St. Mary's Park

ST. MARY'S PARK 1905 - 1963

 St. Mary's Park was formed in 1905. Records  of onfield activities are sketchy. It is not until 1936 when, after a number of faltering starts,  the North Derry Board was re-established and we know  St. Mary's Park was one of six Clubs to pay  affiliation fees and they were represented at that meeting by Tony Lynch  and Michael Mc Elhinney. 

Success came early to St. Mary's Park when in their first season they contested the final of the Dr. Kerlin Cup only to be beaten by O'Connor's Limavady. They also played their first County Final at Gortnaghey against Loup but were denied the Cup that day. The outbreak of war in 1939 curtailed playing due mainly to petrol rationing and limited travel facilities.

St. Mary's Park  reformed and played competitively again in 1946. They fielded against Dungiven in the final of the Dr. Kerlin Cup that year but were defeated 0-6 to 0-2. Again in 1948 they contested the Dr. Kerlin Cup final on the 29th June when they fielded in a replay against O'Connor's, Limavady at Limavady Sports. St. Mary's won 0-5 to 0-3.


Back row, l-r: P.A.O'Kane, P. Halliday, J. O'Kane, J. Hasson, J. Hampson,J. Mc Nickle, F. Forester.Front row, l-r: M. Gormley, M. Forester, S.Conway, E.Forester, H.Halliday. Seated at front: B.Boyle. Inset: J. Hampson.

 In the post war years St. Mary's Park were always in the running but  it was 1954 before  they  won the Neal Carlin Cup when they defeated Foreglen in the final. They also secured the Paddy Murphy Cup(Banagher Cup) and the Desmond Cup(Claudy Cup) but were defeated by Dungiven in the Dr. Kerlin Cup; 2-3 to 1-4. In 1955 they played neighbouring St. Joseph's Banagher in the final of the Dr. Kerlin Cup and won 0-8 to 1-3. The winning team that day were: Jim Hassan, Seamus Conway, Michael O'Neill, Thomas Conway, Jim Hampson, Eddie Forester, James Mc Girr, Patsy Conway, Francie Forester, J. Hasson, B. Conway, Tom O'Neill, and M. Devine.
The following year, 1956,these two teams fielded at Claudy in the final of the Neal Carlin Cup and this time St. Joseph's Banagher were victorious.
St. Mary's Park finished third in an 8 team league in 1956 and the folowing year finished fourth in a 9 team league.
In the early 1960's St. Mary's Park struggled to field a team . They reaffiliated with the County Board in 1963 and intimated to the meeting that they had agreed to amalgamate with Craigbane and would therefore be able to field Senior, Minor and Schoolboy teams in the incoming season. However this ambition was shortlived and by June 1963 James O'Kane informed the North Derry Board that St. Mary's Park would only fulfil Minor fixtures.
The last reference to St. Mary's Park was of the attendance of delegates  at the Annual General Meeting of the North Derry Board on 5th January 1964. They were not present at the following monthly meeting. 


 Played for St. Mary's Park and came to prominence in 1936 when he first played for Derry in the National League on November 29th  at Dungiven against Donegal. He retained his place in 1937 and in the first set of pen pictures carried by a newspaper, the Constitution described Mickey Forester as "a whole-hearted sixty minute player" in a preview of Derry's game against Tyrone who they went on to defeat 1-8 to 1-7. 1939 saw him playing for Derry in the Ulster Junior Championship when they defeated Tyrone 5-8 to 0-4. He also played in the Dr. Mc Kenna Cup and in the National League that year and again in 1940.
The Panel
Players who turned out for St. Mary's around this time were: Joe Mc Elhinney, Peter Mc Laughlin, Patrick Mc Laughlin, Barney O'Kane, James O'Kane, Mickey Forester, Jim Forester, Tony Lynch, Charlie Donaghy(Craigbane), John Mc Laughlin(Derry), Leo Mc Laughlin, Barney Mc Elhinney, Pearse Lynch, Barney Lynch, Paddy Lynch, John O'Kane, Paddy Loughrey, Eddie Mailey(Derr), Michael Mc Elhinney, Roland Mullan, James O'Neill, Benny O'Kane(Foreglen), Philip Crossan(Craigbane), George O'Kane, Josie Hampson, Fr. Willie Mc Gaughey, Fr. Mick Conway.


Fields played on.
Home games were played on fields provided by Pat Hassan (Dreen),Barney Mc Elhinney(Altinure), and Patsy Conway(Altinure)

North Derry League Table
                P   W   L   D   Pts
1953        13   10   3   0   20
1957        13   6     1    6   13

The Rig
The strip worn by St. Mary's Park was royal blue with a golden  V down the front and back with black or white shorts. This was later changed to a green jersey with black hoops.A new set of the same colour and design was purchased in Belfast in the late '40's. Players had to supply their own rig.

Jim Hampson
Jim Hampson brought honours to the Club in 1949 when he played for Derry in the Dr. Lagan Cup Final and again in 1950 when he played for Derry in the semi-final of the National League .

 Post war panel
Paddy A. O'Kane, Paddy Halliday, John O'Kane, Jimmy Hassan, John Hampson, Paddy Hampson, Michael G. Mc Laughlin, John Mc Nickle, Franccis Forester, Michael Gormley, Thomas Conway, Seamus Conway, William Mc LAaughlin,Patsy Conway, Mickey Forester, Eddie Forester, Hugh Halliday, Phonsie Duffy, Jim Hampson, Andy Corbett, Tommy Lynch, Joe Coll, Jim Peter O'Kane, James(Brown) Hassan, Billy Boyle, Brendan Conway, James Mc Girr, Peter Mc Girr along with many of those listed in the panel of the 1930's.
Subpages (1): St. Joseph's Banagher