Limerick pubs to renew sporting rivalry

Legend has it that two of the city’s most famous drinking establishments had more than a commercial rivalry at their hearts, and a special sporting occasion this Thursday May 31 will mark the rebirth of an old tradition.

Legend has it that two of the city’s most famous drinking establishments had more than a commercial rivalry at their hearts, and a special sporting occasion this Thursday May 31 will mark the rebirth of an old tradition.

The well-known public houses of Nancy Blakes in Denmark Street, and Tom Collins in Cecil Street have also had, through their long decades of business, a very well known sporting rivalry, in the form of an inter pub challenge game each year.

Records at both establishments show that this sporting tradition first began back in the 1950s, when patrons of Tom Collins pub decided to challenge one of the other long established pubs in the city, to test their sporting talent on the soccer pitch. And so the Tom Collins vs Nancy Blake’s inter pub soccer challenge cup matches were born.

Tom Collins pub was recently acquired by Donal Mulcahy, owner of Nancy Blakes bar, and he was anxious to renew the old sporting traditions between both establishments. He undertook a sympathetic revamp of Tom Collins pub, retaining all of its old character.

Given that both pubs are now under the one ownership, Donal thought it appropriate that the rivalry between them is renewed.

Two teams have now been selected, some young, many others not so young, who have been in training over recent weeks. This clash of ‘Titans’ takes place in Shelbourne Park, Shelbourne Road this Thursday May 31 at 6.30pm.

A special inter pub Challenge Cup has been sponsored by Kennelly’s Jewellers of Wickham street, to ensure that the game will be keenly contested, with a strong will to win among both teams.