Raphoe Hockey Club
Raphoe Hockey Club is a hockey club based in the village of
Raphoe, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland. It is in a unique position as the only club from the Republic of Ireland to affiliate to the Ulster Hockey Unionand the Ulster Women's Hockey Unionof the Irish Hockey Association
The men's section first team will play in Section One of the Ulster Senior League in 2007-08. In addition to the first team, the men's section fields four junior league teams.
The women's section first team will play in the fourth section of the Ulster Women's Senior League in 2007-08. In addition to the first team, the women's section field one other junior league team.
The Club draws the majority of its players from the Royal and Prior School in Raphoe, and all home fixtures are played on an
artificial turfpitch at the school.
The club was founded in the early part of the twentieth century competing in the North West League which was affiliated to the
Ulster Hockey Union. Few records exist from the early years.
North West League success
Raphoe won the North West Senior League and the Charity Cup in the mid-1920s.
In the 1945-46 Season the North West Senior Cup, North West Senior League and the McAlinden Charity Cup were won.
In the late Forties Raphoe failed to field a team for several seasons. In 1951 Raphoe Hockey Club was restarted. This team continued to play until the late Sixties, when the Club again ran into difficulty. The demise of the North West League forced Raphoe to stop playing again, as the travel commitments were too much.
Ulster Senior League era
Raphoe reformed for the third time in 1972. They made a good start, and in their first Season Raphoe won Section Two of the Intermediate League, which became a single League the next year. In 1974-75 Raphoe fielded two teams, for the first time.
In the 1975-76 Season they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Senior League, losing 3-2 to Portadown in a play-off. In 1976 Raphoe fielded three teams and won promotion to the Senior League Section Two, and were soon fielding four men's teams.
The 1978-79 Season saw Raphoe winning promotion to Ulster Senior League Section One and reaching the last eight of the Irish Senior Cup, only to be beaten 5-0 by Dublin YMCA. However the following season, Section One once again proved too tough, and they were relegated.
In 1985-86 were promoted again to Section One. Again, immediate relegation followed and a period of decline followed, to the extent that in 1991-92 the Club was only fielding two men's teams.
Fortunes turned and in 1993-94 Raphoe were promoted to Section One for the third time, and reached the last eight of the Irish Senior Cup, losing 1-0 after extra time to eventual finalists Banbridge. The 1994-95 season proved third time lucky for Raphoe, as they managed secure their place in Section One. Raphoe's stay in Section One was brought to an end with the reorganisation of the league after the 2000-01 season.
A brief one season return to the now renamed Premier League followed in 2004-05, after Section One was won in 2003-04.
The 2007-08 season saw Raphoe winning Section ! of the Ulster Senior League.
Commentary on Raphoe games has been broadcast on the local radio station.
* North West of Ireland Hockey 1896–1968 by Billy Platt
[http://www.raphoehockeyclub.com Raphoe Hockey Club website]
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