Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship
|Number of teams||5|
|Current champions||Kilmallock (3rd time)|
The Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship is an annual hurling competition organised by the Munster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association since 1964 for the top hurling clubs in the province of Munster in Ireland. It is currently sponsored by Allied Irish Bank and therefore officially known as the AIB Munster GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship.
The series of games are played during the autumn and winter months with the Munster final currently being played on the last Sunday in November. The prize for the winning team is the O'Neill Cup. The championship has always been played on a straight knockout basis whereby once a team loses they are eliminated from the series.
The Munster Championship is an integral part of the wider All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship. The winners of the Munster final join the champions of Galway, Leinster and Ulster in the semi-final stages of the All-Ireland series of games.
The title has been won at least once by clubs representing five of the six Munster counties. Kerry clubs hold the unwanted distinction of never having won the provincial title. The all-time record-holders are Blackrock, who have won the competition five times. Kilmallock of Limerick are the current (2014) champions.
Each match is played as a single leg. If a match is drawn there is a replay. Drawn replays are now settled with extra time, however, if both sides are still level at the end of extra time a second replay takes place and so on until a winner is found.
The format has remained virtually the same since the very first Munster Championship in 1964. Currently, an open draw is made in which three of the five teams automatically qualify for the semi-final stage of the competition. Two other teams play in a lone quarter-final with the winner joining the other three teams at the semi-final stage. Once a team is defeated they are eliminated from the championship.
The Munster Championship has wider implications for the GAA All-Ireland Club Hurling Senior Championship. The winners of the Munster final automatically qualify for the semi-final stages of the All-Ireland series of games. There is no "back-door system" for the defeated finalists.
Five of the six counties of Munster – Clare, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford – are represented in the championship. The club champions of Kerry, the sixth county in the province, contested the senior championship until recently, however, they now contest the Munster Intermediate Club Hurling Championship.
At the end of the Munster final, the winning team is presented with a trophy. The cup, named the O'Neill Cup, is held by the winning team until the following year's final. Traditionally, the presentation is made at a special rostrum in the stand where GAA and political dignitaries and special guests view the match.
The cup is decorated with ribbons in the colours of the winning team. During the game the cup actually has both teams' sets of ribbons attached and the runners-up ribbons are removed before the presentation. The winning captain accepts the cup on behalf of his team before giving a short speech. Individual members of the winning team then have an opportunity to come to the rostrum to lift the cup.
Performance by club
|1.||Blackrock||5||1971, 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979||Cork|
|2.||St. Finbarr's||4||1965, 1974, 1977, 1980||Cork|
|3.||Glen Rovers||3||1964, 1972, 1976||Cork|
|Sixmilebridge||3||1984, 1995, 2000||Clare|
|Toomevara||3||1993, 2004, 2006||Tipperary|
|Newtownshandrum||3||2003, 2005, 2009||Cork|
|Kilmallock||3||1992, 1994, 2014||Limerick|
|8.||Na Piarsaigh||2||2011, 2013||Limerick|
|De La Salle||2||2008, 2010||Waterford|
|Mount Sion||2||1981, 2002||Waterford|
|St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield||2||1998, 1999||Clare|
|Cashel King Cormacs||1||1991||Tipperary|
|Wolfe Tones na Sionna||1||1996||Clare|
Performance by county
|1.||Cork clubs||17||Newtownshandrum (2009)|
|2.||Tipperary clubs||13||Thurles Sarsfield's (2012)|
|3.||Clare clubs||10||Sixmilebridge (2000)|
|4.||Limerick clubs||8||Kilmallock (2014)|
|5.||Waterford clubs||5||De La Salle (2010)|
Biggest Munster final wins
- The most one sided Munster finals:
- 19 points – 1975: Blackrock 8-12 (36) – (17) 3-08 Mount Sion
- 18 points - 2013: Na Piarsaigh 4-14 (26) - (8) 0-08 Sixmilebridge
- 14 points – 1995: Sixmilebridge 2-18 (24) – (10) 1-07 Nenagh Éire Óg
- 14 points – 1970: Roscrea 4-11 (23) – (9) 1-06 Clarecastle
- 12 points – 1971: Blackrock 4-10 (22) – (10) 3-01 Moyne-Templetuohy
- 12 points – 1965: St. Finbarr's 3-12 (21) – (9) 2-03 Mount Sion
- John Horgan of Blackrock holds the record of being the only player to captain his club to three Munster club titles. These victories came in 1971, 1973 and 1978.
- Cork clubs hold the record for the most consecutive appearances in Munster finals. They played in twelve-in-a-row between 1969 and 1980, with success coming on eleven of those occasions.
- Cork is the only county to have completed the Munster junior, intermediate and senior treble at club level in the same year. This feat was achieved in 2005 when Fr. O'Neill's, Ballinhassig and Newtownshandrum claimed their respective titles in their respective grades.
- Tipperary hold the record for the number of clubs that have won the Munster title, with nine different clubs all claiming provincial victories on behalf of the county.
- Both Mount Sion and Sixmilebridge jointly hold the record for appearances in Munster finals. These two clubs have appeared in eight provincial deciders.
- Four clubs have secured back-to-back Munster titles: Newmarket-on-Fergus in 1968, Roscrea in 1970, Blackrock in 1979 and St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield in 1999.
- Five players have captained both their club and their county to Munster titles: Christy Ring, John Horgan, Martin O'Doherty, John Fenton and Tommy Dunne.
List of Munster Finals
- "Munster Club Championship Titles". Blackrock GAA website. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Billy O'Neill: Co-founder of Sarsfields Hurling Club". Sarsfields GAA website. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Another feather in Clare's cap". Irish Times. 27 November 1995. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "This was certainly Mun to remember". Irish Mirror. 25 November 1996. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- "Clare boys crowned kings of the 'Castle". Irish Independent. 8 December 1997. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Banner's best keep grip on Munster". Irish Independent. 7 December 1998. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "O'Neill leads rout as Saints stun 'Gunner". Irish Independent. 29 November 1999. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Gilligan defies injury to lead super 'Bridge show". Irish Independent. 27 November 2000. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "GAA Hurling: Ballygunner win Munster Final". Breaking News website. 2 December 2001. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Sion surge on". Irish Examiner. 2 December 2002. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Newtown a class apart". Irish Examiner. 1 December 2003. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Toome's title resurrection". Irish Examiner. 22 November 2004. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Newtownshandrum beat Ballygunner to claim title". Breaking News website. 4 December 2005. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Toomevara turn the tide amid points of contention". Irish Examiner. 4 December 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Sweeney strike sees superb Loughmore edge out Tulla". Irish Examiner. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Mullane basks in De La Salle euphoria". Irish Independent. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Ballyhale and Newtownshandrum advance". RTÉ Sport. 2009-11-29. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- "Munster club glory for De La Salle". Irish Examiner. 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- "Munster club decider ends all square". Irish Examiner. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Supersub Breen lends finishing touch to magnificent breakthrough for Na Piarsaigh". Irish Independent. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Thurles Sarsfields make Munster hurling history". Score. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Powerful Piarsaigh’s blistering pace too much for tired Bridge". Irish Examiner. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- "Kilmallock find extra gear in final epic". Irish Examiner. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.