Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Boston Northeast GAA Finals Preview

Next weekend sees the climax of the Boston Northeast GAA championships, with 8 finals being contested.  The winners of each final will represent the Divison at the North American Finals in Cleveland, Ohio.  With 13 of the 24 clubs in the Boston Northeast division having an interest in at least one of the games it promises to be an action packed weekend.

The Connemara Gaels face Aidan McAnespies in the senior football final.
The Connemara Gaels will meet Aidan McAnespies senior football final.  The Blues and McAnespies could not be separated after extra time in a wonderful game on Sunday, and the replay was won by McAnespies on Tuesday night.  The Gaels came through against Christopher's on the back of two Michael Lundy goals and a Ryan Hyde strike to contest their second final in 3 years.  McAnespies would have to be the favoured team in the final.  The South Boston men came through 2 tough playoff opponents in the Wolfe Tones and Shannon Blues to make the final.  With the likes of Collie Donnelly, Declan Lally, and Jamie Doolan on the field, and with Stephen Sherry and Mark Treanor on the bench McAnespies have a deep panel to draw from.  The Gaels dispatched of Kerry and Christopher's with a bit more ease, and by contrast the squad has been severly hurt by injuries and several players who returned to Ireland, and is very much down to the bare bones.  Sean Conneeley, Damien Comer, Michael Lundy and Co. will no doubt give it their best effort but it is hard not to see McAnespies booking their flights to Cleveland for Labor Day weekend.

Tipp's Kieran Morris and Galway's Padraig Gahan
will meet again Sunday.
Senior hurling will feature last year's beaten finalist, Galway who will face Tipperary.  Galway defeated Brighton rivals Wexford Sunday with a great performance but will meet table toppers Tipp in what promises to be a close game.  Each side has match winners, but Galway's will need to step up and be counted if they are to win the championship.  Captained by Cronan Dempsey, Tipp are well balanced with Robert O'Donnell in the back line, and a forward line with Denis Maher and the electric Kieran Morris.  Galway's captain, John Moylan has had a great season so far, and players of the caliber of Robert Bergin, Padraig Gahan, Philip Ivors and and Pat Lupton are well capable of delivering the title to Brighton.  It is a hard one to call, but with Tipperary having beaten Galway on both regular season occasions the tribesmen might have the motivation to raise their game and regain the championship they last won in 2011.

Amy Ring and Connacht Ladies will by trying to overcome
the Shamrocks one more time Sunday.
Ladies football sees hot favorites Connacht Ladies return to defend last year's title and the Boston Shamrocks will have it all to do to try and pull off what would amount to an upset win.  The Shamrocks gave Connacht Ladies problems at times in their last encounter, but conceded easy scores.  If they are to triumph against the odds they will have to tighten up considerably when in possession in their own half.  Brittany Lockwood and Edel McGovern anchor the full back line and will need to be on their game Sunday against a top class Connacht forward line that contains the likes of Jane Ward, Amy Ring and Jackie McDonagh.  Connacht hold the aces, but if the Shamrocks can rattle their opponents early anything can happen from then on. 

Donegal junior As will be looking to retain the Pat Callaghan Cup when they meet Wolfe Tones.
In junior A football Wolfe Tones and Donegal meet in a repeat of last year's final.  the Tones will be trying to dethrone the Pat Callaghan Cup holders.  Donegal have some excellent players in Christy Bell, Paul McNulty, and Christy McLoughlin.  The Tones will be looking for big performances from Mike O'Brien, Kenny O'Regan, and Gavin Walsh to try and top their opponents.  Donegal also are in the junior B football final and will face old rivals Aidan McAnespies who came through an extra time semi-final against Shannon Blues last Saturday.  Wexford and Tipperary will face off in the junior A hurling final, while the junior C hurlers of Portland Maine and Worcester Mass will meet in the junior C hurling final.  In a meeting of the old rivals, Tír na nÓg and the Shamrocks will contest the Ladies junior football final Saturday.

Finals Schedule

Saturday August 24
2:30 Junior C Hurling Final:  Portland HC v Worcester HC
3:45 Junior A Hurling Final:  Wexford V Tipperary
5:00 Junior B Football Final:  Aidan McAnespies v Donegal
Field B
3:00 Ladies Junior Football Final:  Boston Shamrocks v Tír na nÓg

Sunday August 25
11:30 Junior A Football Final:  Wolfe Tones v Donegal
1:15 Ladies Senior Football Final:  Boston Shamrocks v Connacht Ladies
2:45 Senior Hurling Final:  Tipperary v Galway
4:00 Senior Football Final:  Aidan McAnespies/Shannon Blues v Connemara Gaels

The Irish Cultural Center is located off Route 138 in Canton Mass.  Go to for directions to the ICC.  Check out for GAA news and information.

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