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Club History

The Beginnings

The Rugby Club section of North Kildare Club is believed to have begun in 1928. Little is known of these early years and this section did not make an impact until the 1940's, when after a lapse of several years, it was revived in 1941 by Michael Prendergast. The following years saw Jack Guiney honoured with a war-time cap and also featured the advent of the youthful T.A. Kavanagh who had just left school and captained the club in 1946-1947. Even after Tom retired in 1950, he still had the interests of the club at heart and proved it by producing four strong running threequarters and crowned this achievement by becoming president of the Rugby Club. In 1949 the team was beaten 4-0 in the semifinal of the Towns Cup by Dundalk. Some of the stalwarts who featured in that era were:
Jack Guiney, Brian Magee, Paddy Magee, Nickey Smith, Brendan Colman, Tom Colman, Garrett Prenderville, Tom Wolfe, John Finn, T. A. Kavanagh, Fintan Conway, Dermot Kelly, Stephen O'Flynn.

North Kildare had to wait for only four years before bringing the Towns Cup to Kilcock for the first time, under the captaincy of Michael Ward. In 1954 the premier 'Sevens' tournament for junior players in Leinster was started the Colman Flynn Memorial Competition. It commemorates the tragic deaths of two players, Brendan Colman, fatally injured in a game, and Ernie Flynn, killed in a car accident. The club made the '50's truly the glory years by winning the Towns Cup in 1958, led by Fintan Buckley.

The years that followed were lean ones, during which the club could barely find fifteen players. Indeed, it is reported that in one cup game, a luckless hockey player was coerced into donning the boots to fill the side. Yet, a second XV was formed in 1964, followed by a third XV in 1968. The revival was beginning in earnest. Having earlier shared the Hosie Cup with the Curragh, North Kildare won it outright in 1968. This year, sadly, Dr. Finn, president for two decades, died.
Some would argue that it was in the seventies that Kildare made the greatest impact in Leinster, having won fifteen trophies during the decade.

In 1972 - 1973, led by Eddie Stafford, they became the first County Kildare side to play in the Senior Cup, having won the Hosie Cup en route. They gained many plaudits for a spirited performance in losing 10 - 0 to Trinity. Later in that season the first XV suffered the trauma of being beaten by one point, 12 - 11,in the Towns Cup final by the great Skerries side. Yet consolation arrived at Easter, when much to the consternation of home supporters, a Kildare Seven won the Colman Flynn Trophy for the first time in its history, beating U.C.D. in a gripping final. The team was Eddie Stafford. Trevor Reilly. Joe Buckley. Willie Kavanagh. Morgan Ferris, Brian Bagnall and Peter Robinson. They went on to win the Baliingerry Sevens, to crown the year.

In 1973-74 the Towns Plate and Anderson Cup were added to the trophy collection and the formation of a fourth XV coincided with the opening of the new clubhouse and bar. Georgie Mansor still claims it was purely a coincidence.

In the following year Kildare again featured in the Senior Cup losing 23 .. 7 to Wanderers. A fifth XV was now added and the Kilkenny Sevens fell to the Sevens squad.

The official opening of the clubhouse in the next year was celebrated with the Hosie Cup and the Michael Dunne Cup titles and the record continued in 1976-77 when the second XV won the Lawlor Cup and the third XV the Anderson and Dowling Cups. The first and second XV's reached the semifinals of their provincial competitons while the fourth XV were pipped in their final, when they lost their title to Carlow.

In 1978 the third XV, led by Joe Bruton, proved their claim to be the best side in Leinster by retaining the Anderson Cup having earlier won the Spiers Cup and the 2nds winning the Lawlor Cup. The fourth XV alas, were again beaten in the final of the Michael Dunne cup but were consoled with the knowledge that their social calendar was the envy of all.

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