James "Cha" Fitzpatrick

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James Fitzpatrick
Personal information
Irish name Séamus Mac Giolla Phádraig
Sport Hurling
Position Midfield
Born (1985-01-31) 31 January 1985 (age 30)
Knockmoylan, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Nickname Cha
Occupation Primary school teacher
Club(s)
Years Club
Ballyhale Shamrocks
Club titles
Kilkenny titles 5
Leinster titles 4
All-Ireland Titles 2
Inter-county(ies)*
Years County Apps (scores)
2004-2011 Kilkenny 23 (1-33)
Inter-county titles
Leinster titles 5
All-Irelands 3
NHL 2
All Stars 3
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 12:58, 14 January 2015.

James "Cha" Fitzpatrick (born 31 January 1985) is an Irish hurler who played as a midfielder for the Kilkenny senior team.[1]

Born in Knockmoylan, County Kilkenny, Fitzpatrick first excelled at hurling during his schooling at St. Kieran's College. He arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Kilkenny minor team, before later joining the under-21 side. He made his senior debut during the 2004 championship. Fitzpatrick later became a regular member of the starting fifteen, and won three All-Ireland medals, five Leinster medals and two National League medals on the field of play. The All-Ireland-winning captain in 2008, he was an All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion.

At club level Fitzpatrick is a two-time All-Ireland medallist with Ballyhale Shamrocks. In addition to this he has also won four Leinster medals and five championship medals.

Throughout his career Fitzpatrick made 23 championship appearances. He announced his retirement from inter-county hurling on 21 November 2011.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Playing career[edit]

Colleges[edit]

During his schooling at St. Kieran's College in Kilkenny, Fitzpatrick established himself as a key member of the senior hurling team. In 2002 he won his first Leinster medal following a 1-15 to 2-3 defeat of city rivals CBS Kilkenny.[8]

Fitzpatrick added a second Leinster medal to his collection in 2003, as St. Peter's College were defeated by 2-13 to 1-10. St. Colman's College provided the opposition in the subsequent All-Ireland decider. Having come close to beating the Fermoy-based school at the same stage the previous year, St. Kieran's made no mistake this time and recorded a 1-15 to 1-4 victory, giving Fitzpatrick a coveted All-Ireland medal.

Club[edit]

After much success at underage levels, including four successive under-21 championships, Fitzpatrick quickly joined the Ballyhale Shamrocks senior team. In 2006 he was at midfield as Ballyhale faced O'Loughlin Gaels in the senior decider. An impressive 1-22 to 2-11 victory gave Fitzpatrick his first championship medal.[9] He later added a Leinster medal to his collection when Ballyhale secured a comprehensive 1-20 to 1-8 defeat of Birr to take the provincial title for the first time in seventeen years.[10] On 17 March 2007 Ballyhale Shamrocks faced Loughrea in the All-Ireland decider. On a day when both Henry Shefflin and Fitzpatrick were held scoreless, the three Reid brothers contributed 3-7 from play. A 3-12 to 2-8 victory gave Fitzpatrick a coveted All-Ireland medal.[11]

After missing Ballyhale's second successive championship victory in 2007, Fitzpatrick was restored to his midfield berth as the Shamrocks made it three-in-a-row in 2008. A 2-11 to 0-12 defeat of James Stephens gave Fitzpatrick a second championship medal.[12] He later won a second Leinster medal as the Shamrocks defeated reigning champions Birr by 2-13 to 1-11.[13]

Fitzpatrick won a third championship medal in 2009, as Ballyhale claimed a record-equaling four-in-a-row following a 1-14 to 1-11 defeat of James Stephens once again.[14] The subsequent provincial decider saw Ballyhale hit fifteen wides, however, Fitzpatrick still collected a third Leinster medal following a 1-16 to 1-8 defeat of Tullamore.[15] On 17 March 2010 Ballyhale faced three-in-a-row Portumna in a "dream" All-Ireland decider. The game failed to live up to the billing, however, a 1-19 to 0-17 victory gave Fitzpatrick a second All-Ireland medal.[16]

