Ireland duty he could be seen playing in the club! He got his first Cap for Ireland the following year in a match in cardiff. I don’t think the J1s won anything the year but if I remember correctly the J2s won the league & cup (Gerry Hassett might have been the Captain.

The J3s won the league, Captained by Niall Rynne, managed by Paul Flood and coached by Robin Bailey and Pat O’Brien. We beat Old Wesley in the final. The J4s won the league and the cup double that year. The Captain was an Australian No. 8 whose name escapes me right now. The manager was Colin Stynes, the coach was Derek Jennings and the bagman was Philip Jennings

The J5s were beaten in the league semi final by Monkstown out in stradbrook. The Captain was Bobby O’Connor - he was a good player, a strong back rower. He played tag in the club too. I don’t think the J6s or J7s had much luck that year!

1996

The 1st team won the Leinster Senior League - the kitty O’Shea Championship but were beaten in the cup quarter final by Rock. Brian Keane was the Captain, Greg Maher was the manager and Dr. Jim McShane and Noel O’Dea were the coaches. Not trophies for the J1s but the J2s might have won the league and cup double that year. I don’t remember any trophies or medals for the rest of Junior Rugby that year!

1997

There were a few trophies won this year. The 1st team were beaten in the league semi final by Shannon in Thomond Park - I remember being there with my brother Shane. The Captain was Steve Jameson. We were then beaten by Skerries in the first round of the cup. The coach was Steve Hennessy (and I think Hugh Maguire) and we finished 4th in the league that year. The J1 won the league and cup double. We beat Rock in the cup final in Lakelands deep in injury time - the match finished 15 - 12. The manager was Colin Synes and the coach was Gerry Hassett.

The J2s won the league that year but unfortunately there were no other Junior Rugby trophies!

1998

The Club Captain was Conor McGuinness, and they were managed and coached by Steve Jameson and Hugh Maguire. We were beaten by Garryowen down in Dooradoyle with 14 players. The J1s won the metro league but were beaten in the All Ireland semi final at home by Cork Con. The J2s lost the double this year - we were beaten in the league final by Belvo and in the cup final by Rock in Lakelands. The J3s, J4s and J5s didn’t have a great year - less said the better!

But, the J6s won the cup - Patsy Fogarty was the Captain. I wasn’t there so I haven’t got the score but I know we won it! I was at the semi final though when we beat Nure in injury time!

1999

The famous Trevor Brennan was the Club Captain - this was our year! We won the All Ireland League when we beat Lansdowne - it was the first time we had won it and the first time a Leinster club had won it. Blackrock were nearly the first Leinster side to do it a few years before but they missed out in 1993 when they were beaten by Garryowen in Dooradoyle. Brendan Spring was the Club President, Kevin Conboy the manager, Brent Pope the coach and Brian Grimson was the bagman. 25 - 22 was the final score. Victor Costello (No. 8) had a terrific game and I remember John McWeeney on the right wing tackling Shane Horgan into touch. Trevor Brennan was definitely the Man of the Match and Man of the Season!

The J1s won the metro league and the J2s were unlucky not to win any silverware. The J3s won the Moran Cup in its 50 year anniversary year when we beat Wanderers 15 - 13. J3 manager was Donal Swift and they were coached by Arthur Costello.

Best thing to happen to the club in the 1990s was definitely winning the All Ireland League - We’ll always be remembered as the first Leinster club to win it!

One final question to wrap things up Glenn: You were probably the longest serving bagman in the club’s long history and you were very loyal to the J3s, but, were you ever asked to be Bagman for the 1st XV?

I was yeah! But I didn’t want it. Sunday Rugby was much more fun – I didn’t want the call up. There was a better buzz in Junior Rugby and we won way more medals! Junior Rugby really kept the club going in those days. Being bagman to the 1st Team would’ve felt like a demotion after all my years with the J3s! Those were different times as well -after games the bar was always jammers! Hopefully it’ll get back to the way it was soon!

Right Glenn, we’ll leave it there. Thanks a million for giving your time so freely and for sharing all these memories - I know everyone will love reading them. Stay safe and hopefully we’ll all be back in the club soon.

From myself and the PRO Team we would like to thank Glenn Tracey for his time and his incredible memory and recall. A big thank you also to his mother Eileen and his brothers Shane and Steve for helping to facilitate us.

If you have any stories you’d like to tell us (or even just photographs from any team or year), please message us on social media or email socialmedia@smcrfc.com

- Harry Ebbs

*Please note that if there are any errors in dates/names, then I take full responsibility. Glenn has such an incredible and accurate memory that it was hard to keep up with him at times. So if there are any errors please accept my apologies.

**Thanks to Lucia Ebbs, Mossy Davin, Vinnie Murray, Marie Hammond, Sarah Fallon, Eileen Tracey and Shane Tracey for all their help over the last few weeks!

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