Sunday, April 15, 2018

Boston Northeast Update - O'Brien Cup Draw


The 2018 season is upon us.  The draw for the Pat O’Brien Cup took place at the meeting of the board and the competition is set to begin on April 26.  There are 7 teams entered and the format will consist of 2 groups, one with 4 teams and one with 3.  Group A includes Galway, Wolfe Tones, Connemara Gaels, and Donegal.  Group B includes Cork, Aidan McAnespies and Shannon Blues. 
Teams will play each other once with the top team from each group meeting in the final.  Two points will be awarded for a win and one for a draw, none for a loss.  In the event of a tie total points scored will decide the winner.  Games will be played on Field B.  The final will be played on May 19.

The Sheehan Cup for hurling will be played as a 7-a-side blitz on Sunday May 20.  Teams and details to follow. 
Pat O’Brien Cup Preliminary Schedule
April 28th                  
    3:00    Galway    Tones              Group A
    4:15    Blues    Cork                   Group B
    5:30    Gaels     Donegal           Group A
May 5th                  
    3:00    Galway    Donegal         Group A
    4:15    Macs    Cork                   Group B
    5:30    Gaels     Tones               Group A
May 12th                  
    3:00    Gaels      Galway           Group A
    4:15    Blues      Macs               Group B
    5:30    Tones     Donegal          Group A


Aidan McAnespies pipped in New York Sevens 

2017 Pat O’Brien Cup winners Aidan McAnespies  traveled to New York last weekend for the annual seven-a-side and came within 3 points of taking the trophy to Boston.  McAnespies came out of their group that included Kerry NY and St. Barnabas and met Barnabas in the final.  Unfortunately for the Macs it was in the final that they conceded the first goal of the tournament, and it proved to be the difference between the teams in the end.

Players who traveled to New York were Seamie Breslin, Paul Clifford, Marty Bogue, Gareth O’Neill, Philip McCusker, Tommy Brereton, Robbie Croft, Craig Oliver, Ciaran Wallace, Che O’Donnell, Eoin Delmer, and Shane McKenna.
 
All American Teams to play New York
 
On May 5 New York plays Leitrim in the first round of the 2018 Connacht Championship.  Two All- American teams, one hurling and one football, from the Boston-Northeast division will play New York development squad teams that weekend. 
By Rory O'Donnell

Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 CYC Boston - A Night of Honor at Florian Hall


The 2018 Boston Continental Youth Championship (CYC) will be held August 1-5, 2018 at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton.  The CYC is the largest youth GAA tournament held outside of Ireland.  Over 2,500 players from Under 6 to Under 18 making up 200 teams are expected to participate.  In hopes of winning Championship honors, clubs travel from all over - including Ireland, England, Canada, and the US.  The local teams saw success at last year’s event in Buffalo. Championships were won by St. Brendan’s U8 hurlers and footballers, ISYL U10 hurlers, and the ISYL U16 girls footballers, with teams from other local clubs reaching many finals.
Organizing and running this event is a monumental undertaking.  In addition to the logistics of playing fields, scheduling, hotels, transport, and food, the CYC Committee is responsible for fundraising $200,000 to help cover the cost of hosting the event.  
A Night of Honor fundraiser is being held Friday, March 9th, at Florian Hall in Dorchester.  Each Boston Northeast GAA club will be honoring an individual who has made a significant contribution to their club and the GAA. Additionally, special recognition will be given to two gentlemen who have dedicated a life time to the GAA.  Coming from football and hurling backgrounds respectively, John McDevitt and James Grealish each served as Chairperson for the Boston Northeast Board as well as countless years of service to their clubs and the development of GAA in North America.  
The CYC is a key piece of developing the games in the United States by providing opportunities for youth players to excel at the sports and have a tremendous amount of fun.  The future of the games lies with the youth, and there is fertile ground to grow the games here.  Opportunities for kids to learn and play Gaelic football and Hurling in the Boston area are provided by the Irish Sports Youth League, St. Brendan’s and Trinity Milton, as well as programs in Portland Maine, Springfield Mass., and Hartford, Ct.   For more information on youth programs go to bostonminorgaa.org.
We hope you will support the Boston CYC and the Night of Honor.  If have not already booked your ticket or reserved a table for the banquet, contact bostoncyc@gmail.com or call (617) 791-3233.  
If you would like to make a donation or to sponsor the Boston CYC 2018 event please contact Anne M. Kennedy, Treasurer, at 617-549-1832 or email: annemkennedy@yahoo.com

The Boston Northeast Divisional Minor Board, Inc. is a registered 501© (3) organization.