Five-in-a-row proved beyond Ballyhale Shamrocks, however, the team bounced back in 2012 having lost the championship decider the previous year. A far from vintage 0-16 to 0-12 defeat of Dicksboro gave Fitzpatrick a fourth championship medal.[17]

Fitzpatrick won a fifth championship medal in 2014 as the Shamrocks claimed a 1-20 to 1-13 defeat of reigning champions Clara.[18] He later collected a fourth Leinster medal as veteran Henry Shefflin proved the difference in a 0-21 to 1-14 defeat of Kilcormac/Killoughey.[19]

Minor & under-21[edit]

Fitzpatrick first played for Kilkenny in 2002 when he joined the minor side. He won his first Leinster medal that year following a 2-15 to 2-8 defeat of Wexford. Kilkenny subsequently faced Tipperary in the All-Ireland decider. A tour de force by "the Cats" gave them a huge 3-15 to 1-7 victory and gave Fitzpatrick his first All-Ireland medal.[20]

In 2003 Fitzpatrick won his second successive Leinster medal following an 0-18 to 0-13 defeat of Offaly.[21] Kilkenny subsequently faced Galway in the All-Ireland decider. Richie Power gave a masterclass of hurling, including scoring the winning point deep into injury time, to secure a 2-16 to 2-15 victory. It was Fitzpatrick's second All-Ireland medal.[22]

The following year Fitzpatrick collected a Leinster medal as captain of the under-21 team, as Wexford were downed by 0-16 to 2-3. The subsequent All-Ireland final between Kilkenny and old rivals Tipperary was a total mismatch. "The Cats" scored key goals early in the opening half, which helped power them to a 3-21 to 1-6 victory.[23] It was Fitzpatrick's first All-Ireland medal.

Fitzpatrick added a second Leinster medal to his collection in 2005, following a 0-17 to 1-10 defeat of Dublin.[24] Kilkenny's bid for a third successive All-Ireland title ended in dramatic fashion as a late point from Kerril Wade handed Galway a narrow 1-15 to 1-14 victory.[25]

For the third successive year Fitzpatrick won a Leinster medal following a 2-18 to 2-10 defeat of Dublin before later lining out in the All-Ireland decider against Tipperary. A last second opportunist goal by Richie Hogan saved Kilkenny and secured a 2-14 apiece draw.[26] The replay was another close encounter, however, Paddy Hogan's first half goal helped Kilkenny claw their way to the title following a 1-11 to 0-11 defeat of Tipperary.[27] It was Fitzpatrick's second All-Ireland medal.

Senior[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Fitzpatrick was just out of the minor grade when he joined the Kilkenny senior team. He made his senior championship debut when he came on as a substitute on 26 June 2004 in a 4-22 to 0-8 All-Ireland qualifier trouncing of Dublin.[28] He later found a regular place on the starting fifteen and lined out against Cork in the All-Ireland decider on 12 September 2004.[29] The game was expected to be a classic, however, a rain-soaked day made conditions difficult as Kilkenny aimed to secure a third successive championship. The first half was a low-scoring affair and provided little excitement for fans, however, the second half saw Cork completely take over. For the last twenty-three minutes Cork scored nine unanswered points and went on to win the game by 0-17 to 0-9.[30]

Early successes[edit]

After a disappointing 2005 campaign, which saw Fitzpatrick confined to the bench, he returned to the starting fifteen in 2006. He won his first league medal that year following a 3–11 to 0–14 victory over Limerick.[31] Fitzpatrick later won his first Leinster medal following a facile 1-23 to 1-12 victory over Wexford. On 3 September 2006 Kilkenny faced a Cork team who were presented with the opportunity to become the first side in nearly thirty years to secure three successive All-Ireland championships. Like previous encounters neither side took a considerable lead, however, Kilkenny had a vital goal from Aidan Fogarty. Cork were in arrears coming into the final few minutes, however, Ben O'Connor scored a late goal for Cork. It was too little too late as the Cats denied Cork on a score line of 1-16 to 1-13.[32] It was Fitzpatrick's first All-Ireland medal. He rounded off the year by claiming his first All-Star while also taking the Vodafone Young Hurler of the Year title.[33]

