Club History

History of The Rock G.A.A. Club



The Rock GAA Club is a Gaelic football club based just outside the town of Mountmellick in County Laois. Since it’s founding, the club has grown from strength to strength, and today currently has over 100 players, competing at senior, junior and juvenile levels.  The Rock GAA Club is widely regarded as one of the most competitive and successful clubs in the county. With its modern training facilities and dedicated coaches and administrative staff, the club is a well-known force, both on, and off the pitch.

The Early Years


The club was founded in 1970 when a group of G.A.A. enthusiasts in the area saw the need for another club in the Mountmellick area to cater for the growing population in the countryside area of the Rock & Derryguile. These men of vision – Thomas Foyle, Eamonn Conroy (deceased) and Paddy Delaney convened a series of meetings in 1970 and the first Annual General Meeting was held in the Rock National School in 1970.

The club first entered the junior championship in 1970, where in their first match they played against Emo. The Club made an impact straight away with an excellent victory over their near neighbours.

Originally the club played its football in local fields in surrounding area until in 1973 they bought a field in Killeen where they remained until 1989.

In 1979 the club enjoyed success when they won Laois County Junior Championship for the first time defeating Ballinakill in the final on a score line of The Rock 1-11 Ballinakill 3-1 to move up the ranks into Intermediate championship grade. Noel Dunphy captained the team that day while the late Johnny Deegan was vice – captain.

New Field, Clubhouse & New Colours


In 1988 the club purchased a new field at Strahard Mountmellick Co. Laois and the club moved to its new grounds in 1989 where it is currently situated.  The late Billy Delaney and members of the club built the main clubhouse and dressing rooms in 1995. The club now has excellent sporting and training facilities, which includes the main clubhouse, one fully floodlit senior pitch and  juvenile pitches. All of this club development is due to hard work of  members of the club over the years and the continued support of local businesses and people in the area when fundraising need to takes place.

In early 1990s the club decided to change it colours from Black and White to Red and Black the same colours as local Rock National School.

Scor


The Rock G.A.A. club has competed in Scor Na nOg dancing section in the last couple of years with great success winning Laois County championship three years in a row 2006, 2007 and 2008. Our Scor Na nOg team in dancing then represented Laois reaching the Leinster Final in 2006 while in 2007 & 2008 they were defeated at semi final stage.

Juvenile Section


In the early 1980s Peter Naughton began encouraging young boys & girls to play football on Sunday mornings at the pitch in Killeen. The club began entering their own juvenile teams and all this hard work paid off in 1990 with the great work of PJ Harding, Pat Lawlor, Tom Flynn, Pat Murphy, Damien Fitzgibbion, and Dan Luttrell the Rock G.A.A. club won both U12B Championship and the U14B Championship.
The club claimed a second U14B title in 1992. All this underage success paid off with many of these players being part of Intermediate team which won in 1996 and also part of senior panel who contested final in 1998.
In 1999 the club competed in a Minor A Final only to lose out narrowly to Portlaoise, which again is due to a good underage structure within the club.
The juvenile section of the club today is now the most important section of the club for it provides our footballers for future. Thanks to hard work of juvenile secretary John Allen and his committee we are still competing very well at juvenile level and in 2008 their hard work paid off with our U12 team winning U12C county championship.
Also The Rock G.A.A. club has a strong link with the Rock National School, which is very important as the young boys and girls receive G.A.A. coaching within the school, and compete every year in Cumanna Na mBun Scoil games.  

County Representatives


The club has provided players to Laois inter-county teams over the years. We have provided players to Laois minor, U21, and Senior inter county football teams over the years. Some of our players, which have represented Laois over the years, are Kieran Deegan, Leo Storey, Peter Coffey, Pierce Flynn, Colm Burke, Michael Buggy, John McDonald, Paul Dunne, Derek Conroy, Martin Buggy, Thomas McDonald  Mark Dunne and Shane O’Connell

Intermediate Breakthrough and Senior Years to date


The Rock G.A.A. club had competed in 5 intermediate finals 1984,1985,1986, 1992 and 1995 only to suffer defeat in them all. But the club was given a major boost in 1996 when The Rock G.A.A. club finally made the breakthrough winning the Laois Intermediate Championship to gain promotion to Senior status for the first time in clubs history. The Rock G.A.A. club defeated St. Michaels in a replayed final in Stradbally on a scoreline of The Rock 1-13 St. Michaels 1-6 after extra time. The team was managed by Niall Tully, PJ Harding and Tom Storey with Captain on day Leo Storey.

Only two years after winning the Intermediate Championship the Rock G.A.A. club competed in their first ever Senior inter county final where they lost out narrowly to Stradbally on a score line of Stradbally 0-8 The Rock 0-5 on a day of atrocious weather conditions. It was a great achievement for the club to reach Senior county final in only their 2nd year playing at the senior grade. This was due to great hard work of team management of Niall Tully and PJ Harding and the panel of players. The club are still competing at senior level and have reached a few county semi finals since but still are waiting to capture their first ever senior county title.

In 2008 our second adult team in the club won the Laois Junior B County championship final defeating Colt in the final on a scoreline of 2-11 to 14 points. Captain on the day was John McDonald while team management consisted of Mark Dunne, Dan Cussen, Leo Storey and John Flynn.

Major Events in The Club History


1970: Club Founded

1973: Purchased field at Killeen Mountmellick

1979: Won Laois Junior Championship The Rock 1-11 Ballinakill 3-1

1989: Moved to new field at Strahard Mountmellick.

1990: U12B and U14B County Championship

1992: U14B County Championship

1993: Winning All County Football League Division 2 title defeating Killeshin in
          final

1995: New club house and dressing rooms built.

1996: Winning Intermediate Championship after replay
          The Rock 1-8   St. Michaels 1-8
          The Rock 1-13 St. Michaels 1-6 (after extra time)

1997: All County Football League Division 2 title defeating Timahoe in final by a
         point

1998: Contested Senior County Final losing narrowly to Stradbally
          The Rock 0-5   Stradbally 0-8


2000: Our 2nd Adult team won All County Football League Division 4 title defeating  
          defeating St. Fintans Colt in final

2002: Under 12 team won Division 3 league final defeating Abbeyleix in final


2006: Under 12 team won Shield final defeating Slieve Bloom

2007: Under 12 team won Shield final defeating Portlaoise B

2008: Our 2nd Adult team won Junior B County championship final defeating
          Colt on scoreline of The Rock 2-11  Colt 0-13

Under 12 team won U12C county championship final defeating Park

          Ratheniska