Courcey Rovers Parish in West Cork is bounded by Bandon to the north, Kinsale to the East, Killbrittain to the West, and the Atlantic ocean to the south and comprises of the Villages of Ballinadee and Ballinspittle.
Gaelic games in Courcey's date back to the foundations of the Association itself and beyond, but up until the 1940s there were various clubs scattered in the parish ( Old Head, Kilcolman, Old Blues, Castlepark) and then two clubs in the parish from Ballinspittle and Ballinadee.
Old Head Team:: T Calnan Captain, T Holland goal, M O’Sullivan, L Holland, M Fitzgerald, W O’Connell, J Downey, Pat O’Connell, Jim Holland, T Calnan, Jos. Holland, J Dempsey, Jer Calnan, T Holland and B. Calnan.
J White Captain, M
Desmond goal, D Hazel, J Collins, W Hayes, D O’Leary, C Quinn, W Rohane,
N Rohane, P Desmond, T Cummins, J Cronin, J Nyhan, D O’Connell and M
Ballyrub Team:: W Daly, D McCarthy, J Donovan, J Griffin, D Twomey, J Twomey, J O’Brien, O’Mahony, W Holland, J O’Leary, T O’Leary, O Tully, W McGrath, D Nyhan, D O’Leary, P Connolly.
In January 1904, the first official West Cork Board was set up. They ran off the first official West Cork Football Championship. Whereas twelve teams entered the football championship only three of those formed hurling teams, namely Bandon, Clonakilty and Skibbereen. They were joined by newly formed Kilbrittain, Shannonvale, Clogagh and Ballinadee who did not field in football. Of those original seven, Kilbrittain and Ballinadee (Courcey Rovers) have since retained hurling as their primary game.
The very first draw for the West Cork Hurling Championship (part of the 1904 Championship) took place in January 1905 and resulted as Shannonvale V Clogagh; Ballinadee V Bandon; Clonakilty V Skibbereen; Kilbrittain a bye.
Bandon played Ballinadee in Bandon. The game was originally fixed for Kilbrittain but Ballinadee agreed to go to Bandon. However, when they saw the heavy state of the Bandon pitch they at first refused to play and the game was held up for an hour. When it eventually took place, Bandon were far superior, winning 5 – 9 to 0 - 0.
It was, in fact, the first recorded championship hurling game played in West Cork. The Ballinadee colures were red and white. When Ballinspittle later entered the hurling arena in the thirties, they were blue and white and became known as "The Old Blues" That Ballinadee team of 1905 was::
Ballinadee: J Hailes, D Hailes, R Hailes, J Cahalane, J Kiely, J Lordan, T Crowley, C Crowley, T Brien, P Brien, Wm. McCarthy, J McCarthy, T Crowley, J Burns, P Corcoran, J Crowley, D McCarthy.
In 1947, the two clubs amalgamated to form Courcey Rovers. The founder members were Jim O’Regan Chairman (R.I.P.), Dave O’Sullivan Secretary assisted by Dan McSweeney (RIP), Steven Nolan, Treasurer (RIP) assisted by Jim Holland (RIP) and Humphrey Corcoran Vice-chairman (RIP). Secretary's minutes from first meeting of club as written by the then Secretary Dave O’Sullivan, who today is still a proud supportor of Courcey Rovers. The Red and White colors of the club were chosen by a toss of a coin.
In its very first year the club won the South West Junior A and B Hurling Championships.
Highlights over the next three decades include winning eight out of eleven South West Hurling titles from 1947 including a Five-In-A-Row and reaching the County Finals of 1957 and 1970. The defeats in those deciders were against Tracton and Clughduv respectively.
In 1974, Courcey’s made the major decision and switched from the South West (Carbery) to the South East Division (Carrigdhoun) having won Fifteen Junior A Hurling titles in less than thirty years. This was the cause of much debate at the time, and still is to this day.
Following a lean spell in Carrigdhoun the club came good in the 1980s with victory in both hurling and football in the Carrigdhoun Cups in 1982, that year also saw the club wining its first major Adult Division title in the South East by wining the U21 A Hurling title beating Ballymartle in the final. Successes were few and far between for the rest of the eighties, but the '90's brought better days.
The clubs first Junior A South East title came in 1993 against arch rivals of the 90's Ballinhassig and again in 1997 and 1999, where we also contested the County Finals in those years. Five-In-A-Row divisional U21 A hurling titles were won between '95-'99 along with the County U21 A Hurling title in 1997, also the clubs first ever Junior A football title was won in great fashion in 1997 and repeated again in 2000, with great wins over neighbors Kinsale on both occasions.
The 90's were also great years for the Under-Age club, where they were regularly wining titles in all grades and also the Camogie club who made the great leap from Junior B Championship to Senior A Championship in a short few years.
The club hopes to write a book on the History of Courcey Rovers in the near future and are at the moment researching and compiling all the history that is available on the club, if you can offer any old newspaper clippings or stories on the club, please contact us