Our divisional side, Seandún lost out for the third consecutive year by the narrowest of margins in their County Senior Football Championship encounter. This time Carrigdoun defeated the city side by 0-10 to 1-6. White’s Cross player Murt Kelleher had the distinction of captaining the team and his midfield duel with Cork senior star Nicholas Murphy, was the highlight of a disappointing championship clash. Indeed Kelleher was the driving force in the Seandún sides efforts and scored a goal and a point, while taming his All-Star opponent. White’s Cross players Kevin Buckley and Donnacha Murnane were also part of the Seandún team, while Billy Sheahan was on the bench as sub-keeper.
Hurling took centre stage in recent times with the 2007 Junior Championship commencing. First out of the traps were the A hurlers who were pitted against Brian Dillon’s in the first round of the Capco CPD Seandún Junior Hurling Championship. Although up against last year’s champions the hurlers went into the game confidently having won their opening seven league games – championship is a different ball game, they say however…!
Whitechurch got off to a dreadful start when Dillons pounced for a soft goal in the opening minute and proceeded to tack on a point soon after. Whitechurch re-grouped however and our lively forwards started to dictate matters. Bryan O’ Sullivan was ruling the roost at centre forward and outside him Peter O’ Driscoll was unerring from general plays and frees, slotting over six points in the opening half. Our dominance was rewarded on the scoreboard as we led at the short whistle 0-12 to 1-4.
However champions do not go down easily and Dillons surged back into the game on its resumption throwing over the opening two points. Whitechurch steadied once more and with the forceful play of the half-back line of John Meade, Murt Kelleher and Victor O’ Sullivan got on top once again. Paul O Sullivan, Conor Buckley and Breandain Murnane all got onto the score-sheet, as Donnacha Murnane played a captain’s part around the middle of the field.
While our own scoring ability was a joy to behold, a worrying matter for the Whitechurch selectors, comprising of Donal Hegarty, Dominic Cahill and John Sheahan, is the team’s concession of goals in this encounter – four in all. They ensured that Whitechurch could never rest back on their laurels, as the game finished 0-22 to 4-8.
Dillons re-entered the championship via the back-door with a comprehensive win over Blackrock. Whitechurch received a bye into the quarter-final of the championship where we will meet Douglas.
The second Junior Hurling side have also been in championship fray. This side which was promoted up to the A League Division this year, has found the going tough in the higher grade losing 5 of their opening games. They were not helped by the absence of a cohort of players who were unavailable due to examinations commitments. They did have a tonic league win against the Barrs before their opening championship encounter against Nemo Rangers. With Nemo’s top side relegated from Intermediate to Junior ranks in 2006, it now meant that their second string was plying its trade in the B championship – making for a daunting encounter against our Club’s equivalent.
However in a cracking game of hurling our lads finished very strongly winning on a margin of seven points – 1:14 to 1:7. Padraig Murnane, Ed Cullinane and Dave Buckley were commanding in defence throughout, while Philip O’ Connell and Peter Lynch led the way up front. The introduction of Eoin Murnane by selectors John O’ Callaghan, Paul Britley and Murt Kelleher proved a real master-stroke as he won every ball in the second thirty that came his way. His goal put daylight between the teams for the first time and allowed Whitechurch the ability to drive forward and over the victory line.
However the side did not have time to celebrate the victory as they were back out four nights later in the quarter final of the same competition. Perhaps it was lethargy from the demands of the previous encounter but our side failed to play to their potential in this game against Passage. They did get off to the ideal start as veteran Ray Burke pounced for two quick goals and William Casey buried another, but this team made life real difficult for themselves for the remaining time, as Passage ate into the lead.
Were it not for some top-class saves from custodian Shane Cahill the team could have been in dire trouble. Nonetheless Passage finally equalised the game 3:9 to 1:15 with time almost up. From the resulting puck out Jason Kelly won a free on the Whitechurch half-back line which he struck quickly to midfielder Conor Kelleher, and his effort sailed between the sticks. There was only time for one last Passage response and that went narrowly wide to give Whitechurch victory on the slimmest of margins! They play Na Piarsaigh in the semi-final who won the title last year and also put an end to our troops hopes at the quarter-final stage on their journey.