November 15th, 2011: Hurling Tournament USA

15.11.11 – Article from New York Youth GAA

Eastern Hurling 7’s Tournament @ Hartford, CT, USA

On Saturday 12th November Hartford, CT played host to a 7 a side Hurling Tournament between teams and players from all over the East Coast of the United States. Hurlers gathered from Pennslyvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York with a few Irish exiles thrown in! The event was coordinated by Northeastern GDA Mike Moynihan along with New York GDO Simon Gillespie.

In the first game the University of Connecticut squared off against the Barley House Wolves / University of New Hampshire in what was a tremendous game of Hurling. The Wolves/ UNH combo, led by inspirational captain Dan Hanna, came out on top in a 1-07 to 1-09 victory.

The University of Connecticut are working in partnership with the Fulbright Commission and the NACB, NYGAA to promote Irish Culture in UConn. Fulbright FLTA Cuán Ó Flatharta has made a massive contribution towards the development of the Husky Hurling Club.  The Huskies took on the Worcester/ University of Massachusetts team and were defeated by the superior skill set of the New England Boys.

Worcester then defeated the Wolves / UNH team in a thrilling contest in which Worcester’s keen eye for goal was the difference between the teams. The Donahue Brothers combative style of Hurling was proving a handful for all the teams and with some serious skill in the forward line the Worcester lads powered into the Final stages of the competition.

The games continued to the semi finals and the stage was set for the Huskies v Wolves rematch in the semi final. Despite the Wolves team been made up of several members of the US Army, the UConn boys, inspired by a rousing team talk from manager Alex Whitney showed no signs of being intimidated and matched the Wolves physically with some big hits going in from both sides. The game was tied with 7 minutes to go but Dan ‘Handlebar’ Hanna drove his team once more with important scores that sent the Wolves into the Final against Worcester, MA.

The New England Boys showed all the characteristics of teamwork, skill and commitment that was sorely lacking in the previous week’s humiliating Patriots defeat to the New York Giants and it is rumoured that Bob Belichick will be looking at some of Worcester’s Handy Forwards to get the New England Offensive game going … Worcester defeated the tired Wolves with some to spare in the final but credit to the Wolves they never gave up and were magnanimous in defeat with the Wolves Captain congratulating the UMass players on a great team performance.

Winning captain John Donahue thanked the Hartford Club for hosting such a fantastic occasion and providing burgers, hot dogs and drinks for all involved. He also thanked Mike Moynihan for refereeing the tournament in which he officiated for over 3 hours straight.

Many thanks to Dick Edmonds, Stephen Miskell and all the members of the IAHS for all the work put in to the event. With 3 Colleges on the East Coast of the United States represented UConn, UMass and UNH it is hoped that tournaments of this nature will be the catalyst for the expansion of Gaelic Games into the Colleges in the United States.

For more information visit http://www.nyyouthgaa.com/