The first football match played in Dunmanway under G.A.A. rules occured on the 24th of July, 1887. Dunmanway played Togher and the following is a report on it from the Skibbereen Eagle.
The inhabitants of Dunmanway and district had, on last Sunday, the pleasure of witnessing the first match of football played in Dunmanway under the rules of the Gaelic Athletic Association. It was witnessed by upwards of 2000 people, of which the fair sex formed a large proportion. The match was between the Gaelic clubs of Dunmanway and Togher. The Togher men, to the number of 200, arrived in the town about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and were met by their Gaelic brethern of Dunmanway, and the whole body, headed by the brass band of the town, marched 4 deep to the field.
Arriving at the field, the players, 21 on each side, arranged themselves in order. The 2 captains tossed for choice of sides, the Togher captain won the toss and elected to play with the wind. When all was ready the ball was thrown in by the referee, when it was carried with a rush in close proximity to the Togher goal but was immediately returned to the middle of the field by a fine long kick from one of the Togher backs. Here for a time there was some determined play, Hennesssy for Dunmanway especially distinguishing himself. Eventually the ball was driven towards the Togher goal, and after some hot play, a Togher man got hold of the ball, and a rush being made for him, he relieved himself by throwing it forward. A free kick was allowed by the referee for this breach of the rules, off of which Dunmanway scored a point, the ball being splendidly driven over the crossbar.
Kickout relieved Togher, who, by some very good play, carried the ball down the field, and several times threatened their opponents goal, but the steadiness of the Dunmanway defence saved their side from defeat. About 5 minutes before halftime, another point was clearly scored by Dunmanway, the score standing at halftime, Dunmanway 0:03, Togher 0:00.
During the second half hour, Dunmanway having the wind, the ball was for nearly the whole time kept in Togher ground, and after a very tough struggle Dunmanway succeeded in scoring another goal and a point. The score standing when time was called, Dunmanway 1:04, Togher 0:00.
Although Togher lost the game, it is but just to say that they played a fast and determined game, and, with a little more practice will make first rate players. Mr. John O'Keefe made a very efficient. referee. For Dunmanway, the following in addition to the 3 backs, played a very good game:- P. McCarthy (Cruig), G. Hennessy, Rick Hayes, W. Ahern, P. McCarthy. For Togher P. Hurley, J Roche, T. O'Donoghue, J. McCarthy, D. Donovan, J. Mahoney, were remarkable for their good play.