All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Tax ID# 27-3766581.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Significant Developments at Boston Northeast GAA AGM


The Boston Northeast divisional board 2018 AGM was held last Sunday, February 11, at the Irish Cultural Center, Canton Mass.   Aside from electing the board of officers for the 2018 season, there were a couple of fairly significant developments. 

A motion was passed to restructure the senior hurling championship with the goal of focusing on resident players and improving the competition.  Each of the 5 Boston area clubs will field a senior team only, with limits on the number of sanction (visiting) players that can be registered.  Teams must field a minimum of 7 home based players and each club is allowed to register a maximum of 10 sanction players with no special dispensation made for “J1 eligible” sanctions.  Winners will be crowned senior hurling champions, and a junior final will be played between teams who do not qualify for the senior final.
In addition, a team made of primarily youth program players will enter the Junior B Football Championship.  The goal is to build a bridge between the adult and youth leagues, and provide the players who have come through the youth division with an incentive to continue playing as they enter adulthood.

Thank you to departing officers Gerry Prior, Eddie Feeley and Brendan O’Donovan for your service, and to 2017 Honorary President, Bernie Reilly.  Congratulations to Tony Burke, the Honorary President for 2018 and welcome to David Joyce, David Power, and Greg Lundy who are new to the board.  Best of luck to all for the 2018 season! 

Honorary President:  Tony Burke (Westmeath)

Chair:  John Farrell (Meath)

Vice Chair: Ian Murphy (Kildare)

Secretary:  David Joyce (Galway)

Assistant Secretary:  Nessa Oates (Roscommon)

Treasurer:  Peter Murray (Galway)

Assistant Treasurer:  John McDevitt (Donegal)

Registrar:  Shane McKenna (Brighton, Ma.)

PRO:  Rory O’Donnell (Dublin)

Youth Officer:  Martin Kerr (Tyrone)

Trustees:  Eileen Kerin (Clare), David Power (Waterford), Greg Lundy (Galway)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cárna/Caiseal footballers to visit Boston

Next Saturday, November 4, Connemara connections on either side of the Atlantic will be restored when a visiting Cárna/Caiseal team plays the Connemara Gaels in a challenge for the Coley Lydon Memorial Cup at the Irish Cultural Center.  The relationship between Boston and Connemara is long and deep, and the area west of Galway city has left an indelible mark on the Boston area over the decades.  Wander into several bars around the town and conversations taking place in the native tongue are commonplace.  Martin Walsh, Mayor of Boston, and boxer Sean Mannion, the subject of the acclaimed movie “Rocky Ros Muc”, are as synonymous with Connemara as they are with Boston. 
The Cárna/Caiseal team for the 2005 Galway senior football final.
It is very fitting that the cup the teams play for be named in memory of Coley Lydon.  A native son of Carna, and one of many who made and continue to make, the 3,000 mile journey west across the ocean, Coley was a Gaels stalwart and the contribution he has made to the club cannot be understated.  Coley was a dedicated servant to the Gaels in every way imaginable, both on and off the field.  There is not a committee position in which Coley did not serve and in many ways his tireless work with the club has helped to ease the culture shock that many others who have made the same journey felt, leaving the familiar surroundings of home to come to Boston.   The Gaels club continues to be a home away from home to emigrants from the area, and this year it was evident with 4 Cárna/Caiseal men in the Gael’s starting lineup for their opening senior football championship match.  Coleman Mulkerrin, James Flaherty, Kieran Killeen, and Sean Corbett would also be team mates with Cárna/Caiseal, and with Pauric McDonagh also involved with the Gaels, the connection between the clubs is as strong as ever.
The Cárna/Caiseal club was formed with the amalgamation of Carna and Naomh Conaill in 1987, a move that was necessitated by the emigration of many young people from the area.  At the time the club competed at junior B, went up a level to junior A the following year, and in 1996 made the leap to Intermediate.  2002 was a big year for the club competed at senior football level for the first time.  The big prize was almost captured in 2005.  Coming into the Galway county final as underdogs, Cárna/Caiseal faced a Salthill team that was led by Michael Donnellan and included Finian Hanley.  The Connemara men fell by three points to a team that went on the win the All-Ireland the following St. Patrick’s Day, beating Antrim’s St. Galls in the final.  Subsequent years have seen the club move up and down through the levels, currently competing at Intermediate level.  Emigration has hit the club harder again recently, as was evident from the composition of the starting Gaels side in 2017.
The game is next Saturday, November 4 at 2:00 at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, and will be followed by food and entertainment at the ICC.   There will be plenty of other opportunities to renew acquaintances and welcome the team and traveling party this week.  JJs Irish Bar and Grille on Dorchester Ave. will host the travelers on Tuesday, Oct 31.  Wednesday night it will be the 12 Bens in Dorchester, and Thursday the party will be at the Goal Post in Quincy.  
By Rory O'Donnell

Monday, September 4, 2017

Blues and Tipp Bring the Silverware Back East.


