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Whitehall Colmcilles Power & Pace Secures John Humphrey Memorial Cup

posted 3 Jan 2011, 13:45 by St. James Gaels   [ updated 4 Jan 2011, 11:45 ]

The freezing weather may have caused a brief postponement but the footballers of Whitehall were simply too hot to handle in the Iveagh Grounds on the Crumlin Road when Whitehall Colmcilles powered their way to victory in the annual John Humphrey memorial cup hosted by St James Gaels. 

Played on 1 January and 2 January, the competition is held in memory of young John Humphrey, a St James Gaels player, who died tragically in an accident in 1998. John would have celebrated his 21st birthday in 2010 and once again the spirit in which the competition was played, and the high standard of football, was a fitting memorial to the memory of young John Humphrey. 

Generously sponsored by John’s family the tournament showcases the cream of under 10 talent in Dublin football. 

The group stages on Saturday saw Cuala, St Vincent’s, Lucan Sarsfields and Whitehall Colmcilles advance to the final stages at the expense of Templeogue Synge Street, 2008 winners Lucan Sarsfields, Castleknock, St Annes and hosts St James Gaels. 

The standard of football throughout the tournament was excellent and there was no shortage of thrills over the two days. By the time the final whistle was blown by referee Ross Mulvaney (St James Gaels) on the last of the games many of the spectators were exhausted having witnessed some thrilling games with no end of goal mouth excitement. 

Pick of the action on the first day included a breath taking match between the eventual finalists Whitehall and Cuala. Whitehall edged the southsiders by just two points on a scoreline of 2 6 to 2 4. 

In the other group 2009 champions St Vincents and 2008 winners Lucan had nothing between them at the end of a brilliant encounter in which both sides kicked 15 points. 

In the first semi final Cuala edged out cup holders St Vincents by just one point 3-2 to 2-4 to claim a spot in the final for the third year in a row. 

Meanwhile, a powerful display from Whitehall saw them defeat a gallant Lucan side by ten points. 

Given the closeness of their encounter the previous day, the final was expected to be a close and tense affair. However, Whitehall simply powered their way past Cuala with a display of exceptional work rate and team work which won the admiration of everyone in the grounds. 

Cuala simply could not match the exceptional talents of the crew from Whitehall and for the third year in a row the boys from Foxrock were runners up in the competition. 

St Vincents man and Dublin manager Pat Gilroy was on hand to present the prestigious trophy to the winning Whitehall boys. Indeed, Gilroy and former Dublin manager Kevin Heffernan were both very impressed with the standards shown by all of the teams and are certain that future Dublin stars will be found from amongst these talented players. 

Speaking at the presentation of the trophy to Whitehall Billy Hannigan, of St James Gaels, paid tribute to all of the players and their mentors who had made the event such a success. He paid a special tribute to Gaels Paul Flanagan who is the driving force behind the competition and to everyone else who helped out in any way. 

While James Mulcahy of St Vincent’s was selected as the player of the tournament he had some hot competition for the award from Lee Gannon of Whitehall who was presented with the award for best endeavour for which he held off the challenge of a few players including Liam Hand (St James Gaels) 

Finally mention needs to be made of Aaron Byrne and Ross Mulvaney from St James Gaels and Lee Moroney from St. Annes who did an excellent job as referees throughout the tournament.