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.