Taking the Fields of Glory: Irish Sports Experiences Massive Growth & Success in the Midwest

Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
By Vincent Beach

Midwest News 
Last month’s issue included score updates through July 9th. July 16 – Cleveland hosted the Hurling blitz.  Game 1 was Cleveland versus Buffalo, where the hosts were flying, 5-10 (25) to 0-5 (5).  Akron then faced the Pucas of Pittsburgh, playing a tight opening to the game, but the Pucas were able to pull ahead 2-24 (30) to 1-1 (4). The final game saw Cleveland play Rochester.  Cleveland again won, 4-9 (21) to 4-1 (13). 

July 23 – it was Pittsburgh’s turn to host the hurling and camogie blitzs, plus a ladies’ football game. Na Laochra fell in the first match to the Lady Saints camogie team. The Pucas then paired off against Akron and won, 5-15 (30) to 3-10 (19). The ladies were then back on the field for football, and it was Cleveland again over Pittsburgh. The final match saw the Pucas back on to face Cleveland in hurling. The weather held all day until halftime of this game. 

After an extended break, the lads were back on the pitch. The Pucas finished the season 5-0 after beating the visiting Saints, who fell to 4-1. 

July 30 – Men’s football closed out the season, with the Celtics playing Na Fianna in Buffalo and the Saints playing away to Cincinnati. It was a hard-fought match; Cincinnati bounced ahead early in the game, but Cleveland clawed back to finish 6-15 (33) to 3-15 (24). Up in Buffalo, Pittsburgh rolled on to finish the season unbeaten in the central pool. 

Midwest Finals Results August 6-7. 
Results from Rochester, NY.: Pittsburgh Celtics won the men’s football final over Detroit. The Celtics will go on to represent the Midwest Division at the Intermediate level and the Wolfetones will represent at Junior D for the USGAA Finals. In Sunday’s consolation match, Cleveland beat Na Fianna to secure the men’s Junior C spot for the USGAA Finals.

Cleveland Saints - Midwest Junior C Mens' Football Representative
Cleveland Saints – Midwest Junior C Mens’ Football Representative

There was also a playoff for the Men’s football developmental level, Junior D, where Pittsburgh Celtics beat Rochester Gaelic. For ladies’ football, the Banshees had to first beat the Buffalo Fenians before beating Cleveland in the final. The Banshees will represent the MW at Junior B, while Cleveland will represent at Junior C.

Pittsburgh Banshees
Pittsburgh Banshees
Cleveland Saints - Midwest Junior C Ladies' Football Representative
Cleveland Saints – Midwest Junior C Ladies’ Football Representative

In hurling, the Pittsburgh Pucas won again against the Cleveland Saints. The Pucas will represent at Junior C while Cleveland will continue to represent at Junior D. And, in camogie, Na Loachra beat the Saints to secure the Midwest title.

Pittsburgh Pucas Hurling Club National Champions

Both clubs will go on to play at the USGAA finals at the developmental level. The MW Finals were well attended and congratulations to all of the clubs on a great year. The division has come out of the pandemic stronger and more vibrant than ever before. 

Continental Youth Championships, July 28-31 
Cleveland and the Midwest represented well at the CYC’s in Chicago. At the U9 level, Cleveland’s Ewan Kerns, Rose Kilbane, and Cedric Beach, along with Detroit Harps’ Ronan Donohue joined up with the Toronto Chieftains. The amalgamated team went on to play in the shield championship on Sunday and won the first hardware. 

At U11, Cleveland fielded a full team with Detroit Harps’ Ronan and Cillian Donohue joining the attack. The U11’s were able to pull off one win over Toronto and fought hard in two tight matches against Chicago Celtics. 

At the U13 level, the Midwest boys joined with the Chicago Celtics – Cleveland’s Ambrose Beach, Conall Gannon, Ashoka Kerns, Parker Kaylor, Andrew Kilbane, Detroit’s Declan O’Connell, and Buffalo’s Brendan Shea. Beach was a work horse up front while Shea provided shutdown defense and quality deliveries to the front line.  The U13’s were also competitive in a few games, but unable to secure hardware. 

U13's Chicago-Cleveland - (Middle Row) Conal Gannon (center), Parker Kaylor (right) - Top Row (L-R) Liam Shea (2nd), Ambrose Beach (4th), Ashoka Kerns (6th), Andrew Kilbane (7th)
U13’s Chicago-Cleveland – (Middle Row) Conal Gannon (center), Parker Kaylor (right) – Top Row (L-R) Liam Shea (2nd), Ambrose Beach (4th), Ashoka Kerns (6th), Andrew Kilbane (7th)

The U13 Midwest Ladies joined with Glenside and Chicago Celtics; Cleveland’s Sarah Dysert, Bernadette Beach, and Amelia Dietz along with Detroit Harps’ Aoife Donohue. The ladies made it to Sunday in a highly competitive game but fell short in the closing minutes. 

U13's Sarah Dysert, Aoife Donohue, Mia Dietz, and Birdie Beach
U13’s Sarah Dysert, Aoife Donohue, Mia Dietz, and Birdie Beach

At U15, the Midwest joined again with the Toronto Chieftains – the Midwest U13’s played up along with Cleveland’s Jackson Kaylor, Buffalo’s Liam Shea, and Detroit Harps’ Padraig Donohue.  The U15’s played one of the most exciting games of the weekend in a back-and-forth match with Chicago Celtics on Saturday. Cleveland’s Ambrose Beach broke out with three goals and a point in the win that secured the shield match position on Sunday. They went on to lose the final, but again played strong.  The Midwest also had representatives at the higher grades with John Shea of Buffalo and Cormac Moloney of Detroit.

October Sports. 
Akron will host their Al O’Leary Hurling and Camogie Tournament on October 1st.  Cleveland will host their annual Golf Outing on October 15 – reach out for more information, to schedule a foursome, or to advertise. 

Go raibh míle maith agaibh

(Thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. We need your help and involvement but would most like to share the fun of Irish sport and Cleveland community with you. 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 for all ages. 

Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2022 activities for Men, Women, and Youth.  Or visit

*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 (13), Bernadette (11), and Cedric (8), grow.  His other hustles are coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, teaching Construction Management at CWRU, and laying down some engineering skills on local water/wastewater projects.

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