The leisurely speed presented the opportunity to spot a plaque in the grounds of a GAA Club through the fields. I went exploring and learnt.
I had known that in the early years of inter-county G.A.A. matches, the county was represented by a Club – effectively similar to the All-Ireland Club Championship as is now. This had been filed away in my knowledge bank with Kildare’s white jerseys being first worn by Clane who represented Kildare in their first inter-county match.
I did not know that the first round of inter-county matches was held in 1887, 130 years ago, on this day. Ballyduff Lower represented Waterford and this plaque was erected to record the event.
The entrance gate to the club was being painted at the time when I visited. I have no doubt that the painter was a volunteer club member. It was he who educated that teams had 21 players a side in 1887. He also said that in 1987, there was 21-a-side match between Ballyduff and Young Irelands to commemorate and record the first inter-county match.
Interesting asides from the 1887 football championship include that Kilkenny beat Cork; and, that Commercials of Limerick were the inaugural winners.
I now have another prompt not to forget my wedding anniversary.