Kieran Murphy (Sarsfields hurler)

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Kieran Murphy
Personal information
Irish name Ciarán Ó Murchú
Sport Hurling
Position Forward
Born (1983-02-22) 22 February 1983 (age 34)
Glanmire, Cork
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Occupation Quantity surveyor
Years Club
2001–present Sarsfields
Club titles
Cork titles 3
Years College
Limerick IT
College titles
Fitzgibbon titles 2
Years County Apps (scores)
2003–2011 Cork 29 (5–20)
Inter-county titles
Munster titles 3 (1 as sub)
All-Irelands 2
All Stars 0

Kieran Murphy (born 22 February 1983 in Glanmire, County Cork) is a former Irish sportsperson. He played hurling with his local club Sarsfields and was a member of the Cork senior inter-county team from 2003 until 2011. Murphy was appointed captain of the team for 2010. Murphy announced his retirement from inter-county hurling in 2011 due to work commitments outside the Cork area.

Playing career[edit]


Murphy plays his club hurling with his local club called Sarsfield's and has enjoyed much success. He first came to prominence as the club enjoyed an under-age boom in the early years of the new century. After enjoying little success at minor level, Murphy was a key member of the 'Sars' under-21 team that reached the final of the county under-21 championship in 2003. Valley Rovers provided the opposition on that occasion, however, they proved no match for Murphy's side. A 3–11 to 0–12 score line gave victory to Sarsfield's and gave Murphy a county under-21 winners' medal.

By this stage Murphy was also a member of the Sarsfield's senior hurling team. In 2008 the club reached the county final of the senior championship, with Murphy serving as captain. A narrow 2–14 to 2–13 victory over Bride Rovers gave Murphy a county senior championship winners' medal and gave 'Sars' a first county final win since 1957.[1]

Minor and under-21[edit]

Murphy first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Cork minor hurling team when he was just sixteen years-old in 1999. He enjoyed little success in his debut season, however, in 2000 Cork reached the provincial minor decider. Limerick provided the opposition on that occasion, however, they were no match for 'the Rebels'. A 2–19 to 1–10 trouncing gave Cork the victory and gave Murphy a Munster winners' medal.[2] The subsequent All-Ireland final saw Cork take on Galway. A high-scoring encounter saw 'the Tribesmen' take the title by 2–19 to 4–10.

In 2001 Murphy was in his third and final season as a member of the Cork minor hurling team. They surrendered their Munster title to Tipperary following a conclusive 1–13 to 1–6 defeat. Cork, however, still had a chance to claim the All-Ireland title via the 'back door'. Murphy gave one of his best-ever displays in the All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny when he scored 3–6. After coming through the All-Ireland series Cork reached the All-Ireland championship decider. For the second year in succession Galway were the opponents. Murphy produced a fantastic exhibition of hurling in that game, scoring 1–5, as Cork went on to win by 2–10 to 1–8.[3] It was his first All-Ireland minor winners' medal.

Murphy subsequently joined the Cork under-21 team, however, he enjoyed little success in this grade. He lost back-to-back Munster deciders to Tipperary in 2003 and 2004, with Murphy serving as captain in the former year.


Murphy's performances at under-age levels brought him to the attentions of the Cork selectors at senior level. He made his senior championship debut in 2003, a year which saw Cork's players emerge from a bitter stand-off with the county board, however, he played no part in the county's Munster final victory and subsequent All-Ireland final defeat.[4][5]

2004 saw Cork reach the Munster final once again and, for the second consecutive year, Waterford provided the opposition. In what many consider to be the greatest provincial decider of them all, both sides fought tooth-and-nail for the full seventy minutes. Unfortunately for Murphy, Cork lost the game by just a single point on a score line of Waterford 3–16, Cork 1–21.[6] Although Cork surrendered their provincial crown they were still in with a chance of landing the All-Ireland title. After manoeuvring through the qualifiers Cork reached a second consecutive All-Ireland final and, once again, Kilkenny provided the opposition. This game took on a life of its own for a number of reasons. Chief among these was the fact that Kilkenny were attempting to capture a third All-Ireland title in-a-row and go one ahead of Cork in the All-Ireland roll of honour. The game was expected to be another classic; however, a damp day put an end to this. The first-half was a low-scoring affair and provided little excitement for fans. 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 with Murphy knocking over two vital scores en route to victory. It was Murphy's first All-Ireland winners' medal.[7]

In 2005 Cork were on form again and the team won back the provincial crown that year with a 1–12 to 1–16 victory over Tipperary.[8] It was Murphy's first Munster winners' medal as Cork went on the march for glory once again. In the All-Ireland semi-final against Clare their championship campaign was nearly derailed when they fell behind by seven points at the start of the second-half. A huge performance by Cork turned this deficit around and Cork went on to win the game by 0–16 to 0–15. While it was expected that Cork and Kilkenny would do battle again in a third consecutive All-Ireland final Galway were the surprise winners of the second semi-final. It was the first meeting of Cork and Galway in an All-Ireland final since 1990 and even more daunting was the fact that men from the west had never beaten Cork in a championship decider. Once again neither side broke away into a considerable lead, however, at the final whistle Cork were ahead by 1–21 to 1–16. For the second year in-a-row Cork were the All-Ireland champions and Murphy collected his second winners' medal.[9]

