Contrary to a local newspaper report that stated White’s Cross had denied Brian Dillons their fifth McSwiney Cup title in a row recently, the win actually gave White’s Cross their six final win in this competition on the trot. Where this newspaper reporter had attained her statistics is unknown but her description of the game’s proceedings were correct and accurate. An early goal from Conor Kelleher, after an incisive run from Edwin Buckley settled the Cross. Indeed Buckley was a real thorn in the Dillons rearguard early on, and when his namesake Conor scored a fine goal after 20 minutes, there appeared to be no way back for the lads in blue. White’s Cross led at the short whistle 2-5 to 0-3.
However games with Dillons over the years have always been nip-and-tuck and they competed gamely in the second period. At one stage in fact they reduced the margin to 4 points, after a period of their pressure was rewarded with a goal. White’s Cross did not panic and tacked on a couple of more points to secure a 2-13 to 1-10 victory in a fine hour’s football. Incidentally this victory has earned many of these White’s Cross lads their tenth football medal in the past eight years – 2 championships, 2 A league crowns and 6 McSwiney titles – not a bad medal haul!
This victory acted as some compensation perhaps to White’s Cross who lost out to the same opposition 7 days previous in the final of the Under 21 Football Championship. Fresh from 2 exciting semi-final games with Passage, the latter seeing us win out by the minimum margin 3-9 to 2-11, after a draw the first night, White’s Cross faced the reigning champions with quiet confidence. Again the entertainment in the final was top class. Dillons caught the White’s Cross defence napping with an early goal, and this proved to be a difference between the sides for much of the game. However a screamer of a goal from captain Denis O Regan brought White’s Cross right back into contention. When full-forward Johnny O Shea rose high to collect the ball and bury another goal, it looked as though White’s Cross might take the lead for the first time. However the referee pulled back play and awarded a penalty instead. Ace marksman Paul O Sullivan planted it in the net again – we led by two with normal time almost up!
However in the third minute of injury time, and to be fair to the referee there had been a number of stoppages, Dillons were awarded a dubious penalty. The adjective used here was chosen not alone by the biased author of this report, but also by the neutral journalist covering the game for the Evening Echo! Heartache for White’s Cross as Dillons buried this penalty too and try as we might, we were not able to break them down again. Congratulations to Brian Dillons on this win and the subsequent hurling triumph giving them a nice double!