It’s nearly that time of year again..

Junior GAA

You spend all winter on the beer speculating on who will be brought in to manage the team next year.

The hardest tackle you will make all year is in an indoor soccer match in January when you break your brother-in-law’s leg.

There are 35 at training under lights on a bitter February night (unfit but enthusiastic) – the average for August is 7 (unfit, sick of training and making silage)

The club treasurer spends some time at the AGM lamenting the yearly cost of running a club and especially the bill for hurleys. a month later, the team is being urged to “give ‘em timber lads – we have plenty of hurleys on the sideline…”

When you go for a pick-up, you kick the ball about 5 yards in front of yourself…when you try it again, you do it again.

The full forward has his son and grandnephew in the corners . The grandnephew is two years older 

For a 2.30 throw-in, you start packing your gear bag at 2.40 and still manage to be on the field before the referee even arrives

You can get a match called off because your star player is playing divisional under-16 the following week

Your tight marking corner back never gives an inch – except of course, when the ball gets inside his own 45 and he charges out after it with all the other backs, forgetting that the other team are even on the field.

Your goalie lets in a sitter every second game – this usually happens after you have scored 5 points from play to reel in a difficult half-time deficit or in the first minute if it is a final

Your full-forward can’t score but “he’s a good man to bust up the play”

Your centre forward can’t score either but “he’ll stop a good man from playing”

Your championship is either a round robin that requires you to play six league games to eliminate one team, or a knockout starting in October

Any members of your panel that claim to have back injuries are either lazy or completely daft – unless you can see blood, bruises or bandages, they are making it up

Before every match, the forwards are told to stay wide and not bunch – but this is not what happens.

The only time any forward goes wide is to take a sideline cut or if they are looking for water

Your backs play from behind holding the ball with one hand whilst resting the other on the forward’s back – this is why all your scores and all their scores come from frees

You can’t field a team during the fortnight of the Leaving Cert

Your star player always has one other brother “that was even better but he couldn’t stay off the drink”

Your left-corner-back plays at No.4 because he can only strike off his left side Ditto No.7

The more people instruct you to “let fly if you don’t get it up the first time”, the more you ignore them.

January: a Quiet Month on the Playing Field

As is the case with all clubs and teams across the country, this time of year is a time to plan ahead, and to look forward with energy and enthusiasm to the new season.  Our adult teams are already back in training, as indeed are the youngest members of the club; the latter have re-commenced their regular Sunday morning training slot.

However due to the atrocious weather for the past couple of months our second junior football side must still play two finals they qualified for from 2009!  White’s Cross play Douglas in both the Junior B Football League Final and the Seandún Cup Final.  It has been a frustrating wait for this team but totally understandable given the extreme weather conditions, and the subsequent impact on playing pitch conditions.  Indeed the Seandún Divisional Board generally runs a very efficient programme of games.  Hopefully these finals will get played in the next couple of weeks, but with the 2010 leagues scheduled to commence in mid-February there will be little time for the celebrating, which White’s Cross will be hopefully doing! 

Eight in a Row!

It’s well documented the golden era this present period is proving for White’s Cross
GAA footballers – four Junior A championships and three league titles in the past
5 years. However most would pinpoint the initial successes in the division’s third
competition, the McSwiney Cup, as the real foundation for what was to follow.
While the Club did win a league title in 2001, it was a McSwiney Cup final victory,
against all the odds versus Mayfield in 2003 that commenced the good times. Thus
this White’s Cross squad has a real ‘grá’ for this competition, illustrated by the
fact they have not lost a single game in the competition since that 2003 success.

The most recent victory, which has given the Club an eight in a row in the
competition, was a final victory against southside opponents Passage, in a game
which brought down the curtain on the division’s 2010 competitions. On a raw
December afternoon, crucial early goals knocked the stuffing out of the harbour boys,
and the game itself proved a real mismatch. Sean Keane, operating at wing-forward,
proved a real thorn in the Passage defence, and when the Cross were awarded a
penalty early in the second half, the young minor was assigned the role of kicker.
Normally it would be Edwin Buckley who would be given the responsibility but
in this instance, Keane was encouraged to take it as a goal would give him his
hatrick in this final. Cool as you like he slotted the kick home, giving the Cross a
5-4 to 0-2 lead. The strange nature of the score-line was addressed somewhat in the
remaining 20 minutes of the game with White’s Cross tacking on nine unanswered
points, the pick of which were two fine kicks from Thomas Meade, leading to a 5-13
to 0-2 end score.

