Who dominated the sporting world of 1916?

As it happened, war and conflict had a major effect 100 years ago

BY Raf Diallo 10:13 Wednesday 30 December 2015, 10:13 30 Dec 2015

It's almost time to bid a Happy New Year to one and all. It has flown by hasn’t it, from the time when we looked at the sporting world of 1915.

But if we go a year further in history, the world was a dark place of trenches on the European continent and more than the spectre of a World War raging between the great powers of that era.

Sport was certainly not immune and the list of cancelled events is extensive.

Golf’s British Open, Wimbledon, the Grand National, that year’s summer Olympics, five Nations rugby and English football were all suspended as a result of the war.

However, GAA was still able to go ahead on these shores and in the 1916 All-Ireland senior football championship, Mayo had to put up with a pain that they have had to reluctantly get used to since 1951 - losing a final.

Wexford were their conquerors on December 17th 1916 retaining their title by a 3-4 to 1-2 scoreline at Croke Park.

Only 3,000 attended that final due to the martial law imposed at the time in the wake of the Easter Rising.

Provincially the two finalists took Leinster and Connacht honours, while Cork and Monaghan were Munster and Ulster victors respectively.

In hurling, it was Tipperary who defeated their great rivals Kilkenny in the final with John Leahy captaining the Tipp side to a 9th All-Ireland win - although the final itself was held in January 1917.

The final was a 5-4 to 3-2 goalfest between two club sides representing their counties at Croke Park; Tullaroan for Kilkenny and Boherlahan for Tipp.

And as we all know, in the century since, both of those counties have won more than the odd All-Ireland and have met on the grandest stage regularly.

So, on that not-so-much-of-a-cliffhanger, it's an early Happy New Year from myself.

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week