San Francisco hosted the 2017 North American GAA finals on Labor Day weekend.  The games were played at Pairc na nGael on Treasure Island, San Francisco GAA’s home facility.  Treasure Island is a man-made island in the middle of San Francisco Bay that was created from dredging the harbor to make for safer shipping channels.  The island was created in 1937-38 and the Golden Gate Exposition was held there in 1939, from which a lot of art deco style buildings remain.   The island was also the home for a naval station, and the San Francisco GAA opened their fields there in 2009.   It is accessible by road via the Bay Bridge and is just a short drive from downtown San Francisco.

Six teams from the Boston Northeast division made the 3,000 mile journey west to participate in the finals.  In senior competiton were the Shannon Blues footballers, Fr. Tom Burke’s hurlers, and Boston Shamrocks Ladies footballers.  Cork competed in the junior A football, Tipperary in junior A hurling, and Donegal in junior B football. 

A Great First North American for the Shannon Blues.
Saturday saw two Boston teams progress into the finals.  The Shannon Blues had a convincing win against Donegal Philadelphia with goals from James Feeney, Kieran Hurley and Darren Wallace seeing them to a 6-10 to 0-6 win.  Tipperary also made the Junior A hurling final with a 4-18 to 1-5 win over Vancouver. 

The Shannon Blues captured the senior football championship for the first time in the history of the club on Sunday.  The Boston side faced host team, Sean Treacy’s in the final.  The Blues fielded 5 of the starters from the Boston final two weeks earlier, and included no less than 6 players from the junior team in the starting 13.  Playing with the wind in the first half, the visitors built a sizeable six point lead at half time.  Kieran Hurley swung over some well taken efforts, with Darren Wallace doing some great running.   A goal from Hurley just before half time saw the Blues into a 1-7 to 0-4 lead at the break, but Treacy’s would have that wind advantage in the second half. 

The home side made the push and the game was tied coming down the stretch.  With the Blues struggling to make headway against the breeze, Treacy’s won most every midfield ball and capitalized on the possession.  Eventually a penalty brought it to two points, Mike Moriarty got his fingertips to the ball, but the kick had too much behind it and the it found the back of the net.  The Blues back line was under extreme pressure and had to dig in.  Two more points made it level and Treacy’s had the momentum, but wasted several golden chances to go ahead.  There was a late push in the Blues however, and the Boston side wet into a one point lead after substitute Jimmy Maher put them ahead. Fresh legs from Pat Moriarty also helped the Blues cause.  After the sides were level again, Moriarty won a scrappy kickout and set Darren Wallace free for a point to put the Blues one to the good again. 

After Treacy’s missed another chance, a quick kickout to Barry Hartnett set up a goal in a move involving Wallace and Moriarty, and finished with emphasis by none other than maestro, Hurley.  Treacy’s had one last chance to score and the shot flashed across the face of goal.  And so it was the Blues 2017 North American Senior Football champions by a score of 2-11 to 1-10.  It was a great victory to top off a season that saw them grow into the Boston championship and come good at the right time. 

The Blues team that captured the first ever North American Senior Football Championship for the club was:  Michael Moriarty, Derek O'Brien, Fionn Herlihy, Trevor Wallace, Barry Harnett, Conor Kerins, Pat Murray (AB), Maurice Young (AB), Steven Conway, Darren Wallace, Conor Fitzgerald (AB), Steven Conroy, Kieran Hurley.  Jimmy Maher, Pat Moriarty, James Feeney, Mike St. Bernard (AB), Shane Kelly, Conor Mullen.

