Club History

A Brief History of the Club

There was a rugby club in Roscrea during the second world war years. It was formed following a meeting
in 1940. The President was Mr. A.C. Houlihan and Paddy Collins became the first captain. The club
colours were all white, and all home games were played at Beechwalk. The highlight was probably the
defeat of Thurles in the Mansergh Cup. This was only the club’s fourth match. This was probably the best
performance of their existence. Travel was restricted during the war years, so the games were limited. The
club seems to have faded by 1944. Subsequently, there was the Rossory Rangers who had their pitch at
Shanboe. This team only lasted a short time as well with some players switching to Rathdowney.
Meanwhile, some Roscrea players played with Birr in subsequent years, but it was after Birr’s exit from the
PTC in 1949-50, when seven of the team were from Roscrea, that the idea was mooted of a club being
formed in the town.

The first meeting was held in March 1950. H.M. Read(a local man who had won 13 caps for Ireland and
who became President of the IRFU 6 years later) was elected president. The club colours are maroon and
white and the reason for this makes a nice little story. Originally the committee had opted for an all-white
strip but when they attempted to register the colours with the Leinster branch they were refused on the
grounds that other clubs were using the colours. Shortly afterward the club secretary went to a hurling
match between Tipperary and Galway. He was very taken with the Galway colours of maroon and white,
Roscrea has used these colours ever since. As regards a ground, the club seems to have initially looked at
acquiring a pitch at Benamore, a possible pitch on the Limerick road, with eventually a pitch being
obtained at Mount Heaton courtesy of a man called Tom Lalor.

The first official match was on October 1, 1950, when Birr were the visitors to Roscrea for a friendly, and
Roscrea won 12-0. Three of the tries were scored by Seamus Power, the other by Tom McCann. The
Roscrea team was: Dwyer, McCann, Dunne, Tobin, Power, Rafter, Power, Mossop, O’Connor, Wallace,
McManus, Burke, Smith, Reardon, Barry and O Connell.

Success came quickly when Roscrea won the Garryowen cup in 1952 but it was not until 1970 that the
second trophy the Manseragh Cup was won Roscrea scaled the heights in 1975 and again in 1980 when
they won the Provincial Towns cup- the premier competition for junior clubs in Leinster. Midland’s
leagues were won during this period and they also qualified to compete in the Leinster senior cup twice.

Club Honours

Garryowen Cup: 1953-’54
Manseragh Cup: 1969-’70
Emerson Cup: (Provincial 7-a-side) 1974-’75; 1977-’78
Leinster Senior Cup: (Qualified) 1971-’72; 1979-’80
Gale Cup: 1974-’75; 1976-’77; 1982-’83; 2000-’01; 2005-’06
Provincial Towns Cup: 1974-’75; 1979-’80
Provincial Towns Plate: 1976-’77; 1984-’85; 1997-’98; 2005-’06
Midland League: 1970-’71; 1971-’72; 1979-’80; 2001-’02; 2006-’07
Midland League 2nd XV: 1974-’75; 1976-’77; 1979-’80; 1983-’84; 2002-’03; 2003-’04; 2006-’07; 2009-
’10; 2011-’12

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