Fitzpatrick collected a second Leinster medal in 2007, as Kilkenny asserted their provincial dominance and defeated Wexford by 2-24 to 1-12.[34] On 2 September 2007 Kilkenny faced defeated Munster finalists and surprise All-Ireland semi-final winners Limerick in the championship decider. Kilkenny got off to a flying start with Eddie Brennan and Henry Shefflin scoring two goals within the first ten minutes to set the tone. Limerick launched a second-half comeback, however, "the Cats" were too powerful and cruised to a 2-19 to 1-15 victory.[35] It was Fitzpatrick's second All-Ireland medal. He was later presented with a second successive All-Star award.[36]

On 22 January 2008 Fitzpatrick was nominated for the captaincy of the Kilkenny senior team.[37] Kilkenny later secured the Leinster crown again in 2008, with Fitzpatrick collecting a third winners' medal following a 5-21 to 0-17 defeat of Wexford.[38] On 8 September 2008 Kilkenny faced Waterford in the All-Ireland decider for the first time in forty-five years. In a disappointingly one-sided final, Kilkenny produced a near perfect seventy minutes as Waterford endured a nightmare afternoon. A 23-point winning margin, 3-24 from play, only two wides in the entire match and eight scorers in all with Eddie Brennan and Henry Shefflin leading the way in a 3-30 to 1-13 victory.[39] It was Fitzpatrick's third successive All-Ireland medal while ha also had the honour of lifting the Liam MacCarthy Cup. A third consecutive All-Star quickly followed.[40]

Fitzpatrick collected a second league medal in 2009, as Kilkenny beat Tipperary by 2-26 to 4-17 with a thrilling extra-time victory.[41] He later won a fourth successive Leinster medal, as new challengers Dublin were bested by 2-18 to 0-18.[42] Fitzpatrick was later dropped from the starting fifteen and was an unused substitute as Kilkenny secured a record-equaling fourth successive All-Ireland.[43]

Decline[edit]

In 2010 Fitzpatrick also endured a frustrating championship campaign. After playing no part in the provincial series, he was named at midfield for the All-Ireland final against Tipperary on 5 September 2010. "The Cats" lost talisman Henry Shefflin due to injury, while Tipperary's Lar Corbett ran riot and scored a hat-trick of goals as Fitzpatrick's side fell to a 4-17 to 1-18 defeat.[44]

Kilkenny's stranglehold in Leinster continued in 2011. A 4-17 to 1-15 defeat of Dublin gave "the Cats" a record-equalling seventh successive championship.[45] It was Fitzpatrick's fifth winners' medal overall, however, he played no part in Kilkenny's subsequent 2-17 to 1-16 All-Ireland final defeat of Tipperary.[46]

Fitzpatrick announced his retirement from inter-county hurling on 21 November 2011.[47][48] At the time he denied a possible move to the Dublin senior team.[49]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Knockmoylan, County Kilkenny, Fitzpatrick was educated at the local national school before later completing his Leaving Certificate at St. Kieran's College. He subsequently started a degree in chemical engineering at University College Cork, before changing courses and qualifying as a primary school teacher from St. Patrick's College in Dublin.

Quotes[edit]

  • "It's been almost a century since we last achieved this feat [three All-Ireland titles in-a-row]. In 1934 it couldn't be done. In 1976 it couldn't be done. In 1984 it couldn't be done. In 1994 it couldn't be done in. In 2004 it couldn't be done. In 2008 it has been done and by God its been done well." - Fitzpatrick's speech after accepting the Liam McCarthy Cup in 2008.[50]

Honours[edit]

Team[edit]

St. Kieran's College
Ballyhale Shamrocks
Kilkenny

Individual[edit]

