As reported in last month’s news, White’s Cross Junior A footballers again qualified for the final of the McSwiney Cup, a competition that we had won the two years previous. This time we were pitted against a fancied St. Vincents side, who have also qualified for the A League final. Vincent’s attained a further boost prior to the game, when they won the toss for venue, as Ballinlough was reported unplayable.
The game itself was a low scoring contest, as both sets of defences held a tight reign on their opponents. White’s Cross had plenty early possession but were finding it very difficult to reflect this on the score-board. In fact after 30 minutes of football all we had to show for our endeavours were two points, both from free-kicks, leaving us trailing 0-4 to 0-2. At half-time captain John O Connell spoke a few choice words to his team and it had the desired effect. Murt Kelleher, who had broken his hand in a game some weeks previous, cut short his recuperation time, by coming into centre-forward at half-time. He scored an early point to begin the comeback and Conor Kelleher levelled with another free. White’s Cross then took the lead but Vincent’s battled away gamely, such that with just 5 minutes remaining it was level 7 points apiece. However Conor Buckley popped up for the vital score to give White’s Cross their third consecutive win of the McSwiney Cup competition. Incidentally prior to our success in 2003, we had never before won this competition!
In the Junior A football league, our hopes of league glory were terminated by Nemo Rangers. This was another keenly contested game, with scores again hard to come-by. We lost out on a score of 2-7 to 1-6, but were it not for a hatful of excellent saves from the Nemo keeper, who came to his sides rescue on many occasions in this contest, the result would have been much different. .