It was 30 years ago when Kinvara and Loughrea first clashed in the Galway Senior Hurling Championship.
It was a thrilling game of hurling, with Loughrea coming out on top in the closing minutes.
The championship had 4 groups of 5 teams as follows:
Group A: Kinvara, Loughrea, Mullagh, Killimordaly, Athenry
Group B: Sarsfields, Tommie Larkins, Ballindereen, St. Thomas, Padraig Pearses
Group C: Gort, Ardrahan, Liam Mellows, Turloughmore, Carnmore
Group D: Kiltormer, Castlegar, Meelick-Eyrecourt, Beagh, Kilbeacanty.
In 1982, Kinvara had a tough time, losing all four group matches, and ending up in the clubs first ever relegation battle - one we survived by beating Oranmore-Maree.
Coming into this match in 1983, we had already played our other three group games, drawing first with Mullagh (Kinvara 0-13 to 2-7), beating Athenry (Kinvara 2-10 to 1-10), and also beating Killimordaly (Kinvara 5-8 to 2-11). We were sitting on top of the group, but needed a result in this match to secure a quarter-final spot.
For the match against Loughrea, Kinvara were missing three regulars - Joe Byrne, Anthony Connolly and Pat Quinn - due to injuries sustained in the previous week against Athenry, while Ger Mahon was also not fully fit after recovering from injury.
Unfortunately for Kinvara, we lost to Loughrea, and then ended up playing in a play-off with Mullagh for the second quarter-final spot. Mullagh won that match 0-19 to 2-8 and so ended our hopes for the year.
In the match v Loughrea, our top scorer from play was Mick Curtin with 0-3. Also, in that match v Mullagh, our top scorer was Mick Curtin with 1-4, including 1-2 from play plus two delightful sideline cuts. That was an incredible 25 seasons since Mick won a County Junior Title with Kinvara in 1959. Legendary stuff!
The knockout stages in 1983
Kiltormer beat Turloughmore, Castlegar beat Tommie Larkins, Gort beat Loughrea, Sarsfields beat Mullagh
Gort beat Sarsfields, Castlegar beat Kiltormer
SHC Final: Gort 2-12 beat Castlegar 3-6
Here is extract from the Connacht Tribune match report
CLARKE POINTS THE WAY FOR LOUGHREA
When the wise men come to reflect on the epic matches that represent the best in Galway hurling during the 1983 Co. Senior Hurling Championship, they must include among the most memorable the encounter of Loughrea and Kinvara at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. The margin of five points belies the closeness of this thrilling exhibition and while the result places Loughrea on top of Group A poised for the quarter-finals, the defeat of Kinvara only means they could have another match on their hands in order to qualify.
Tom O'Loughlin, Pascal Quinn, Kevin Huban, Ger O'Connor, Sean Forde 0-1, PJ Curtin, Ger McInerney, Ger Curtin 0-3, Martin Keane, Shane Murphy 0-2, Declan Brogan, Francis Tully, Mick Curtin 0-3, John Huban, Frank Quinn 0-1.
Sub: Kieran Whelan for G. Curtin, Ger Mahon for F. Quinn.
Peter Murphy, Philip Powell, Ger Maher, Jack Mahoney, Gerry Glynn, Martin Braton, Brendan Mahoney, John Boland, Iggy Clarke 0-10, Michael Tierney, Michael McCormack, Jack Leahy 0-2, Brian Kelly 0-1, Pat McGee 0-1, Ger Conway 0-1.
Subs: Patsy McDonagh for Conway, Benjy Moran for Kelly.
SEE ATTACHMENT FOR FULL MATCH REPORT