The other pair of goals were scored by Sean Murnane and Edwin Buckley, the
latter having landed in Cork airport 90 minutes previous from his honeymoon
in Asia! Edwin won the Glanmire and District Sports Award in Autumn 2009, for
his heroic displays in White’s Cross 2009 successes, and by the time he had left the
pleasant function at the Vienna Woods that particular afternoon, his fiancé of the time
Amanda Hegarty had an appointment made to meet Michael Magner and his team! A
little over twelve months on the Vienna Woods certainly lived up to expectations as a
large contingent of Edwin’s team-mates and club officers celebrated a most enjoyable
occasion at the Glanmire venue. We wish Edwin and Amanda long lives of happiness
together.

Team: Stuart Kiely, Sean Gorman, James Cooney, John O Connell, Paddy O Brien,
Eoin Murnane, Brian Murphy, Murt Kelleher, Denis O Regan, Sean Keane, Conor
Buckley (captain), Edwin Buckley, Sean Murnane, Ken O Keeffe, Dylan Burke.
Subs Used: Kevin Fennessy, Conor Kelleher, Thomas Meade, Darragh Keane.

Seandún Junior A McSwiney Cup Final 2009: White’s Cross 3-11 Donoughmore 0-11

On the final Sunday before Christmas, our Junior A footballers finally completed their long playing year which had commenced on the second Sunday in February, by winning the McSwiney Cup, and thus completing a clean sweep in the division of the three competitions open to Junior A football teams.

In a most entertaining game of football, played in extremely cold conditions at the Na Piarsaigh grounds, White’s Cross were much quicker to settle.  Much of the early play was down the right side where Sean Keane and Conor Kelleher were posing problems for the mid-Cork opposition, as between them they scored the opening one goal and four points of the game to give the Cross a commanding lead.  However between then and the break Donoughmore etched their way back into this final and only trailed by one point at this juncture, with free kicks being their predominant method of scoring.

Finbarr Kiely had harsh words with his charges at half-time, and made it known to his side, that he was not at all happy with the way this game was going, as they faced into a stiff breeze for the second thirty.  James Cooney was brought into centre-back, allowing Murt Kelleher to revert back to his normal midfield position – Eoin Murnane had been ruled out of this clash with a rib injury.  White’s Cross resumed control of the game once again, with a further brace of goals proving crucial.  Stuart Kiely scored the first, finishing off some fine Edwin Buckley play, while Kevin Buckley billowed the net for a fine third goal, so that White’s Cross ran out nine point winners 3-11 to 0-11.  This gives the Club a record seven-in-a-row McSwiney Cup titles.

Christmas Draw Round-Up

On Monday, December 21st last, White’s Cross GAA held its annual raffle at the Stirrup Bar, White’s Cross.  The Hennessy family, proprietors of the Stirrup came on board once again as sponsors of the very generous first prize.  The Club is indebted to the Hennessy family not alone for this however; they also prove to be one of the main selling venues for our tickets at the pub and across the way in the service station.  Moreover through the service station, they sponsor the under-age teams in the Club.  A sincere thank you to Eileen, Michael, Pearl and Lorcan for this support.  Thanks also to all other sponsors of the prizes, with over 50 included this year – as raffles go this is certainly an attractive draw.

This year’s first prize of 600 euro was won by Jim Dunlea, Coole East.  The second prize of 250 euro, kindly sponsored by Sidney McElhinney, brought howls of ‘Fix’ at the premises when Michael Hennessy’s name was drawn! After that were a series of 100 euro cash prizes – to see exactly who won these, and all other prizes, visit the Club Web-Site, the address of which is noted above.

Thanks to everyone who supported the draw – it is the Club’s main annual fund-raiser and thus a necessary source of funds.

2009 brought into 2010

Due to the adverse poor weather, and the busy schedule of the other Junior side, our second Junior side have still to complete their 2009 schedule!  Indeed this side has qualified for the finals of both their League and Cup.  Thus the two junior sides of White’s Cross have qualified for the finals of five of the six competitions they entered in 2009 – a fine achievement indeed!   This team managed by Lar Burke and John A Mulcahy, and captained by Jonathan Kenneally, will play Douglas in the final of both competitions.  The games are scheduled to go ahead the weekends of January 10th and 17th, but like so many other events of the past six weeks and more, are weather dependent.

Bon Voyage John

White’s Cross GAA would like to wish a great club stalwart John Drummy, Piercetown, the very best of luck in his recent move to Australia.  John had been an ever-present in the White’s Cross junior team for many years, operating between wing-back and midfield, but he was very keen to roam further up the field also!  We wish John and Caitríona the very best of times as they commence this journey together.