Honours

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile: James Fitzpatrick". Kilkenny GAA website. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Kilkenny’s James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick retires from inter-county hurling at 26". The Score. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Fitzpatrick retires from Kilkenny hurling". RTÉ Sport. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Foley, Clíona (22 November 2011). "Five reasons why Cha walked away from Kilkenny". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Cha retires at 26". Hogan Stand. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Fitzpatrick ends his Kilkenny career". Breaking News. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Treacy, Pat (25 November 2011). "‘It’s time to move on’ – Cha". Kilkenny Advertiser. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Colleges SHC". Irish Independent. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  9. ^ O'Flynn, Diramuid (6 November 2006). "Shamrocks reign supreme as King Henry punishes Gaels". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 13 September 2008. 
  10. ^ O'Flynn, Diramuid (27 November 2006). "Elated Fitzpatrick: It just couldn’t go any better". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 13 September 2008. 
  11. ^ O'Flynn, Diramuid (19 March 2007). "Ballyhale boss eyes another All-Ireland". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 13 September 2008. 
  12. ^ O'Flynn, Diramuid (27 October 2007). "Ballyhale complete hat-trick of titles". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 13 September 2008. 
  13. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim (1 December 2008). "Shamrocks sow early seeds of victory". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  14. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (26 October 2009). "Shamrocks in clover again". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  15. ^ O'Brien, Brendan (30 November 2009). "Shamrocks in seventh heaven". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  16. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (18 March 2010). "Shefflin shines on a perfect day for Shamrocks". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Fogarty, John (12 November 2012). "Emotional win for Ballyhale’s old warriors". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Moynihan, Michael (17 November 2014). "Ballyhale stars’ quality shines bright". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Keane, Paul (8 December 2014). "Shefflin tips the balance". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Murphy, John (9 September 2002). "Classy Kilkenny give Tipp a roasting". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  21. ^ "Kilkenny minors win 13th title in 14 years". Breaking News. 6 July 2003. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  22. ^ Larkin, Brendan (15 September 2003). "Power point electrifies Cats". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  23. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim (20 September 2004). "Kilkenny "whirlwind" blows Tipperary away". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  24. ^ "Kilkenny U-21s deny Dublin Leinster hurling title". Breaking News. 20 July 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Late point denies Kilkenny U21s title". Breaking News. 18 September 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  26. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (11 September 2004). "Tipp foiled by Hogan’s last stand". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "Kilkenny claim third U-21 crown in four years". RTÉ Sport. 16 September 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  28. ^ Keane, Paul (28 June 2004). [hthttp://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2004/0628/ireland/carey-injury-fears-are-allayed-as-cats-go-on-rampage-against-dublin-193602363.html "Carey injury fears are allayed as Cats go on rampage against Dublin"]. Irish Examiner. Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  29. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (14 June 2004). "Jacob takes the biscuit". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  30. ^ "Cork savour sweet victory". Irish Examiner. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  31. ^ O'Connell, Jerome (5 May 2006). "Shefflin goals shatter Limerick's title dream". Limerick Leader. Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  32. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim (4 September 2006). "A glorious 29th for Kilkenny". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "Kilkenny dominate Hurling All-Star awards". RTÉ Sport. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  34. ^ Canning, Ger (1 July 2007). "Result: Kilkenny 2-24 Wexford 1-12". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  35. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim (3 September 2007). "Cats cruise to 30th title". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  36. ^ "Kilkenny top All Stars list". RTÉ Sport. 17 October 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  37. ^ "'Cha' nominated for Kilkenny captaincy". Breaking News. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  38. ^ O'Flynn, Donal (2 August 2008). "Wexford out to move on from little blip". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  39. ^ O'Sullivan, Jim (4 September 2010). "Classic Final: 2008 – Kilkenny 3-30, Waterford 1-13". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  40. ^ "Nine Hurling All Stars For Kilkenny". Irish Examiner USA. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  41. ^ "Hogan goes extra yard of plucky Tipperary". Irish Independent. 4 May 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  42. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (6 July 2009). "Cats hold off Dublin's final charge". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  43. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (7 September 2009). "Where there’s an iron will, there’s a way". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  44. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (6 September 2010). "Thunder and lightning final". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  45. ^ "The Kilkenny 2011 Championship adventure". Irish Independent. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  46. ^ O'Flynn, Diarmuid (5 September 2011). "The greatest of champions reclaim crown". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  47. ^ "Issues’ with Cody prompt Fitzpatrick to quit Cats". Irish Examiner. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  48. ^ "'It was the right time to go - now I'm at my happiest on the golf course". Irish Independent. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  49. ^ Keys, Colm (22 November 2011). "Dublin link for Kilkenny's 'Cha'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  50. ^ "Kilkenny in class all of their own". Evening Herald. 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-09-17.