Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
by Vincent Beach
The Midwest Division sent six teams to the USGAA National Finals in Leesburg, Virginia August 21 through the 23rd. Men’s Junior A Football representative Pittsburgh Celtics won their first match against Boston Donegal 5-11 (26) to 3-15 (24). The Midwest Men then went on to dismantle Dallas Fionn MacCumhaill 7-19 (40) to 0-13 (13) on Saturday. In the final on Sunday, they met Madison, handedly beating them 3-14 (23) to 2-10 (16) to claim the Junior A National Championship.
In Ladies football, the Banshees of Pittsburgh drafted a bye on Friday and faced a familiar foe in Philadelphia’s Notre Dames. In heartbreaking fashion, the screaming ladies lost by a point to the Domers 3-10 (19) to 3-9 (18).
In Men’s Junior C football, Cleveland fell in their first match to the eventual grade winner, San Diego Na Fianna, by the score of 0-9 (9) to 2-15 (21). On the hurling side of the Junior C level, the Pittsburgh Pucas beat Richmond 7-14 (35) to 2-8 (14). On Saturday, they lost to the eventual national champions, Na Toraidhe of Philadelphia, 2-10 (16) to 5-8 (23). Side bar – na toraidhe (pron. Nah tore-eeh) here means the “fruit” or offspring, as the club began as Philadelphia’s all-American club and are the sole representatives of the sport in the city.
For the Junior D’s, Buffalo represented the footballers from the Midwest. They had a bye on Friday and came up against the Delco Gaels (Delaware County / Philadelphia) on Saturday. The Gaels are a newer adult club assembled their dominant youth club players coming of age. The Fenians were able to overcome Delco by the score of 4-13 (25) to 3-3 (12). Advancing to the final, Buffalo met club powerhouse Charlotte James Connolly’s, falling 1-7 (10) to 3-10 (19).
The Connolly’s had a special weapon up front in Cleveland’s own Pat Hayes, who knocked in a goal and a couple of points. Comhghairdeas, a Pháidi.
The hurlers were represented by the Celtic Guards of Akron, who squared off against Twin Cities (Minnesota). The Robert Emmett’s club chipped away at the Guards lead in the final minutes of the Friday match to beat the Akron 3-13 (22) to 3-10 (19).
Outside of the Midwest Clubs, the final results were as follows. Men’s Football: Senior – Boston Donegal 3-21 (30) over Philadelphia Young Irelanders 5-11 (26); Intermediate – San Diego Setanta 1-18 (21) over Chicago Pearse 4-5 (17); Junior A – Pittsburgh Celtics 3-14 (23) over Madison 2-10 (16); Junior B – LA Cougars 1-12 (15) over Delco Gaels 0-12 (12); Junior C – San Diego Setanta 3-11 over Raleigh Cuchulainns 1-11 (14); Junior D – Charlotte James Connolly 4-8 (20) over Buffalo Fenians 2-4 (10).
Ladies’ Football: Senior – Chicago St. Brigid 4-16 (28) over San Francisco Fog City Harps 3-10 (19); Intermediate – Vancouver 5-20 (35) over Toronto Durham Emmets 0-5 (5); Junior A Chicago Na Aisling Gaels 3-6 (15) over San Francisco Clan na Gael 3-3 (12); Junior B – San Diego Na Fianna 3-10 (19) over Philadelphia Notre Dames 3-2 (11); Junior C – Dallas Fionn MacCumhaill 4-12 (24) over Madison 0-2 (2);
Hurling: Senior – Vancouver JP Ryans 1-33 (36) over San Diego Na Fianna 5-20 (35); Intermediate – Boston Offaly 8-19 (43) over DC Gaels 0-12 (12); Junior A – Madison 1-16 (19) over Orange County Wild Geese 2-9 (15); Junior B – Worcester 0-16 (16) over Milwaukee 1-10 (13);Junior C – Philadelphia Na Toraidhe 3-13 (22) over New Hampshire 1-11 (14); Junior D – Madison 5-7 (22) over Indianapolis 1-5 (8).
Camogie: Senior – San Francisco Cu Chulainn 3-20 (29) over Toronto Le Cheile 3-9 (18); Intermediate – Twin Cities Robert Emmett 3-12 (21) over Baltimore Bohemians 1-5 (8); Junior – New York Annie Moores 2-5 (11) over Philadelphia Na Toraidhe 1-2 (5); Side Bar – Annie Moore was the first immigrant to the USA to pass through the new (1892) federal immigrant inspection at the Ellis Island station in New York Harbor.
Back Home: The inaugural Hudson Cúl Camp was held on August 31 under the leadership of Andrew Kender. Andrew brought his Atlanta GAA experience of football and hurling to the local kids. The children enjoyed a full morning of Gaelic Football and Hurling, taking breaks for lunch and a session of Irish Language from Múinteoir Bob (Teacher Bob Carney) of Speak Irish Cleveland.
Andrew was joined by Akron Coaches Pat “Junior” Taylor, Jenny Scarry-Garthwaite, and Keith Knott, and Cleveland Coach Vinnie. The Hudson community are planning on a few more events throughout the year – stay tuned.
Upcoming – October 5 is the Al O’Leary 7-A-Side tournament at Akron Indoor Soccer, featuring Hurling, Football, and Camogie. November 2 – Cleveland Gaelic Athletic Association Banquet for all members and supporters at the WSIA, doors at 5PM, contact the club for more information. November 8-10 – USGAA Convention (annual general meeting) in San Diego. November 10 – USGAA Youth Board Convention in San Diego.
Cleveland GAA Youth: Beginning September 8th, the Youth began learning the fastest game on grass – Hurling. Hurling combines the skills of baseball and field hockey while the games flows with scores similar to Gaelic football. Visit the website.
This is again open to boys and girls, new and current players, ages 5-8 and 9-14. Contact us to join anytime – cl***************@gm***.com. Also, Cleveland will again hold Free football sessions in November and December.
Akron Youth Hurling: Bring your kids out to Akron Youth Hurling practice with three certified coaches, to make sure that your children learn the skills necessary to play the game safely while having fun. Practices are held from Monday nights, September through October, 6:30 to 7:30 @ 800 Hawkins Ave, Akron Ohio, 44320.
If practice is cancelled due to bad weather, the announcement is made via our Facebook page :“Akron Youth Hurling.” No special equipment is necessary. Contact Jenny Scarry at sc******@gm***.com with any questions. Everyone is welcome!
Cleveland City Series: Still want to give football a try? Both the Men’s and Ladies teams are organizing local games in the fall for past, present, and future players. All are welcome. Contact in**@cl**********.com for more information. The Ladies will also continue with indoor sessions in November and December for those interested in a new sport and club atmosphere.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh (thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. Consider getting involved at any level. Fáilte (welcome) to all. The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting organization and a bit of home for the Irish abroad here in the US of A. Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance, and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives. Cleveland GAA is open to all who want to play competitive sports, meet new people, and join an athletic, fitness-minded club.
Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2019 activities for Men, Women, and Youth. Or, visit ClevelandGAA.com.
*Vincent Thomas Francis Xavier Beach is a proud Greater Clevelander and emigrant of Michigan. He joined the St. Pat’s Gaelic Football Club in 1999 and, with much help, is the current caretaker of the Cleveland GAA. His Irish is a cross of dialects from the University of Cincinnati and An Cheathrú Rua. With his wife, Michelle, he enjoys watching time absolutely fly by as their children, Ambrose (10), Bernadette (8), and Cedric (5), grow. His other hustles are teaching Irish at PJs, coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, and slangin’ some engineering skills on local concrete and pipe projects.