Annual General Meeting

White’s Cross GAA Club is holding its Annual General Meeting at the Upper Glanmire Community Centre on Monday, November 28th next, commencing at 8:30pm. All members are requested to attend with new members also welcome. Preceding this meeting, Mass will be celebrated at St. Michaels Church, Upper Glanmire on the night at 8pm. This Mass will be offered up for all deceased members and friends of White’s Cross GAA Club and in particular for the recently deceased Club Vice-President, John Hickey (R.I.P.). We welcome you all to come along and join in this celebration of the Mass.

A Time of Goodwill!

White’s Cross GAA is proud to report that in the past month one of our club members was involved in the Neil Mellon Township Challenge. Seanie Gorman, full-back on our first Junior hurling team and corner-back on the Junior A football team, headed on this Challenge for his second consecutive year. Sean was one of a group of 150 men and women who travelled to Capetown in November of this year as part of the Niall J Mellon Imizamo Yethu Township Initiative. By 2010, when South Africa hosts the World Cup, it is Niall Mellon’s dream that there won’t be a single shanty town visible from the air when the planes carrying visitors fly over Capetown. Niall is the Dublin businessman behind the Imizamo Yethu Township Initiative, who took on the massive task of building houses for South African families with the help of Irish tradesmen and women. Niall bought a house in Cape Town a few years ago and one day, out of curiosity, he strayed into the township. He was shocked by what he saw – 12,000 people living in ramshackle hutss, all squashed into an area of 50 acres, with no proper sanitation. Immediately, he was inspired to bring about change. Although the South African government had expressed an interest in adopting elements of the Imizamo Yethu Township Initiative as part of its housing policy, this has still to happen. The way it works is that a prospective homeowner has to save 300 rand a month, for six months to build up a credit record to qualify for the project. For the next 14 years they will pay 500 rand a month as a bond or mortgage. Sean Gorman, a sales manager by profession, spoke of the sense of fulfilment on completion of this project again this year, as he saw the delight of these people with their new homes. Sean also got to ‘work with’ two of the celebrities that joined the challenge this year – former boxing world champion, Chris Eubank; and RTE sports presenter, Des Cahill. He tells us that Chris has a good firm hand-shake and is a mighty man to mix cement! White’s Cross GAA commends Sean on his involvement in such an initiative, and was delighted to sponsor money to this worthy cause.

Under 21 Hurlers – Fourth Time Lucky…?

Whitechurch 0.11 – Nemo Rangers 0.07 Whitechurch advanced to an Under 21 City Final clash with Mayfield following a 4 point victory over Nemo Rangers in Redmonds GAA pitch on Saturday 19th November. This is the fourth year in a row that we have qualified for the final of this competition and this side is focused on compensating for the final defeats in the past three seasons. Conditions in the semi-final were not suitable for open fast hurling but both teams over came the elements and produced an entertaining game of hurling. Scores were hard to come by and place balls accounted for a high percentage. It was Nemo who opened the score following a well taken free in the opening minute. Whitechurch were slow to start but levelled on 6 minutes following a Peter O’Driscoll free. Brian O’Sullivan at centre back started strong and commanded his area. A well worked move involving Colm Sheahan – Peter O’Driscoll and finished off by Conor Buckley gave Whitechurch the lead on 10 minutes. The Nemo Ranger’s keeper pulled off a point blank save from Conor Buckley to lift their side but Colm Sheahan responded for Whitechurch to hit a fantastic point from play. Both sides swapped frees before Nemo hit their first point from play to leave 2 the margin. Nemo hit a dominant patch but were unable to convert the scores with the Whitechurch backs tipping the balance. Nemo finished the half as they started by pointing a free to leave them trailing by one. Nemo hit the opening point of the half to draw level from a free but Whitechurch hit back almost immediately with a Peter O’Driscoll free. Colm Sheahan was commanding the centre of the field and delivered some well-placed ball to the forward line to feed Brendan Murnane and Paul O’Sullivan. It wasn’t long before O’Sullivan hit the first of his 2 points to stretch the lead. Eoin Murnane, who did not start due to illness, was introduced to the game and he swung the advantage in our favour as he pointed well from a Colm Sheahan pass. A quickly taken free from Peter shortly after to Eoin saw Whitechurch take a 4 point lead 0.09- 0.05 Nemo battled and put on the pressure but couldn’t break down the Whitechurch defence. Patches of scrappy play were evident from both sides but in fairness conditions were not the best. Peter O’Driscoll and Paul O’Sullivan were showing their pace even in the heavy conditions. Nemo hit one back to leave a 3 point margin with 6 minutes remaining. Whitechurch were guilty of 2 bad wides in the closing minutes and on the stroke of full time Paul O’Sullivan hit his second point to leave the final score Whitechurch 0.11 – Nemo Rangers 0.07. Best of Luck Lads! We also extend best wishes and a speedy recovery to normal goalkeeper Shane Cahill, who was unable to take his position between the sticks because of injury. The team lined out as follows against Nemo Rangers: Dylan Burke Johnathan Scanlon – Chris Murphy – Roy O’Driscoll Victor O’Sullivan – Brian O’Sullivan – Patrick O’Droscoll Patrick Casey – Colm Sheahan(0.01) Brendan Murnane – Peter O’Driscoll(0.05 Frees) – Paul O’Sullivan(0.02) Michael Meade – Ian lee – Conor Buckley(0.01) Sub: Eoin Murnane (0.02)

