Major Junior Ache

Since our last report, the Junior A footballers lost in the quarter final of the City Championship, a title which they had captured for the first time in the Club’s history in 2006.  The team lost out after a replay to Nemo Rangers 0-12 to 0-8 at a wind-swept Ballinlough.  

In the drawn game it took a last gasp point from Conor Buckley to earn a replay for the Cross, even though we had led for most of the game, only for Nemo to score a late goal.  Conditions on the night of the replay were not good for football as high winds blew down the field.  Our side failed to maximise its use in the first half and only led by two points at the short whistle.  Although Nemo had levelled and raced ahead after only five minutes of the second thirty, the White’s Cross boys were not going to give up their crown easily and were level 0-8 apiece, with 10 minutes remaining, despite the wind blowing up further.  However Nemo came again with a late surge and finished the game with 3 points in the last two minutes.

While our side could not have any gripes with the result on the night, what is proving a bitter pill to swallow, is the way our divisional board is playing off its championships.  Nine days after playing the replay, eleven of the Nemo side that started against White’s Cross in the Junior A Quarter Final, played in a Premier Intermediate Quarter Final, and helped Nemo beat Ballingeary!  Now that those players have played the higher grade championship they cannot play Junior championship again this year, so a maximum of only four of the team that beat our side can line out in the semi-final of the Junior A Championship.  

White’s Cross had sought that the replay would not be fixed until a date later in the month.  This was because a number of our players were unavailable for the replay and to allow our hurlers prepare for their up-coming hurling quarter final.  Nemo would also have played the Premier Intermediate Quarter Final by that date.   White’s Cross would not have had any quibbles if that Nemo side went on and progressed in the Championship but the fact that it is going to be a very different group of Nemo  players that plays the semi hurts a lot. Surely it is unfair that 11 players in the one club can play equivalent rounds of two different championships (quarter finals of both Junior and Premier Intermediate) in the same code in the one year?  Our divisional board has a duty to look after the interests of junior clubs, but the manner in which they run off their fixtures currently does no favours to the smaller units.

Cúl Camp

White’s Cross GAA again ran their Vhi Cúl Camp at the Upper Glanmire Community Centre, White’s Cross.  A sell out crowd of over ninety boys and girls, between the ages of five and thirteen years of age, attended the week long course. 

Coaches at this year’s camp included Síle Burns, Emer Watson, Eoin Murnane,  Brendáin Murnane, Jonathan Kenneally, Paul Harte, Gemma Donohoe and Conor Kelleher  all of who are qualified GAA coaches.  These coaches were assisted by a back-up team of Mary Barry, Caitriona Harte, John Ramsay, Ruairi Murnane, Seamus Reid and Aoibhne McElhinney.  Síle Burns and Emer Watson, the former a member of the local ladies club Rockbán, are members of the Cork Senior Camogie panel and White’s Cross GAA was delighted to welcome them onto our coaching staff this year.

 As part of the Vhi sponsorship of the Cúl Camps, each participant received a trendy jersey, shorts, socks and kit bag on the second day of the camp.  The fluid bottle also included in the kit bag should have proven more useful during the course of the week only that the sun did not shine as brightly as hoped!

White’s Cross GAA is very grateful to the Upper Glanmire Community Association for the use of its facilities for the week.  The Club also thanks all who provided support of one form or another to make this Camp the success it was.

Over the years a key highlight of the White’s Cross camps has always been the visits of inter-county GAA stars.  In past years inter-county hurlers Alan Browne, Joe Deane, Tom Kenny, and even Clare captain Frank Lohan have visited the White’s Cross venue, while Graham Canty, Micheál O Cróinín and James Masters represented the Cork footballers.  This year was no different and was again a great place to be for the autograph hunters!  Having given camogie stars Emer and Síle first refusal on their new jerseys, the children queued on the Wednesday afternoon for the signature of Ladies Football star Valerie Mulcahy.  On Thursday morning Cork football’s All-Star midfielder Nicholas Murphy encouraged an attentive audience to practice the skills regularly and spoke of the importance of small Club units, such as White’s Cross, to the GAA association.  On the final day, Cork’s hurling captain, Kieran Murphy (Erin’s Own) stopped off to see how his cousin Peter Twomey was faring at the camp in White’s Cross, and he also gave sound advice to the large attendance!  

Minor Presentation

The victorious minor footballers of 2006 finally got their hands on their hard-earned championship medals in a function held at the Boothouse Bar.  With many of these lads studying for the Leaving Certificate it was decided to leave the function until after the exams were completed.  Guest on the night was Teddy McCarthy, the man with the unique distinction of winning All-Ireland senior titles with Cork in both football and hurling in 1990.  Given the way the game has evolved it is highly unlikely his fine achievement will ever be equalled!  Teddy spoke of the importance of the GAA in the fabric of the Irish community and the identity it gives to people.

Manager of the team Paul Noonan, and his selectors Jonathan Kenneally and Brendan O’ Sullivan, awarded player of the year to Richie Sherlock.  Paul spoke of Richie’s diligence and enthusiasm when it came to football and the team.  Chairperson of the Club Pat Reid praised the team and selectors for their efforts, not alone at Minor level, but all the way up the under-age teams through the years.

Incidentally the Club congratulates Paul, who got married recently.  We wish him and Sharon every happiness throughout their lives together.