Gaelic football or derivatives of it have been played by the youth of this parish since long before the foundation of the GAA. However, the first published mention of an underage team from Drumlish came in 1926 when a juvenile team lost to Richmond Wanderers, 2-2 to 0-2. In 1935 the minors lost the league final to Longford Wanderers, 2-3 to 1-2. For many years Drumlish did not enter underage competition, yet in spite of this the senior club was the most successful in the county. Many youths played with Killoe, Clonguish and Colmcille instead, as well as Gortletteragh.
In 1948, a few boys in the parish decided to do something about the lack of football in the area and they came together to form Kilmahon Rovers. The panel of players were Jimmy, Joe and Mick Sorohan, Pat Brady, William Brady, Robert Dolan, Pat Flynn, JJ Corrigan, Patrick Brennan, John Farrell, Jimmy Gorman, Pat McGuire, Johnnie Reilly, Michael Brady (Mill), Michael Corrigan and Eugene Brennan. They met with little success and were eventually thrown out of all competition for “irregularities”. The same year heralded the arrival of Fr. Sean Manning to the parish and he immediately set about reviving underage football. In July 1949 he founded the “Young Ireland Minor Club” for the “united parish of Drumlish and Ballinamuck”. The following year they reached the minor championship final, but lost to Clonguish, 2-1 to 1-0. Young Irelands sorely missed their county stars Eamonn Meagher, Arnold Meagher and TP Cullen. The panel of players was: Emmet Lenehan, Pat Flynn, Frank Brady (Dromard), Thomas Donohoe (Dromard), Patsy Brennan, Eugene Brennan, John O’Reilly, Jimmy Breslin, Eamonn McGee, Pat Maguire, Peetie McWade, Anthony McWade, Michael Rogers, Michael Corrigan, Frank McKenna, John McVeigh, Vincent Gorman, Petie Mollaghan, Pat Joe Davis, Patrick Casserly, Tom Ginty.
Drumlish won the 1952 schools’ competition on 26 April 1953 in “a blaze of glory” when defeating Killashee, 5-6 to 1-3. Mickey Bissett played a captain’s part and McNally, Mulleady and Daly all shone. Young Irelands won the 1953 schools’ league final beating Grattans in the final on 7 February 1954. The team was Desmond J. Gray in goals, Michael Tully, Paddy Gillooley, John Joe Brennan, Pat Quinn, Frankie Mulleady, Michael Chidgey, Patsy McNally, Willie Eivers, Michael Forde, Liam Daly, Frank McAvey, Michael Mulleady, Seán Mulleady, Dick Bissett. Underage football again fell into disarray after the transfer of Fr. Manning to Annaduff later that year.
In 1960 Young Irelands became St. Vincents. The name was inspired by the dominant Dublin club at the time. They won the clubs’ first ever minor league the following year, when they defeated Colmcille, 4-5 to 5-0. Jimmy Hannify scored 4-2. Colmcille gained revenge the following year by beating St. Vincents in both the league and championship finals. The club fell on lean times again after this and in 1971 they won the juvenile league, beating Wolfe Tones, 1-10 to 2-5.
In 1972 St. Vincents became a minor club in its own right, having previously been a sub-committee of the senior club. The following officers were elected: Chairman: Johnny Cooney; Secretary: Seán Brady; Assistant Secretary: Ray Noonan; Treasurers: Micheál Joyce and Séamus Molloy; County Board Delegates: Terry McKenna, Micheál Joyce and Gerry Brady; PRO: Séamus Noonan; Minor Selectors: Johnny Cooney, JP Corrigan, Terry McKenna, Séamus Furey and Micheál Joyce. Schoolboys and U14: Michael Lennon, Peter Dillon, Jimmy Breslin, Paddy Kane and Tom Crowe. The Harte Cup came to the parish for the first time when the minors, amalgamated with lough Forbes Gaels, won the championship, 0-13 to 0-10, against St. Michaels/St. Mels. Paddy Kane starred, kicking four points.
