When the two minor Tipperary teams ran out on to Semple Stadium for the opening rounds of the Munster football and hurling championship last month a rare occurrence took place.
It is certainly unique, if not unprecedented, for both minor teams in the same year to be captained by a player from the same club as has happened this year.
Two Moyle Rovers players, Danny Owens in football and Stephen Quirke in hurling, were handed the honour of being named captain of the minor teams who took on Waterford in two Munster quarter finals.
They both led the teams to victory to progress to semi finals with the footballers scheduled to take on next Wedensday.
Clonmel High School student Danny Owens is a son of John, who played in the All-Ireland minor final for Tipperary against Dublin in 1984.Rockwell College student Stephen Quirke,who is a younger brother of Philip who won an All-Ireland minor football title against Dublin in 2011,is captain of the hurling minor team and is on the minor football team as well.
Both players have been on the minor Tipperary squads for three years and this year’s two managers Charlie McGeever and Liam Cahill handed the two minor veterans the honour of captaining their county.
A Moyle Rovers player has never had the honour before of captaining a Tipperary minor championship team in either football or hurling and to get both now in the one year is a source of tremendous pride within the club and in particular to the dedicated volunteers over the years who have made a contribution to the thriving juvenile structure at the club both on and off the field.
The leadership qualities of the Rovers duo that have been recognised by their county this year is something that has stood out about these two players from the moment they started to play hurling and football in Monroe with Moyle Rovers.
“They both started as under 6s at the club and you could see from very early on that they stood out as leaders. All the way up through the age groups they were inspirational players on the field and the club is very proud of the fact that they are the captains of the county minor teams this year,” said club juvenile chairman John McGrath.
Last year Moyle Rovers captured the county ‘A’ minor hurling title for the first time on an historic day for the club when they defeated Newport Gaels in a thrilling encounter at Semple Stadium.
Two of that team, Stepen Quirke and David Roberts, are on the hurling county minor team this year.
The club has four players Danny Owens, Stephen Quirke, Tadgh Fitzgerald and Morgan Irwin on the minor football panel.
That group of players won an U12 county double for the club and an All Ireland Feile Division Four football title, captained by Danny Owens, before experiencing some barren years prior to making the historic breakthrough as county minor hurling champions last year.
“They certainly deserved that county A hurling title. It was a fantastic achievement for the club and that group of players who put in a huge amount of work every year who were unlucky to miss out on silverware for a few years up to that” said John McGrath.
The juvenile chairman said that having the two players as captains was a massive boost to the club and the two players stood out as a great example to the 180 juvenile members that were in the club.
“That group that Danny and Stephen went up through the age groups with was blessed with exceptional leaders. Danny and Stephens were there as was Bill Johnson who captained the Irish schools rugby team in France earlier this year and we are very proud of what they have gone on to achieve,” said John McGrath.
Danny Owens will lead out the Tipp minors next Wednesday night(May 13th 7.30) at Semple Stadium against Clare in the Munster semi final.
Clare have come through the losers group defeating Limerick to earn their way back into the championship after losing to Kerry.Limerick, who lost to Cork, defeated Waterford who had lost to Tipperary.
Tipperary will be without the services of Aidan Buckley for the semi final due to illness.
The St Patrick’s man was a major influence in the defeat of Waterford and his absense in the half forward line due to glandular fever is a big blow to Tipperary.
On the plus side they welcome Jack Skehan,who is also on the hurling minor panel, to the squad.