The first Athletics club was founded in Lorrha in 1940 St. Ruadhan’s Athletic Club. Lorrha was associated with the Nenagh, Ballinderry and Rathcabbin, Patsy Carroll was successful at the individual and team levels. The club made its first appearance in competition in nenagh on Jan 16th 1944. This was the Tipperary Junior Championship and out of a field of two hundred and eighty runners, St. Ruadhan’s won individual and team honours. St Ruadhan nest competed in Tipperary Town on Feb 23rd 1944. They took the team event in the County Junior Championship from a very big field. The team consisted of Michael Hourigan, Francey Hourigan, Tom Lambe, Peter Coughlan and Patsy Carroll. On the last Sunday of February that year the team went to Dunleer for the All-Ireland Inter club Cross Country Junior Championships and came sixth out of a field of over sixty teams. At the end of the season St. Ruadhan’s won the open Six Mile Cross Country at Birr.
Open sports was held in Rathcabbin in 1944 in which two County Championships the mile and a half and the eight miles were run. They were won by Patsy Carroll who also won at Kilkishin, Birr, Shannonbridge and Borrisokane. From 1945 onwards teams for the inter-county were to be picked by trial. In January 1945 Patsy Carroll came fourth and qualified for the Tipperary team. The All-Ireland inter-county final was held in February and in a field of 300 starters, Tipperary had the first four home – J.J Barry, Patsy Carroll, Mick Blake and Gerry Kiely. Celebrations were held in Rathcabbin the following night including a torch light procession, speeches and reception. Patsy qualified for the County senior team and Tipperary beat a great Kildare team to take the senior title.
In 1946 Patsy qualified for the county team, Tipperary won the senior All-Ireland with patsy coming eight. He also gained his first National vest and ran with much success around the country. In 1947 Patsy joined Moneygall A.C. The senior county was run in Moneygall and Patsy led the first North Tipperary team to win the county senior. Tipperary again won the All-Ireland.
1949 saw a club form again in Lorrha called St. Flannan’s Athletic Club. They won the O ‘Donoghue cup in Ballinderry and took second place in the County novice. The county senior race at Golden at nine miles was considered too long by the club abd so they did not run. However Patsy Carroll finished second in the race and in the same for Tipperary when they won the All-Ireland senior yet again that year at Lucan.
1949 was the peak in Patsy’s career, he won the Southern command three miles. He dead heated in the Munster four miles. He won the three miles at the curragh ant the All-Ireland three miles at Carlow and was second in the five miles at the National Championships held at Moneygall. He was second in the Guiness four miles on a Saturday and won the three miles at Killaloe the following day.
St. Flannan’s Athletic Club lasted only a year so in 1951 Patsy rejoined Moneygall A.C. and stayed with them for the year at the end of which he retired from cross-country. He had a truly remarkable record, he was runner-up in the National Junior in 1945 and the National Senior in 1949. He won one junior team and seven senior team All-Irelands and won them in succession.
Patsy became involved with a revival of interest in Athletics in 1979 when a meeting was held in Rathcabbin Hall in October and St. Ruadhan’s A.C. was reformed with Patsy Carroll President, F. Maher, Chairman, P. Kelly, Secretary, Mary Molloy, treasurer and Caroline Molloy, P.R.O. The club achieved early success, winning the county novice in 1980 and second in the Junior and sixth in the Senior