Numerous league and championship titles followed in the 70s and 80s at the various ages and grades, however the main championship titles continued to elude the club. The juveniles landed the championship in 1981 and 1982 as part of the wider “Drumlish Region” amalgamation. The minors came close to success in 1990, but lost the championship final to Camlin Rovers (a Killoe/Clonbroney amalgamation), 2-9 to 2-6. Team: Cathal O’Reilly, Fergal Mulleady, Paul McCormack, Eamon Gill, Pete McWade, Damien Brady, Michael Kane, Eamon Crowe (0-1), Niall Cashin, Philip Davis, Liam Davis, Jimmy Tully (1-0), Darren Quinn, Brian O’Connor (1-5, 3f), Damien Mulleady. Sub: Ciarán Mulleady. They sorely missed their harshly suspended star player Colin Hannify and Paraic Brady who was in the US. The minors again fell agonisingly short four years later when they were beaten by Ballymahon, 2-8 to 2-7. Team: Francis Noonan, James Courtney, Glynn McKenna, Brian Duffy, Donie McLoughlin, Gary Brady, Peter Davis, Mike Mulleady (0-3), Cathal O’Reilly, David Hannify (0-3, 3f), Ray Gallagher (1-0), Martin Mulleady (0-1), Neil Brady (1-0), Garrett Mallon, Michael Cooney.
The big breakthrough for the minor club came in 2002 when the juveniles won the championship, beating Carrick Sarsfields, 3-6 to 2-8. Early in the second half they were trailing by five points and had a man sent off. Inspired by ‘Man of the Match’ Enda Gallagher, they took the lead with eight minutes remaining. 2006 was one of the club’s best ever years as they won six titles with the U-14s doing the ‘treble’ and they reached the All-Ireland Division 4 Feile final to a last minute Cooley Kickhams goal, 1-7 to 0-8.
History was made in 2007 when St. Vincents captured the minor title for the first time ever by themselves after beating Northern Gaels, 2-5 to 1-5. Particularly prominent the entire match in defence was JP Farley and Aaron Quinn. Prominent further up the field were ‘Man of the Match’ Pauric Gill, who along with Fergal Reilly and Kieran Gill, were other worthy contenders, while James Noonan gave a very valuable contribution. Team: Paddy Collum, Conor Heslin, Aaron Quinn, Gabriel Higgins, Declan Donnelly, JP Farley, Kevin Whelan, Fergal Reilly (1-0), Kieran Gill (0-1,1f), Darren Farley, Pauric Gill (0-2), Paul Cassidy, James Noonan (1-2, 1f), Emmet Collum, Aiden Gray. Subs: Dylan Quinn, Robbie Rehill. The team was managed by Gary Brady, with Jimmy Hannify as coach and Mick Kane a selector. The juveniles beat Clonguish to win the championship, 0-16 to 2-7 the following year. James Noonan was particularly prominent and linked up most effectively with Darren Farley in the battle for midfield supremacy. The talented duo played leading roles while also much to the fore was the commanding figure of Conor Heslin at centre back. Brian Collum played well and Seán Whelan and Diarmuid Cooney played a notable part up front. In 2009 the minors reached the final but Killoe proved too strong winning, 2-14 to 0-11. They made up for this the next year as they defeated Northern Gaels, 5-8 to 2-13, in the final. They were led by the ever-accurate James Noonan and midfield lynchpin Diarmuid Cooney, who ran riot. Team: Paddy Collum, Darren Reilly, Dylan Quinn, Francis Mollaghan, Mark Breslin, Brian Collum, Darren Quinn, Seán Whelan, Diarmuid Cooney (2-2), Emmet Noonan, Darren Farley, Mark Prunty, Gary Connell, James Noonan (1-6,2f), Podge Gill (1-0). Subs: Paul Hughes, Dean Cosgrave (1-0). Earlier in the year Longford minors won the Leinster championship after beating Offaly in Croke Park. There was a very strong St. Vincents contingent and they were captained by Dylan Quinn. Paddy Collum, Darren Farley, James Noonan and Diarmuid Cooney were all playing while Darren Reilly was also on the panel.
The minors reached the final once more in 2012, but were beaten by Killoe, 0-8 to 1-3. They sorely missed the services of star attacker Dean Cosgrave due to his Longford Town soccer commitments. It was level at half time, 0-4 to 1-1, then Killoe took the lead in the second half, but St. Vincents almost robbed it at the death when Paul Donnelly’s fisted effort in the fifty-ninth minute went inches wide. Team: Mick Heslin, Rúairí Carthy, Dan Gorman, Gavin Quinn, Nigel Kiernan, Mike Kiernan, Paul Hughes, Gary Connell (0-2, 2f), Mark Breslin, Anthony Kane, Emmet Noonan, Neil Connolly, Martin Cassidy (0-1, 1f), Paul Donnelly (1-0), Ronan Corr. Subs: Scott Howe, Jason Nertney.
The club has fallen on lean times since then, but excellent work in recent years has seen the U-13s reach the ‘A’ championship final in 2021 and 2022 and Mike Mulleady managed Drumlish NS to a first ever Division 1 title in October 2022 when they beat Newtownforbes, 2-3 to 0-6.