Liam Hastings Cup
The Liam Hastings Cup was an inter-county U-21 tournament organised by Longford County Board from the 1986 season (starting in November 1985) to the 2017 season (ending in Feb 2017). It was the most successful U-21 tournament in the history of the GAA and was won by 13 different counties over the years. It was the brainchild of Longford County Secretary John Greene, and came into existence because of the lack of competition for Under 21 grade. John proposed in 1985 that the competition be based on the Fr. Manning Cup and that the Longford County Board should sponsor the trophy. Longford won the Hastings Cup in 1997, 2005, 2006 and 2013.
The cup itself was the old ‘Moto Weekend’ cup which had originally been presented by the Longford Arms Hotel to the Longford Chamber of Commerce for an inter-county senior game between Longford and another county at the end of a series of organised weekend business events in the 1960’s, all aimed at promoting business in Longford. The competition ended in the late 1960’s and the cup was gifted to the Longford County Board. This cup was repurposed, becoming the Hastings Cup.
Photograph: Ronnie Naylor/Western People
Photograph: Sourced via Google Sites
The cup was named after Liam Hastings (Liam O hOistin), a native of Drummin in Mayo who moved to Longford as a schools inspector in the 1950’s and became involved in the Longford Slashers club. Liam was a member of the great Mayo team of 1950-51 (image above), winning two All-Ireland titles. Liam won several Connacht Colleges medals with St. Jarlaths of Tuam, captaining them to the 1940 Connacht Colleges title. He also won a Mayo JFC medal with Westport in 1940. Between 1948 and 1952 he won four Connacht Senior Football Championship medals, and in 1950 and 1951 won an historic back-to-back of All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals with Mayo. He also won a National Football League medal with Mayo in 1949 as well as three Kildare County SFC medals with Newbridge, and Sigerson Cup medals with UCD. During his time in Longford he became chairman of the Longford County Board and was one of a key few who were instrumental in the decision to purchase a new cup for the Longford Senior Football championship in 1960 which was named the Seán Connolly cup. During his term as County Board Chairman, the first dressing rooms and stand were built at Pearse Park. He was eventually transferred to Clonmel, but returned many times to Longford, giving a memorable speech during the celebrations following the National League win in 1966 when he spoke about how he regarded the victory as one of the greatest and most rewarding events of his life. Liam died suddenly a short few months later at the age of 44. When Longford won the Hastings Cup for the first time in June 1997, a minutes silence was held before the game in memory of Liam’s wife Mary Hastings who had died earlier that week. It is also worth noting that the Longford Slashers club presents the Liam Hastings award each year to the person who has given outstanding service to the Slashers club.
The competition originally included five teams from Longford, Leitrim, Westmeath, Roscommon and Cavan and was initially played on a league basis with the top two teams playing a final. Sligo joined the tournament shortly after, and by the 1992 season, Fermanagh and Monaghan had joined to make it an eight-county competition, and Donegal were added to the competition by the mid 1990’s, followed soon after by Galway, Mayo, Armagh, Offaly and a few years later by Tyrone and Down, Kildare and others as the competition grew in popularity. The competition included an impressive 24 counties by the 2002 season.
In 2003 a new GAA rule meant that the Longford County Board no longer had permission to run competitions with more than four teams. As a result, there was no Hastings Cup competition in 2003 while the following season the Hastings Cup returned as a smaller competition, scaled back to the four neighbouring counties of Longford, Cavan, Westmeath and Roscommon. By the 2015 season the number of teams was back up to sixteen teams, including Longford, Tipperary, Galway, Kildare, Kerry, Meath, Roscommon, Cavan, Mayo, Wicklow, Monaghan, Westmeath, Leitrim, Laois, Clare and Offaly. By 2016 that number had reduced back to eight counties… Longford, Cavan, Westmeath, Leitrim, Offaly, Roscommon, Meath, Wicklow. The change of grade from Under 21 to Under 20 in 2018 spelled the end for the Hastings Cup competition.
The Hastings Cup ended in February 2017, but it’s legacy lives on through the many team managers and top-class players who became household names and started their careers with their counties in the Hastings Cup. While the competition is no longer active, it has made a significant contribution to the GAA story.
|Won||County||Year Titles Won|
|9||Roscommon||1986, 1990, 1994, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015|
|5||Cavan||1987, 1988, 1993, 2011, 2012|
|4||Longford||1997, 2005, 2006, 2013|
Roll of Honour
|Season||Hastings Cup Final|
|1986||Feb 1986 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 0-10, Cavan 0-5|
|1987||Mar 1987 | Hastings Cup - Final | Cavan 3-8, Leitrim 0-4|
|1988||Mar 1988 | Hastings Cup - Final | Cavan 3-12, Sligo 3-8|
|1990||Mar 1990 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 0-10, Cavan 1-6|
|1991||Mar 1991 | Hastings Cup - Final | Westmeath 4-5, Leitrim 1-6|
|1992||Mar 1992 | Hastings Cup - Final | Leitrim 2-6, Roscommon 1-8|
|1993||Apr 1993 | Hastings Cup - Final | Cavan 0-12, Leitrim 0-10|
|1994||May 1994 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 1-17, Sligo 1-14|
|1995||Jul 1995 | Hastings Cup - Final | Donegal 2-9, Sligo 0-10|
|1996||Apr 1996 | Hastings Cup - Final | Armagh 3-10, Galway 0-11|
|1997||Apr 1997 | Hastings Cup - Final | Longford 1-17, Galway 1-11 🏆|
|1998||Feb 1998 | Hastings Cup - Final | Donegal 1-11, Roscommon 0-10|
|1999||Mar 1999 | Hastings Cup - Final | Sligo 1-10, Monaghan 0-12|
|2000||Feb 2000 | Hastings Cup - Final | Tyrone 0-11, Down 1-7|
|2001||Feb 2001 | Hastings Cup - Final | Mayo 0-21, Tyrone 0-19|
|2002||Mar 2002 | Hastings Cup - Final | Kildare 1-16, Fermanagh 3-7|
|2004||Feb 2004 | Hastings Cup - Final | Westmeath 0-14, Longford 0-10|
|2005||Jan 2005 | Hastings Cup - Final | Longford 1-6, Leitrim 1-5 🏆|
|2006||Jan 2006 | Hastings Cup - Final | Longford 1-11, Cavan 0-13 🏆|
|2007||Feb 2007 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 2-11, Cavan 1-12|
|2008||Feb 2008 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 0-18, Longford 0-6|
|2009||Jan 2009 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 2-17, Leitrim 2-6|
|2010||Feb 2010 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 1-12, Cavan 0-10|
|2011||Feb 2011 | Hastings Cup - Final | Cavan 0-12, Roscommon 0-9|
|2012||Feb 2012 | Hastings Cup - Final | Cavan 2-15, Longford 2-10|
|2013||Jan 2013 | Hastings Cup - Final | Longford 1-9, Cavan 0-10 🏆|
|2014||Feb 2014 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 0-13, Meath 1-3|
|2015||Feb 2015 | Hastings Cup - Final | Roscommon 2-21, Galway 1-11|
|2016||Jan 2016 | Hastings Cup - Final | Offaly 3-9, Cavan 1-11|
|2017||Feb 2017 | Hastings Cup - Final | Meath 3-10, Longford 1-14|
– No record of any Hastings Cup competition in 1989.
– 2003 Hastings Cup cancelled due to change in GAA rules.
– Hastings Cup competition ended after the 2017 season.