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Double Success: Under 16 & Under 13

While the Under 16 footballers had a convincing win on Monday, May 4th, at home to Crosshaven on a 2:12 to 0:5 score-line, on the same night at Aghada our Under 13 footballers put in a great finish to steal the points. Having played second fiddle for much of the first half White’s Cross trailed 3:4 to 1:4 to an Aghada side playing some fluid football. However the lads displayed great character in the second half to turn the match around. Tom Casey began to dominate at midfield aided by the hardworking David O Connell. Senan Ryan and Jacob Hurley took full control at the back, while a young half back line of Sean Twomey, Harry Buckley and the tigerish Ethan Ryan really showed their worth. Aaron Wallace made some good saves and was cool under pressure. Slowly the scores began to come, and when Stephen Whooley lobbed the keeper for a super goal the comeback looked on. Conor Docherty found the net again and Fionn Hickey stuck a great penalty and suddenly the game was tied. Eolan Dill & Daniel Kelleher worked their socks off, along with Jack O Callaghan. With time almost up Conor Docherty converted a monster 45 and Harry Coughlan, back on after injury, finished the scoring to leave White’s Cross victors on a score line of 4:8 to 4:6. While it was great to get the win, the manner in which it was achieved is what pleased the most. Full of guts and character! Well done to all the lads.

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Sports Life Tribute Award for Finbarr Kiely

Finbarr Kiely was the recipient of a SportsLife Tribute & Cabaret Show at The Commons Inn Hotel on Saturday 4th April 2015 to honour his induction into The All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery.  A gathering in excess of 250 people, including former playing colleagues, team mentors and representatives of Delaneys, White’s Cross and Mayfield G.A.A. clubs joined with Finbarr, family and friends, for a really special sporting celebration of the Cork G.A.A. coach’s outstanding historic achievements.

With his native club Delaneys he had a long and distinguished hurling career as one of the best goalkeepers in Cork and represented Seandún in the Cork senior hurling championship.  In 1975 a mighty Seandún team beat St. Finbarrs in the Cork County Senior Championship at a time when the famed Barrs were All Ireland club champions.  The divisional team and Finbarr lost to Blackrock in the county semi final but the Delaneys goalie kept on playing the game he loved for many more years.

Finbarr Kiely worked as a railway shunter for several decades with C.I.E. and was a key player with their Inter Firm teams.  Launching into his coaching career was an easy task for a man possessed with energy and drive and securing a rich vein of titles at junior, under 21, minor and underage  grades, made Finbarr one of the most sought after and respected Cork coaches.

His coaching career took him to three clubs: Delaneys, White’s Cross and Mayfield.  In work retirement he now coaches in three local schools including Scoil Naomh Michéal, Upper Glanmire National School, where he has been based for the past 11 years.

The Cork coach has been one of the G.A.A.’s most unsung ambassadors for the promotion of Gaelic Games at the grassroots levels and his remarkable achievements will now be preserved in The All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery for current and future generations of Gaelic Games fans.

It was a great testament to Finbarr that 20 of the lads who had played under him during his first stint with White’s Cross in the 1990’s attended the night in his honour and that is excluding his son Stuart, who was also on the team!  There isn’t many coaches would hold that respect of former players over 20 years later!  John, Niall, Paul and Val Casman; Billy and Barry Twomey; Martin Atkinson, Pat Reid, Dominic Cahill, Johnny Sullivan; Johnny Crowley, Seamus McCarthy, Mike Morrissey, Colm Twohig; Michael O Callaghan; Paul Morley; Billy, Anthony, Martin and Conor Kelleher had all played under Finbarr during the 1990’s era, and were in the Commons for the celebration.

If it hadn’t been for the stag party of one of the lads on the current panel in Galway which clashed with the night there would have been that number and more again from the crop of players that had played for Finbarr during the 2004-13 era.

In preparation for the night the scrap-books were brought out and an analysis of the results completed.  Finbarr accumulated a whopping 56 titles at adult level as player and coach with the three clubs he was attached with, and a further 18 as a juvenile club coach. A most interesting statistic around Finbarr’s involvement with White’s Cross was the fact that of the 30 finals he guided White’s Cross Junior teams to, the Club only lost 4 (one was also a draw before White’s Cross won the replay).  Whilst it’s often said that any team has a 50:50 chance in a final, essentially a two horse race, it’s clear that ones’ chances increased considerably with Kiely on their side!  White’s Cross won 10 finals from 12 played in the 1990s and 15 out of the 18 contested in the 2000s – a phenomenal record!  Here follows a list of the successes White’s Cross had under Finbarr:

4 Junior A football championship titles: 2006 – 2008 – 2009 – 2010

4 Junior A football league titles: 1994 – 2006 – 2009 – 2010

8 MacSwiney Cup  Junior A football titles: 2004 – 2006 – 2007 – 2008 – 2009 – 2010 – 2011 – 2012

1 Junior B football championship title: 1991

1 Junior B football league title: 1992

1 Junior B football Seandun Cup title: 1991

1 Junior C football league: 1990

1 MacCurtain Cup Junior A hurling cup title: 1992

1 Junior B hurling championship title: 1991

1 Junior B hurling league title: 1991

1 Junior B hurling Craobh Rua Cup title: 1991

1 Junior C hurling league: 1990