Well Done Elaine and co

White’s Cross GAA Club congratulates the Cork Ladies Senior Football team on their recent All-Ireland Final victory over Galway. This joust with the reigning champions was the Cork teams first time reaching this stage of the competition. In particular we are proud of the Rockbán contingent involved in this Cork squad. There were four members of this our local ladies football team on the Cork panel; Elaine Harte, Niamh Keohane, Caitriona Foley and Valerie Mulcahy. Valerie received national recognition for her endeavours with this team last year when she was awarded an ‘Allstar’ for her performances in the 2004 campaign. She also came to the side’s rescue when introduced as a substitute in this year’s semi-final clash with Mayo.

In the Final she received the Most Valuable Player Award for her hugely influential role and tally of 1-5. Many of the boys and girls in Upper Glanmire National School will know Caitriona, Foley as she acted as coach at the White’s Cross fun-camp in 2003. Caitriona was also a member of the camogie squad recently crowned All-Ireland champs and was one of five players to win an historic double All Ireland crown in 2005. Vital to the success of this team has been goalkeeper and local lass Elaine Harte. Elaine, who has also played soccer at international level, started out her footballing days in White’s Cross, with her father Tom very involved in the Club. She often lined out on White’s Cross under-age teams and was able to hold her own against the lads, and help fashion out White’s Cross victories! She also assisted her male counterparts on the Sciath na Scoil sides while a pupil at Scoil Naomh Micheal, Upper Glanmire. Well done to Elaine in her heroics as ‘keepper to this side, epitomised by the clean sheet she kept in Croke Park on Sunday, October 2nd. Elaine pulled off one mighty save at a vital stage in the game and her clinical kick-outs set in motion many Cork attacks. Surely a certainty for an Allstar award in 2005… Rebels Abú Arís ‘gus Arís…!

Still Busy on the Playing Fields…!

In addition to the Under 21 hurlers who as reported, are preparing to do battle against Mayfield in the Championship Final, our two Junior football sides are still involved in competitive fare. Our A footballers face a Quarter-Final clash against Brian Dillons in the McSwiney Cup and a duel with Nemo Rangers in the Junior A football league semi-final. Our second football side meet Lough Rovers in their Quarter Final clash in the Seandun Cup. Considering that our A hurlers also have qualified for the Junior A league semi-finals, where they meet Delaneys, it is a busy schedule of matches for many of our lads in the coming weekends. Lads, we promise to give you a free-day on the 25th of this month, but do not book yourselves into the Whitechurch Long Puck on St. Stephen’s morning just yet! Nollaig faoi shéan is faoi mhaise daoibh go leir ó CLCG Crosoaire An Fhaoitigh!

All Into Perspective

The heartache felt by many in White’s Cross GAA of losing the Junior A Football Divisional Final at the start of September was quickly and sharply put into perspective by the untimely death six days later of John Hickey (R.I.P.). John, along with his brothers Andrew and Tommy, were to many the faces of White’s Cross GAA Club for many years. His sudden death at the age of 54 years startled and saddened us all. Our memories of John are of his commitment and passion for sport – for many, many years this was given exclusively to White’s Cross GAA – although in recent times he concentrated much of this energy towards cycling. Many of us would meet John from time to time in recent years, and whether it be walking briskly with stick in hand, or whizzing by on his bicycle, or driving for Bus Eireann, he always stopped to enquire regarding the latest goings on in White’s Cross GAA. One always welcomed these meetings because John was always a pleasure to talk to – happy, cheerful and good-humoured… a true gentleman.