Tipperary ended up capturing the Junior championship with room to spare after great overall team performance.  Facing an Auston Texas side, the Boston lads had put plenty of daylight between themselves and the Cowboys by half time.  With captain Jimmy Maher on form, and Seanie McGarr and Cathal Madden tight at corner back, it was a 4-10 to 1-8 half time lead for the Premier county.  Sean Delaney pulled off two wonderful saves and at the other end of the field the bulk of the scores went to Russell Quirke.  The Cappaghwhite man tallied 7 points from frees and ended with a haul of 4-7.  Joseph O’Sullivan tallied 3-3 in the other corner, while Cronan Dempsey chipped in with two points from center back. 

Fr. Tom's came up against a strong Naomh Padraig side from San Fran.
Cork junior A footballers were unlucky to get knocked out at the semi-final stage by a last minute goal having led by 0-16 to 0-14. The Boston Shamrocks came up against a very fit Charlotte team, which contained just 2 Irish born players, and an Olympian playing in goals.  The Shamrocks came back with the help of goals from Sara Jane McDonald and Eadoin Connolly after falling behind early, however the Charlotte keeper proved to be a game saver as on two occasions in the final stages.  With the Shamrocks putting the pressure on, Sara Jane McDonald and Shannon Mullen were through only to be denied by point blank saves.  The final score was Boston Shamrocks 3-6 Charlotte 5-9.  Donegal junior B footballers were also denied a place in the final following a 2 point loss to San Diego.  Diarmuid Moyne and Matthew Cutliffe were on form up front, and at the back Ciaran McDevitt and Sean Winston defended well.  There was a chance to win it at the end, however, Gerard O’Kane’s shot blazed wide with the keeper to beat.  Fr. Tom’s also went out at the first hurdle to a strong home team in Naomh Padraig who went on the win the championship. 

And so, the end of another Boston and North American GAA season with 2 national trophies headed back to the New England.  A year from now the finals come back east with Philadelphia hosting.
By Rory O'Donnell

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Junior C Hurling Final - Barley House Wolves v Worcester

Worcester v Barley House Wolves

There was no separating these teams when they met earlier in the year, and for most of this final it looked like it was heading towards another draw. But three goals in the second half lifted Worcester to victory, and their captain Liam Kelly lifted the cup on a 3-06 to 0-08 scoreline. 

Worcester Captain Liam Kelly raises the junior C hurling cup.
The Barley House Wolves, from Concord NH, opened the scoring in the day’s first match through a Sean Naughton free. The Wolves were the more physical side in the first half and Michael Gregoire stretched to the max on more than one occasion for a diving block. 

Naughton would add two more frees before the halftime whistle and Barley House led 0-05 to 0-02 at the break. It could have been more if not for a brilliant Mike Default save that denied Barley House’s John Mullen at close range. Worcester’s points came from a C. Kenny free and a fine effort from Liam Kelly on the run. 

Worcester’s Seamus O’Shaughnessy scored the first point of the second half and it was the score of the day. The center forward plucked a sideline cut out of the air and fired a curling point over his left shoulder to get his side moving. Pat Naughton answered with a point for Barley House to keep them in the lead, but the match flipped on its head shortly after. 

Worcester’s corner forward was dragged down inside the box, and C. Kenny stepped up to the spot and blasted home to draw his side level at 0-06 to 1-03. Minutes later Worcester added another as Liam Kelly caught a long ball in and finished to the back of the net with his marker hanging off him. 

Pat Naughton answered with a point for Barley, and both sides ramped up the ante in the game’s closing minutes. A thunderbolt of a shoulder from one of the Western MA men left a Wolf lying in the grass, and Worcester put the finishing touches on their championship with another goal from captain Liam Kelly. 

Teams:
Worcester: M. Dufault, D. Smith, K. Moriarty, J. Alef, C. Kenny, J. Croleau, S. O’Shaughnessy, D. Cawsely, L. Kelly, S. O’Shaughnessy, J. King, Z. Jack, P. Heffernan

Barley House: A. Foley, D. Williams, J. Stasz, R. Nickerson, M. Gregoire, T. Lennon, S. Naughton, S. Dejarlias, M. Mizorski, P. Naughton, S. Durfee, D. Polowski, J. Mullen

By Mark Dunphy

Junior A Hurling Final

Tipperary v Offaly

Offaly started this match very brightly and for most of the first half it looked like Tipperary might have been California dreamin’ too early. But going a man down early seemed to spark the Premier county men and they’re off to San Francisco with cup in hand after raising their game near the heights shown all year.