2006 saw Cork turn their attentions to a first three-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles since 1978. The team's championship campaign got off to a good start with a 0–20 to 0–14 defeat of Clare in the opening round of the Munster championship. The subsequent provincial decider saw Cork take on Tipp for the second consecutive year. Star forward Joe Deane was to the fore, scoring an impressive eight points and contributing greatly to Cork's 2–11 to 1–11 victory over their old rivals.[10] It was Murphy's second consecutive Munster winners' medal. Subsequent victories over Limerick and Waterford saw Cork qualify for their fourth consecutive All-Ireland final and for the third time Kilkenny were the opponents. 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 goaled for Cork. It was too little too late as 'the Cats' denied 'the Rebels' the three-in-a-row on a score line of 1–16 to 1–13.[11]

In 2007 Cork were out foe redemption, however, their championship ambitions were hampered from the beginning. The so-called Semplegate affair resulted in Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Donal Óg Cusack and Diarmuid O'Sullivan being suspended for a crucial Munster semi-final clash with Waterford. In spite of being without three of their best players Cork put up a good fight but only lost by a goal. After manoeuvring through the qualifiers Cork reached the All-Ireland quarter-final. Once again Waterford provided the opposition as the game controversially ended in a draw – 3–16 apiece. The replay was less exciting; however, it was still a good game as Waterford triumphed by 2–17 to 0–20.

The activities of the Cork footballers and their reaction to the appointment of Teddy Holland as their new manager impacted greatly on the preparations of the Cork hurling team. The entire panel went on a sympathy strike and missed the opening games of the National League. In the end the Cork hurlers returned to duty, however, their first championship game resulted in a defeat by Tipperary and 'the Rebels' had to take their chances in the win-or-bust qualifiers. A goal by Joe Deane in their next outing helped Cork to limp over the finish line against Dublin. The team's overall performance was less than impressive in the 1–17 to 0–15 win. Cork's next game saw Galway, a team regarded as one of the best in the country, provide the opposition. The first-half was a poor affair with Cork's goalkeeper, Donal Óg Cusack, being sent off. In the second-half Cork took charge and secured a 0–23 to 2–15 victory and a place in the All-Ireland quarter-final. Clare were the opposition on that occasion and, once again, Cork gave a poor first-half display. The second-half was a different story with Cork taking charge once again and securing a 2–19 to 2–17 victory. This win allowed Cork to advance to the All-Ireland semi-final where Kilkenny provided the opposition. It was the first time that these two teams met in the championship outside of an All-Ireland final. That game was an intriguing encounter; however, 'the Cats' won the day by 1–23 to 0–17.

Following the defeat by Kilkenny in 2008 manager Gerald McCarthy's two-year contract came to an end. He was later re-appointed for a further two-year term by the Cork County Board, in spite of the majority of the players not wanting him to stay on. The players on the 2008 panel, with Murphy playing a low-key role in the strike, refused to play or train under McCarthy. (see 2008-2009 Cork players strike). McCarthy accordingly began the 2009 National League campaign with a new squad, none of whom had been able to make the previous year's panel. After months of pressure McCarthy eventually stepped down as manager.

Following the resolution to these difficulties Cork were defeated by Tipperary on a score line of 1–19 to 0–19 in the opening round of the Munster campaign. After a convincing win over Offaly the next assignment for Murphy's Cork team was a win-or-bust All-Ireland qualifier meeting with Galway. Cork faltered in the final ten minutes as 'the Tribesmen' knocked 'the Rebels' out of the championship by 1–19 to 0–15.

In 2010 Murphy succeeded John Gardiner as captain of the Cork senior hurling team.[12] Murphy announced his retirement from inter-county hurling in 2011 due to work commitments outside the Cork area.


Murphy has also lined out with Munster in the Railway Cup inter-provincial competition. He played with the province for the first time in 2004, however, Munster were defeated in the final by Connacht with a 1–15 to 0–9 score line. 2005 saw Murphy line out in a second Railway Cup final. Leinster provided the opposition on that occasion, however, victory went to Munster by 1–21 to 2–14, giving Murphy a Railway Cup winners' medal.[13]







  1. ^ "Cussen helps turn it around for Sarsfield's". Irish Times. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "Minor Hurling – Munster Final Winning Teams". Munster GAA. Archived from the original on 10 September 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Cork GAA Profile". Retrieved 26 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "Mullane treble fails to halt Rebels". Irish Examiner. 30 June 2003. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "Kilkenny stand firm under Cork onslaught". Irish Examiner. 15 September 2003. Archived from the original on 15 January 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "MUNSTER SHC: Deise character conquers Cork". Irish Examiner. 28 June 2004. Archived from the original on 28 July 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  7. ^ "Cork savour sweet victory". Irish Examiner. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  8. ^ "Cork's 49ers repel resilient Tipp". Irish Examiner. 27 June 2005. Archived from the original on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  9. ^ "Double delight as Rebels triumph". Irish Examiner. 12 September 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "Calm champions just won't let go". Irish Examiner. 26 June 2006. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "A glorious 29th for Kilkenny". Irish Examiner. 4 September 2006. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  12. ^ "Murphy to captain Rebels". GAA. 5 January 2010. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "Railway Cup Hurling". Munster GAA. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
John Gardiner
Cork Senior Hurling Captain
Succeeded by
Shane O'Neill