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Sarsfields GAA Club (Kildare)

Club History 1897 - 2005

The Early Years

Sarsfields has over a century of history behind it. In 1897, the club was founded with its headquarters in Roseberry and registered as " Sons of Sarsfield Gaelic Football Club". The green jersey with the Sash was the chosen club colours and has continued as such to the present day.

On the playing fields Sarsfields won it's first championship within seven years, annexing the 1904 title when beating Naas in Clane, in a delayed final played in January 1905. Combining with Clane, Sarsfields under the captaincy of Jack Murray won the 1905 All Ireland as Kildare representatives.

Nine Sarsfields players played on the Kildare team that reached the All Ireland final in 1903, Jack and Mick Fitzgeralds, Jim and Mick Murray, Jack Gorman, Matt Donnelly, Jem Scott, Mick Kennedy and Frank ‘Joyce” Conlan. A nephew of the team captain Jack Murray was Mick Geraghty who featured in the emergence of the new Sarsfields club that won five titles in seven years after 1945, including a three-in-a-row 1950-2.

For the next decade Sarsfields dominated Kildare football, only a Monasterevin intervention in 1911 prevented the Sash winning nine titles in a row.

1945 - 1952

The next golden era was the 1945------ 1952 period, winning championships in 1945, 1947 and culminating in a three in a row 1950 - 1952. Remarkably, considering the quality of teams from Carbury, Raheens, Clane and indeed Sarsfields over the years no club has managed to win thee in succession since that time.

The 1980's

Sarsfields had to wait thirty years for their next championship win when a team, including Dermot Earley, John Courtney, Ray O Sullivan and Shay Fahy (later an All Ireland winner with Cork) and John Crofton defeated St. Lawrences. Sean O Sullivan, current manager, featured at wingback. Four years later in 1986 Sarsfields won both minor and senior titles.

The Sash also won the All Ireland sevens in 1983 and 1984. In 1983, the team which included Kildare manager, John Crofton, Steve Kinneavy, John Courtney, Mick Walsh, Bernie Geraghty, Christy Sweeney, Des Bergin, Shay Fahy and Joe Murphy defeated Scotstown, Monaghan in the final on a score line of 1-21 to 2-15 in extra time. In the all Kildare final of 1984 the Sash accounted for Johnstown Bridge, winning on a score line of 4-15 to 2-8. Sean O Sullivan, manager of Sarsfields 2005 county championship winning team, played in that game.

1990 - 2005

The nineties saw the emergence of the phenomenally talented Niall Buckley and in 1993 with the experienced John Crofton, recently installed as county senior football manager, as captain, a young Sarfields team were champions again. To crown a fantastic year the minor and under twenty -one titles were also annexed. David Earley, Enda Freaney and John Whelan played in all three finals. The Dermot Burke Cup was retained in 1994 and the three in a row seemed a real possibility. Ballyteague, however, ended that dream in 1995.

In 1999 Sarsfields youth policy produced the goods again. With the emergence of such talents as Dermot Earley (junior) and Padraig Brennan (scorer of 10 points in the 1996 minor final),another championship was won despite the loss of Niall Buckley to suspension. The club reached its first Leinster final only to lose to Dublin's Na Fianna.

Sarsfields twentieth title was captured in 2001 when neighbours, Moorefield were defeated. Na Fianna from Dublin defeated the Sash in the Leinster semi-final but used six substitutes, one more than allowed. The penalty was forfeiture of the game but Sarsfields offered to replay it. In a thrilling game, with Dermot Earley outstanding, Sarsfields were beaten in extra time with literally the last kick of the game.

2005 was another outstanding year for the Sash, winning the minor and senior championships. Gary White and Alan Smith, emulated the 1993 minor trio of Whelan, Earley and Freaney by playing on both teams. However, the minors were denied their opportunity of sharing the county final day with the seniors as Laurences, finalist in minor and senior finals were granted their request of postponing the minor game to allow their minors play with the senior team. To cap a great year the senior B team were also county championships beating Kilcock in a thrilling final.

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