It was a road trip I’ve been meaning to make the last few seasons, and eventually today I made it. Up to New Hampshire to see the New Hampshire Wolves take on the Worcester Fenians in an acute hurling rivalry that is growing here in the Northeast Division. Google maps told me 1 hour and 35 minutes, so I gave myself 2. Traffic in and out of Boston being what it is, a stop for gas and Dunkin Donuts, along with roadworks and rubberneckers for an fender bender on the other side of 93, meant that I arrived at Amoskeag Field in Bow New Hampshire with about 10 minutes left in the first half. The field is tucked away right off Interstate 93, a direct run North of Boston.
There was a nice crowd of supporters for each side. The game was fairly evenly contested, each team had their fair share of wides but at the end of the first 30 minutes the visitors from Massachusetts fired 3 points over the bar. Tom Lind, who was a force at center forward for Worcester, Liam Kelly at corner forward and wing back Tim Jackson. P.J. Heffernan, who was locked in a tussle with Wolves corner back, Alec Foley, had netted earlier. At the half time break it was a 1-5 to 0-3 lead for Worcester.
The second half saw the visitors strike with another goal, this one from Zach Jacobs. It was a blow for the Wolves who would have hoped for the early scores after the restart, especially after Sean Naughton had pointed well from distance to get things going again. Lind, who was causing a lot of problems for the Wolves, followed with a point and Worcester held a decided advantage with scores proving hard to come by.
There was a glimmer of hope for the Granite State side after 3 unanswered scores pulled them within a goal and plenty of time left. Naughton netted expertly after Will Mullen had pointed, and the Wolves midfielder added another point. The Wolves created some great chances, with some missing the mark and others saved well by Dan Smith between the posts. With the game now finely balanced it was Worcester who finished with the decisive scores. Wolves keeper, Steve Dejalais had been called upon to save a couple of dangerous chances, but eventually one went in from Lind. It was from Heffernan with the final point and a final score of the game with Worcester drawing first blood in 2019 with a 3-7 to 1-7 win.
The game was well refereed by Paul Cannon, a former United States Marine from Craughwell Co. Galway, who now resides in Boston.
After the game the teams retired to the Wolves Sponsor, Lithermans Limited, a nearby nano-brewery, who even created a specialized brew with the Wolves crest on the can.
Worcester: Dan Smith, Dan Williams, Luke LaGosce, Jamison Croteau, Sean O’Shaughnessy, Tim Jackson, Jon Dorr, Dave Crowley, Zach Jacobs, Tom Lind, Seamus O’Shaughnessy, Liam Kelly, PJ Heffernan. Jack Weissman.
Wolves: Steve Desjarlais, Alec Foley, Juston Stasz, Torrie Lemmon, Ryan Nickerson, Mike Spacone, Jay Abramowicz, Sam Durfee, Mark Misiourski, Sean Naughton, Tanner Starmer, Scott Lentz, Dan Hanna. Dean Williams, Will Mullen, Cory Anderson, Jamie Timlin, Dave Cook, Phil Falco, Chris Fiori.By Rory O'Donnell