“For the honour of old Knock-na-gow I must win”: Representing Sport in Knocknagow (1918)
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Crosson, Seán (2012). “For the honour of old Knock-na-gow I must win”: Representing Sport in Knocknagow (1918). Screening the past, 33.
Knocknagow (1918) has a special significance for followers of sport in Ireland. Most immediately, it contains one of the earliest surviving depictions of hurling on film—and hurling’s earliest depiction in a fiction film—in the scene where Mat “The Thrasher” Donovan leads his team to victory amid cries of “Up Tipperary!” (Clip 1). The hurling match is followed by a highlight of both the film and the novel on which it is based: the famous hammer-throwing contest between Mat and Captain French, a local landowner’s son and undefeated champion (Clip 2). The film even includes real footage of a hare coursing event, a bloodsport akin to fox-hunting with strong roots in County Tipperary (Clip 3).