HAVING won four of the last five City division junior football titles, White’s Cross have taken the next step to reach a first county final in the grade after prevailing against Mitchelstown at Watergrasshill on Saturday.
In a game where the strong wind meant that the game was marred as a spectacle, two scoring bursts proved to be sufficient for the city side, for whom midfielder Denis O’Regan and attacking sub Sean Keane were excellent.
While they did well against the wind for the bulk of the first-half, defending solidly, Mitchelstown found it more difficult to cope with the elements at their back in the second period, and while the half-time deficit of three points was cut to one, a vital levelling score could not be found.
Early on, the north Cork side hit the ground running, Anthony O’Brien pointing inside two minutes, and though it took until the 16th minute for that lead to be doubled through Shane Beston, they were well on top.
White’s Cross were far too laboured in their build-ups and when scoring chances were attempted, they were not taken.
O’Regan and Murt Kelleher were getting on top in midfield though and a salvo of five points in five minutes, the pick of them from Paul O’Sullivan, put them in a good position.
A Ken O’Keeffe free extended the lead to 0-6 to 0-2 in injury time, but Mitchelstown ensured that they were still in contention at the break as Eoin Burke’s point after a well-worked move left three between the teams.
O’Regan pushed White’s Cross ahead early in the second half after prolonged possession, but it would their last score until the 57th minute. In between though, Mitchelstown could only manage three points, from Dave Moher, Padraig Donegan and Anthony O’Brien, as scoring opportunities were wasted by them.
White’s Cross were missing chances too but had the cushion of the lead, though they were forced to play the last quarter with only 14 men after the dismissal of captain Conor Buckley for a second booking.
It did not unduly affect the Seandún team, however, and they finished stronger, Dylan Burke with a good points following sustained pressure and two more from O’Keeffe, one a free, rubber-stamped their passage into the decider.
Scorers for White’s Cross: K O’Keeffe 0-4 (0-2f); O’Regan, C Buckley, E Buckley, P O’Sullivan, D Burke, S Keane 0-1 each.
Mitchelstown: A O’Brien 0-2; E Burke, D Moher, S Beston, P Donegan 0-1 each.
WHITE’S CROSS: B Sheehan; J O’Connell, J Cooney, B Murphy; D Kelly, E Murnane, P O’Brien; M Kelleher, D O’Regan; D Murnane, C Buckley, P O’Sullivan; K O’Keeffe, S Kiely, E Buckley.
Subs: S Keane for Kiely (25), D Burke for O’Sullivan (48), K Buckley for D Murnane (57).
MITCHELSTOWN: P Horgan; J Finn, K O’Gorman, D Lynch; E Burke, C Courtney, F Herlihy; D Dineen, L O’Flynn; D Nugent, A O’Brien, S Beston; D Moher, P Donegan, S Cahill.
Subs: S Coughlan for Lynch (18, injured), M Shinnick for Courtney (39, injured), S Maher for Nugent (44), G Carroll for Moher (50), P Molloy for Dineen (60).
Referee: D. O’Leary (Watergrasshill).
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