Armstrong Cup 1948-49: Sackville

Congratulations to Gonzaga, who have clinched the Armstrong Cup for the third time in a row, with a round to spare.

Details of another past season have been added to the Armstrong Cup page. In 1948-49 the event had eight teams: Dublin (holders), Colmcille, Dublin University A & B, Eoghan Ruadh, Sackville, Setanta, and U.C.D.. Matches were over six boards, each team played each other once, and the competition was decided by match points.

(It’s striking how the scale has changed over the years. The Armstrong has essentially doubled in size—12 8-board teams instead of 8 6-board teams—and in 1948-49 there was just one lower division, the Ennis Shield. The season was also compressed, running from mid-November to the beginning of February.)

The event was well covered in the papers, and we have partial scores of all but three matches, though results of adjourned games were not reported and no final table appears to be available. Dublin lost to Sackville and later to Dublin University A. Colmcille were strongly in the running, and were joint leaders with Sackville after three rounds. They drew against Sackville, and either drew or lost against Dublin. In the end Sackville won, for the 15th time, with an undefeated record, though they drew at least one match, possibly two.

The Sackville team was Charles J. Barry (7-time Leinster champion, starting in 1912), D. G. Jackson, Matt Ryan (later Leinster champion (1958)), Paddy Duignan (Irish champion 1947), Tom Tormey, M. Sheehan, and Barney O’Sullivan (Irish champion 1939 and 1946). O’Sullivan played two games, and apart from those exceptions Sackville fielded the same team in every match.

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