By Rory O’Donnell
It was a quieter weekend than usual on the field of play and next weekend sees a break in the action for the Independence Day holiday. Action last weekend saw Fr. Tom Burke’s continue their superiority at Senior Hurling with a comfortable win over Galway. It was close at the end of the first half with Tom’s holding a 2-9 to 1-9 lead, Liam Moore and Dylan Costello with the goals for Tom’s and John Moylan with Galway’s major. It was enough to cause a brief period of concern on the Tom’s line, but they stamped their authority on the game throughout the second half. Earlier in the week Galway had registered a win versus Offaly in a Wednesday night clash.
|Sean Og's Ladies in action v Boston Shamrocks|
|Galway kept it close for 30 minutes on Sunday.|
While the schedule is not as choc-a-bloc as in “normal” seasons, there is still quite a robust tableau of games each week, whether they be played at the central location of the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, Mass. or at any of the other venues around New England. The decision by the clubs to go all home based this season is proving to be a great way to restart, refresh, and rebuild following more than a year of inactivity on the field due to the Coronavirus. I’m not sure when the last time a full season was played entirely with home based and home grown players in the region, but it must be 30 or 40 years or more. It also seems to be having the effect of accelerating the transition at adult level from a base of players made up of immigrants from Ireland to the Home Grown, or American Born, players. Junior levels of the sports feature a clear majority of players born and bred in the area, while at the higher levels locally developed talent is refreshingly a regular feature.
This year has also seen new football clubs with Trinity Milton adding an adult team in Junior B football after starting 12 years ago at underage level. Worcester Fenians also took the leap by starting a Junior C Football team. Also, after long period with no camogie in the region, a new club has formed with the New England Fenians.
When games resume after the holiday there will be 6 weeks of regular season and playoff games. Senior football sees Donegal as clear favourites, with the Connemara Gaels looking like the nearest challenger. Junior A is yet to play out with Cork or the Wolfe Tones looking like the contenders. Junior B football is shaping up to be very interesting. Any 5 of the 6 teams look capable of winning it out, while Junior C football has the Portland Fomorians from Maine on top.
Fr. Tom’s are in pole position at senior hurling, and it looks like the gap might get closer as the Home Grown players with Galway and Offaly gain more experience. Junior B hurling is looking like Sean Og’s and Worcester will be battling it out for the title, while Providence is looking strong at junior C hurling. The Boston Shamrocks have full points after 2 games as they look to reclaim the Ladies football championship.
Overall it is refreshing to see clubs making the effort to recruit new players, bring back older players and see familiar faces at the Irish Cultural Center on game days. The USGAA finals are being hosted by the Boston Northeast GAA at the ICC in August this year, and should cap off a great second half of the season.
Results, tables and schedule of games are at www.gaaboston.com.
Boston Northeast GAA Results
Wed June 23: Senior Hurling - Galway 2-19 Offaly 2-11
Senior Hurling – Fr. Tom Burke’s 3-20 Galway 1-14
Ladies Senior Football – Boston Shamrocks 3-12 Sean Og’s 0-8
Junior A Football – Wolfe Tones 2-14 Galway 2-6
Junior B Football – Sean Og’s 5-12 Donegal 1-11; Connemara Gaels 1-15 Trinity Milton 1-9
Junior C Hurling – Portland 2-20 NH Wolves 0-9
Junior C Football – Hartford 2-6 Portland 1-13