Stephen Brown struck the sliotar cleanly, and Offaly struck first with a stylish early score. They jumped out to a 0-03 to 0-01 lead on the back of points from Stephen Hallissy and another free from Brown. Tipp’s Patrick Moriarty, one of several men on both sides playing their second match of the day, sent over a fine score from near the sideline. 

Tipp’s Paul Morris picked up his second yellow card before halftime for a love tap on an Offaly knee. Stephen Brown didn’t let the resulting free go to waste, but Tipp came to life after Morris was shown red. They moved into the lead on the back of points from Russell Quirke, Sean Stafford, and Kieran Lowry, and Tipp led 0-14 to 0-08 at halftime. 

Offaly’s Cathal Cusack was handed a red card shortly after the restart. Brown made the most of Offaly’s man advantage with two more frees, but the advantage disappeared after Alan Bergin was sent off. Both sides finished with eleven players. 

Tipp increased their lead with a Cronan Dempsey point, the center back putting his name on the score sheet after steeling his side all day. Stephen Brown kept Offaly in touching distance with a beautiful free, and Chris McMahon buried a goal to cut Tipp’s lead to just two points. 

Tipp needed a score and got two from their center forward, Jimmy Maher, who powered the ball over the line to send the green flag waving. Tipp were made to sweat in the final minutes, but raised the cup with a 1-20 to 1-15 victory.

Teams:
Offaly: G. Sherlock, B. Dempsey, C. Cusack, J. Murray, J. Rigney, T. Rigney, A. McRedmond, S. Brown, A. Cleary, C. McMahon, S. Hallissy, A. Bergin, M. Blake

Tipperary: S. Delaney, S. McGarr, C. Madden, P. Moriarty, C. Dempsey, P. Morris, S. Kennedy, K. Lowry, D. Nyland, J. Maher, F. O’Carroll, S. Stafford, R. Quirke, 

By Mark Dunphy

Junior A Football Final: Cork v Shannon Blues

Cork v Shannon Blues

Cork relied on an injury time penalty last week to reach this final, and the Rebel men made it interesting once again as they scored a last minute goal to claim this thrilling decider by a single point. It was the club’s first win in this competition in twelve years, which will make the refreshments tonight in Cambridge taste all the sweeter. 

Cork made it all the way in 2017 o win the junior A championship.
Neither team had been in this final recently, and it took a few minutes for the nerves to ease and the game to open up. Shane Connaughton created the match’s first point with a silky run through the middle that ended in a free for the Blues. Cork’s Colm Daly tried to answer quickly but his fisted effort dropped under the bar and the goal was disallowed. Still, Cork won the midfield battle early and pressed their advantage with three smooth points off Cathal Arnold’s left boot. Arnold was a handful for the Blues defense all day, and he played a huge role in keeping them within striking range at the end. 

Stephen Conway replied with two frees off the ground for the Blues each side of a Mark Dalton point. Connor Fitzgerald shifted the dynamic of the first half as he spun past his marker and slipped the ball past Cork’s outstretched keeper to send the Blues into a 1-05 to 0-07 lead at the break. 

A Cathal Arnold free kicked off the second half for Cork, and he added to his growing tally with a beautiful looping point moments later. However, the Blues had a strong breeze at their back and made the most of it. Jack Goulding and Michael Rolston pointed for the Shannon side from play, and Stephen Conway was deadly accurate from dead balls off the ground. 

The Blues led by a point with ten minutes to go, and Cork threw numbers forward in search of an equalizer. They were nearly caught out at the back as Ollie Murphy was forced into a diving stop, but the keeper in red and white held Michael Rolston to a point. 

Cork drove forward again and, with the whistle to the referee’s lips, Jack Lynch had the ball in his hands. A swarm of Blues’ jerseys closed in on him, but the American kept his head and found Colm Daly unmarked on the edge of the square. Daly didn’t hesitate. He blasted past the Shannon Blues’ keeper and sent the Cork crowd into a frenzy. The Blues had one more chance to level the match, but their last kick of the ball went wide and it was the Rebel men raising the silverware as the scoreboard read 1-12 to 1-11.

Teams:
Cork: Ollie Murphy, I. Crowley, M. Corolon, S. Loftus, C. Cagging, D. Donovan, J. Long, J. Lynch, S. Flynn, C. Arnold, L. Cunningham, C. Daly, M. Dalton

Shannon Blues: M. Moriarty, S. Kelly, S. Connaughton, C. Mullen, M. Young, P. Murray, C. Fitzgerald, P. Moriarty, S. Conway, M. Rolston, J. Goulding

By Mark Dunphy