The Limerick Desmond Football League Challenge Cup (The Desmond Cup) is the Blue Ribbon competition of the league and is one of the oldest junior soccer competitions in the country. It is open to all junior teams from the clubs that play within the jurisdiction of the Limerick Desmond Football League.
The competition can be dated back as far as the late 1940s with Ballingarry AFC taking part in every competition since they joined the league in season 1984/85.
The competition is played for on a knockout basis with extra time and penalties to decide who progresses to each round following the first replay while the final is also decided on extra time and penalties following the first replay.
The draw is open which means that teams from the same club can meet in any round.
Ballingarry AFC and The Desmond Cup
Winners: 2001/02, 2006/07. Beaten finalists: 2012/13
- Ballingarrys first Desmond Cup game was against Bally Rovers (Round 1) in February 1985. Ballingarry won 4-3 with Michael O’ Connor (2), Joe Burke and John Clancy getting the goals. The game was played behind the Grove on a pitch owned by the late Bernard Sheehy.
- Ballingarrys first Desmond cup team was: Noel Hayes, Davy Fitzgerald, John Murphy, James Higgins (Pat Cagney), Noel Forde (Shane Hartnett), John Clancy, Joe Burke, Mike O’ Connor, Aidan Lynch, James Clancy, James Cronin.
- First Desmond cup goalscorer was Mike O’Connor vs Bally Rovers in 1985
- The clubs first Desmond cup hat-trick scorer was Padraig Forde (pic 1 above) when he scored three against Villa Rovers in the 3rd round game on March 24th 1996 during a 4-2 win.
- Ballingarry AFC had the honour of staging the Desmond Cup Final of 1998 when Rathkeale and Knockaderry contested the final. The game ended in a draw with the replay also being played in Ballingarry.
- When Ballingarry AFC won the cup in 2002 Eoin Barrett (pic 2 above) was the captain andwhen they won it again in 2007 Eoins brother Aidan (pic 3 above) was the captain.
- When Ballingarry AFC won the cup in 2002 they received a strip of playing gear (pic 4 above) from Carling.
- In both of Ballingarrys Desmond Cup final appearances, their goalkeepers scored for Ballingarry. Patrick Kenrick (pic 5 above) against Knockaderry in 2002 and John O’Grady (pic 6 above) against NCW Rovers in 2007.
- Ballingarry A and Ballingarry B were paired in the Cup in round 1 on February 25th 1990. The A team won the game 3-2.
Scorers: Kenrick 48, Donal O’Grady 52, Joe Scanlon 72 pen, John Cronin 86
Scorer: Denis Kelly
Scorers: Francis Kiely, John O’Grady, Denis Kelly