There will be a throwback of sorts on the colours front as Glen Rovers don their alternative strip for Sunday’s Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (4pm).
Generally speaking, when a colour-clash arises, both teams must change but, as the Glen’s second kit is all-black and Blackrock’s green back-up set are a very dark shade, it was decided by the county board to toss a coin for one team to change.
The Rockies secured an early win on that front, meaning that they will wear their famous green and gold hoops against their opponents’ black, which was first seen in last year’s championship against Newtownshandrum.
Historically, the Glen always had to deviate from their green, gold and black hoops against their southside rivals. For decades, the rule on clashes was that the older club was allowed to keep their first-choice colours – Blackrock were formed in 1883 while the Glen were established in 1916 (initially, they had intended having green, white and gold hoops, like Carbery Rangers do, but opted for black in memory of those who had died in the fight for Irish independence).
Up to and including the 1975 county final, the solution for the Glen when they met the Rockies was a logical one – they used to play in the black and white hoops of sister club St Nicholas.
However, when the pair won through to the 1976 decider, the Glen requested that they be allowed to wear their new primary kit – arguing that the wider hoops eased differentiation – along with black socks. When that proposal was turned down, they made another purchase, taking to the final in gold jerseys, black shorts and green socks as they avenged the 1975 loss.
Prior to this year, the clubs’ last final meeting was in 1978 and, by this time, the ‘older club’ rule had been dispensed with, meaning that Blackrock had to change, too. They opted for green jerseys, white shorts and gold socks as they triumphed, with the Glen in the same combination as 1976.
Thereafter, gold v green was the accepted compromise for games between the two, although their most recent senior championship meeting, in 2008, saw the Glen in the usual shirts but with black shorts – the look not allowed in 1976 – while Blackrock were in green tops.
Sunday will see a new kit match-up for the fixture and the Glen might have an omen in the fact that the last team to win the county final in a change kit were the all-black-clad Sarsfields in 2008.
However, that wasn’t due to a clash with the Offaly-like tricolour of Bride Rovers, but due to superstition – having had to change in the first round against Ballinhassig that year, they retained the second kit for all their games as they won a first title since 1957.