The match, which Ballyboden is hosting this year, is in memory of William Phelan, who passed who away in 1990 aged 58yrs of age. William played with Ballygunner in his early years. He moved from Waterford to Dublin and was an active member in our club Ballyboden St Enda’s.
In his years in Ballyboden, William was ahead of his time and accidently introduced SAQ training as the senior players scattered to avoid the red Nuffield tractor as he cut the grass during training.
A few years after William’s death, Ballygunner put forward the William Phelan Cup, in gratitude for the years that William and his family had been involved in the Ballygunner Club’s early days.
Originally the Cup was played every few years between the senior teams. However, in the last few years, due to the number of players from both teams involved with Waterford and Dublin county panels, and the commitment of a long playing season, extending into at times the provincial club championships, the opportunity of arranging a friendly match with full strength squads seldom arose.
Life has gone full circle and Liam, William’s son, has reversed his Dad’s trips of the 1950’s moving from Ballyboden to Ballygunner. Since moving down the country Liam has re-established the cup fixture. This annual challenge match was first revived last year when Ballygunner Hurling Club hosted Ballyboden St.Enda’s U13’s. Ballyboden prevailed on the day by a point in what was a very close match to the very end.
With his Mam Bridie, brother Michael, sister Miriam, Liam is delighted that the annual competition is up and running giving juvenile hurlers in each club a chance to play a great hurling club from another county.
On Sunday, Ballygunner make the trip to Dublin with the hope of regaining the trophy. The match is on the main pitch in Pairc Uí Mhurchú at 2pm in what promises to be a very exciting match. Many thanks to Brendan Ryan for hosting this home event.