"It would be like a member of the DUP joining Sinn Fein or vice versa"

May 08, 2019

Moorefield and Sarsfields on parade before the 2013 Kildare Senior Football Championship Final

Every wonder how intense the rivalry is between Newbridge neighbours Sarsfields and Moorefield?

Regular message forum contributor ‘lilywhite1’ gave an interesting insight in a contribution to our ‘Fiercest Club Rivalries’ thread and it’s one that could be applied to many towns throughout the country…

"Meathmaverick, the division between Sarsfields and Moorefield in Newbridge is on a north south divide. So yes basically the town is split in two. Generally the border is at main street/ Charlotte Street between the Bank of Ireland on one side and a chemist on the other side and is refereed to locally jokingly as the demilitarised zone. South of that is Moorefield and north is Sarsfields. That's the general distinction but doesn't arbitrarily follow in that you would have a few Moorefield supporters in the North though they are very much a rare species. There would be more Sarsfields supporters on the Southside since the first County council houses were built the supporters were mixed but Sarsfields supporters were and still are in the minority in those housing estates. 

"There is also the flags issue when the teams meet in a county final. This is based on the geography. From the bank corner Northwards, Sarsfields are permitted to put their flags on the lampposts, Likewise Moorefield to the South from the chemist opposite. The only exception is if a business owner wants to put up his flag he may do so, if he is inside 'enemy' territory. However to the north there is never a business with a Moorefield flag. From Charlotte Street each team is allotted one side of the street until the Railway station. Beyond that it is Sarsfields flags only as it is on the approach road to their clubhouse. The same applies to lampposts outsides the houses on the approach to the Moorefield clubhouse. These rules have evolved over the years and are rarely violated and if they are the chairmen of both clubs will sort it out between them. 

"Certain schools act as a feeder for the teams so it's not really random . One School would provide mostly Sarsfields players but not exclusively so while a second would provide exclusively Moorefield. Leaving aside the girls secondary there is a mixed secondary but I'm not sure of the ratio from that one. Sarsfields have acquired a few players over the years from rugby playing Newbridge College. The Sarsfields heartland of Roseberry is next door to the college. No Moorefield flags ever fly there. 

"There is an electric atmosphere on County final days when the teams meet. The rivalry is intense and sometimes bitter, but generally good natured but has been known to come to blows over the years. The nature of the rivalry is such that it divides families never mind friends. In some case it's Husband against wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, cousins against cousins brother against brothers, sisters against. Uncles and Aunts against nephews and at least in one case a father against a son. Some pubs are Sarsfields and some are Moorefield. One pub has been described as an ecumenical one where on match days members of the two tribes congregate after the game. Generally there is respect if sometimes grudging on both sides for the other. 

"Both clubs keep each other on their toes and both have large memberships and huge nurseries every Saturday. Should both reach the championship final this year it will be particularly tense and bitter affair. Moorefield are going for three in a row, attempting to equal Sarsfields three in a row record which no other Kildare club has achieved. Without doubt both teams have been the two best in Kildare over the last 18 years. 

"If one of them is in a county final the supporters of the other would support whoever their opponent is even if that team was the one that deprived their team of a place in the final. When one of them loses in a final the other will celebrate. Very few players in the history of both clubs have played senior for both. Therefore transfers of senior players between clubs is unheard of. It would be like a member of the DUP joining Sinn Fein or vice versa. On county final nights both teams and their supporters will go to their respective clubhouses to either celebrate or lick their wounds but the players and officials of the losing team will be invited by the winners for a drink on the Monday. 

"Apologies if the post was a bit long but it's difficult to describe the rivalry between the two teams in a few sentences."

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