Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
By Vincent Beach
You might think the season ends after the late-August USGAA Finals, but the latter third of the year is filled with festivals, local tournaments, pub leagues, outings, banquets, and general meetings. Pub leagues are generally inner club, small sided leagues. This year saw Cleveland Hurling, Pittsburgh Hurling, and Syracuse football run games.
Clubs also participated in local festivals either through demonstrations, youth clinics, or tabling efforts spreading awareness of our games. On the September 10th weekend, the Pittsburgh Celtics-Banshees-Pucas promoted Irish sports at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival. For the first time, the Ohio Celtic Festival in Mentor witnessed Gaelic Games, when Cleveland’s footballers and hurlers showcased and then ran clinics for the children.
The annual Al O’Leary tournament was back in Akron this year on October 2nd. Participating hurling teams were Akron, Cleveland (three teams), Pittsburgh (two teams), and Roc City for the 7-a-side format. The defending champion, Indianapolis, retracted their bid late in the week.
Teams were arranged into two pools: A’s and B’s. The top B finisher, Cleveland, joined the top three A finishers, Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Akron, for a knock-out playoff. Cleveland faced Pittsburgh in the final and the multiple year champion, Pittsburgh, rose the cup once again. Two camogie demonstrations were also held, raising aspirations for 2022 official games. Following the games, a Poc Fada competition was held.
Cleveland Adults: Several rookie-friendly sessions are planned throughout the fall and winter for football, hurling, and camogie. Reach out to the club if you are interested in trying a Gaelic sport ahead of next year’s competitive season.
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 2020 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 (12), Bernadette (10), and Cedric (7), 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 concrete and water/wastewater projects.