|St. Joe's and King's College Battled it out in Hartford.|
There had been activity in colleges with kids who had come through underage programs forming teams. St. Joe's in
Pennsylvania and Boston College
had played each other in challenge games, and New York
had sent an amalgamated college team to compete in the 's
each year. In September of this year the
Northeast Collegiate GAA Board was formed to provide some structure around the
organization of Gaelic Games at the third level. British University
The Fall Tournament featured a total of 12 teams. Four hurling,
Colleges, as well as the Hartford GAA Club and Worcester Hurling Club. The tournament saw UConn, NY pull off a last minute win over UConn
in the final to win the first ever Northeast Colleges Hurling Trophy. Football saw 8 teams compete. BC, Worcester Worcester,
(Ma.); St. Joe's, Kings College ( Pa.);
Fordham, Iona, Manhattan College, (NY); and Hartford
( ). The teams were drawn in 2 groups and the
eventual winners were Ct. Iona, who proved to be
strong all the way through the tourney.
There were some great games between BC and St. Joe's as well as
and St. Joe's as rivalries start to develop.
The New York GAA Board sponsored the football trophy, while sponsorship
for the Hurling trophy came from the Boston Northeast Board. Kings College
|Joy for UConn Hurlers vs NY Colleges.|
Where to from here? At the end of March, St. Joe's will be hosting a Northeast tournament. St. Joe's are the first college in the
to obtain club status for their GAA club.
Memorial Day weekend sees the National Collegiate Tournament come to the
Northeast and it will be played at Randall's Island in United States .
College Teams from all over the New York will be traveling to
participate. United States
Chairman of the Northeast Colleges Board, and New York Games Development Officer, Simon Gillespie is hopeful that the kids who are forming and organizing these college clubs will develop the skills to take with them to adult clubs after they graduate. The board is made up of the college kids, and with involvement coming from within it is hoped that there will be something sustainable in the works. Eamon Gormley, who is based on the west coast saw the importance of developing games in third level institutions to provide continuation for kids who come through underage programs, and allow them to bridge the gap between playing gaelic games at underage and adult levels. College teams were formed on the west coast several years ago, and now with development in the opposite corner of the country and the midwest, the dots are beginning to connect.
The National Colleges Tournament is both a challenge and a huge opportunity for the Northeast Colleges. As Simon Gillespie said, the weekend in November went well but there was also a lot from it that can be learned. In the
March Madness basketball, all kinds of bowls in (American) Football, and NCAA Championship
Hockey form the big dates in the college sporting calendars. Colleges GAA has a long way to go to rival
these events, however, with all of the work going into the organization of
gaelic games at third level, Memorial Day weekend is sure to continue to become
a bigger and bigger day for colleges GAA. United States
By Rory O'Donnell
Photos by Karen O'Connor, Moher Rose photography,