In recent years John had devoted himself to charity work on behave of ACT – the Aid Cancer Treatment charity that raised funds for Cork University Hospital. For this he engaged in frequent charity cycle runs and was looking forward to the annual cycle from Cork to Castletownbere.. John will be remembered fondly in GAA circles, not alone in White’s Cross but right across the City and into the county. John had acted as Board Delegate for White’s Cross GAA for over 15 years right up to the mid-1990’s. Donal O’ Connor, Secretary of the Seandun Divisional Board, spoke glowingly of John at a recent board meeting. John gave many years of sterling service to White’s Cross GAA as a player and club officer. Under his chairmanship the Club undertook a complete draining and leveling of the grounds at Ballinvriskig. The Club had its greatest period of success at the beginning of the 1990’s, with John operating as full-back on both the football and hurling teams. He was a great leader on the field, full of encouragement and praise for those playing with him. However to his opponent he would have been tough, committed, fair but cunning, as even in his later days he had an ability to read a situation ensuring that he won that ball… He illustrated those similar traits as a selector and through words of constant praise always got the best out of his players. His natural leadership qualities ensured that for many years he was a popular choice at AGM time to take over coaching the Junior team, but John always refrained from the task, feeling that because of his shift-work he would be unable to give it the necessary time. Committed… White’s Cross GAA is, and will always be, a better Club for having had John Hickey involved. To his wife Kathleen, his son Derek and daughters, Karen and Gillian, grandchildren Kelly and PJ, brothers Andrew and Tommy, sister Nora, his extended family, his colleagues at Bus Éireann, and his large circle of friends, White’s Cross GAA extends our deepest sympathies. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

A Night of Racing and Fun

White’s Cross GAA Club recently held a very successful Race-Night at the Commons Inn. The night was most enjoyable for the large crowd that attended. This social evening helped raise important funds for our Club and White’s Cross GAA would like to thank all who supported the event; our race-night programme sponsors, race sponsors, those who purchased horses and all who attended on the night. A special word of thanks to Michael Hennessy for all his efforts in the organising and running of the event, and to Damien and Pat who provided the musical entertainment. Club secretary, Ray Donohoe also deserves special mention for the time, effort and energy he put into the organisation of this occasion.

On the night McSwiney Cup medals were presented to our Junior Footballers who won the 2004 title, and are currently preparing to defend this title that we have won the previous two years. A presentation was also made by Club Chairperson, Dermot Whooley to local lass, Elaine Harte who was goalkeeper on the Cork Ladies Football team that recently won the All-Ireland Senior title

Winners in Under 21 Hurling

After a 12 year wait Whitechurch were crowned City U-21 Hurling Champions. As one would expect at this time of the year, conditions were far from perfect for hurling. However Whitechurch adapted well and were deserved winners following a hard fought battle against Mayfield.

It was Mayfield who opened the scoring in the second minute from a free. Even in the poor conditions Paul O’Sullivan’s skill and pace was evident after he pointed the equaliser following a great run. If one brother can do it, then so can the other and within a minute Bryan O’Sullivan caught a great ball at centre back and took off on the run and struck a great point from play. The Whitechurch full back line was constantly under pressure from Mayfield puck outs as goalkeeper Richard O’Keeffe landed each one in the square. The sides were on level terms on 10 minutes at 3 points each with the third Whitechurch point coming from a Peter O’Driscoll free. The first real goal threat came for Whitechurch after Conor Buckley hit the post having got through the defence. Colm Sheahan picked up the rebound and pointed. Dylan Burke, deputising for the injured Shane Cahill, was keeping a close eye on things in goal and read a few early situations very well ensuring a clean sheet was kept. Brothers Roy and Patrick O’Driscoll were combining very effectively at corner and wing back positions and were making it very difficult for their markers. Mayfield dominated play for the last 8 minutes of the half but didn’t get the scores as the Whitechurch back line stood solid with Victor O’Sullivan hitting long relieving clearances. It looked like the half would end even at 5 points each but Mayfield were awarded a 65 which they converted to give them a 6 point to 5 lead.

Whitechurch opened the second half with a 65 of their own, which Peter converted. Eoin Murnane was proving very effective up front and following hard work and blocking down a defender’s clearance he managed to get the ball to Peter who slotted over a great point. Things were looking up for Whitechurch but it was early stages yet. Their attitude on the pitch was very positive and it was evident on the line that this was a team performance and the players were working for each other. Patrick Casey and Colm Sheahan at centre field were not shy and moved the ball well. Midway through the second half the sides were level again on eight points each. The Murnane brothers combined to give Whitechurch the lead and again following hard individual work Eoin passed to Brendain who pointed from the wing. John Scanlon is renowned for long pucks but his 80-yard free with 12 minutes remaining was inspirational and gave Whitechurch a 2-point lead. Whitechurch with 10 minutes remaining were looking the stronger and for the first time in the game a lead of more than 2 points was achieved following a great strike from Eoin Murnane. Michael Meade replaced Ian lee. Sharp shooter Peter O’Driscoll pointed a great score from the wing to give Whitechurch a 4-point lead. Mayfield tried to up the pace but were denied. Dylan Burke caught a great ball with 3 minutes remaining to relieve the pressure. Mayfield pointed from a free to leave a 3-point gap. Whitechurch backs were outstanding throughout the game but in particular for the closing 10 minutes. Mayfield managed another point from play. Two points is a very dangerous lead to have but it was going to take something really special from Mayfield to the get the better of the Whitechurch backs. Bryan O’Sullivan caught a mighty ball at the end of the game to ensure a Whitechurch victory. The final score finished Whitechurch 0. 12 – Mayfield 0.10.