Taking the Fields of Glory: Midwest Championships 2023

By Vincent Beach

I gCuimhne
Although I did not have the opportunity to play with him, Kevin McCluskey and many of the St. Pat’s players of the era had plenty of stories to share. Kevin was a great underage footballer for the club and always a supporter over the years.

Every encounter included laughs and smiles. Kevin will be missed, and we pass our condolences on to his family and friends. Ar dheas Dé go raibh a anam.

Midwest Gaelic Sports News
Picking up from last month, recorded scores start on June 17th. Roc City hosted their GAA day playing the Albany Rebels in football (falling by a point), smashing the Fenian hurlers, and the ladies tying the Buffalo. Also, in the north division of men’s football on the weekend, the Fenians traveled into Syracuse to beat the Gaels.

The following weekend saw much travel, with simultaneous games in Akron, Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo. The Pucas took on the Saints first team and proved their rank as a reigning national champion, while the Saints second team held off the Celtic Guards; both games being in Akron. 

The Buffalo Fenians hosted the Albany and Roc City. The Fenian men beat the Celtics while the Fenian ladies top the Flower City Gaels by three points. The Banshees strolled into Cleveland and won comfortably while the Pittsburgh men (Celtics) did the same to the hosting Na Fianna in Buffalo. 

Rounding out the weekend was a match left unknown in Cincinnati versus Detroit in men’s football – referee match report not received. The Midwest clubs took a break in action for the celebration of British defeat at the hands of the colonists and allied nations of the Oneida, Tuscarora, Catawba, Stockbridge, Lenni Lenape, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Mohican, Mi’kmaq, Abenaki, Cheraw, Pedee, and Lumbee.  Up the lads! 

On July 8th, it was Cleveland’s turn for a GAA day. The Saints took the sweep, defeating Na Loachra, the Wolfe Tones, Roc City (LGF), and Akron. The Fenian men rounded out the weekend in Buffalo with a win over the Syracuse Gaels.

For July the 15th, Roc City Gaelic hosted their GAA day. The Roc’s men beat the Syracuse Gaels in football and the Saints in hurling. Results of the Roc’s ladies in unknown versus the Pittsburgh Banshees.
The Saints second siders also fell to the Albay Rebels in hurling, while the Rebels’ footballer beat the Fenians handedly. Results were not available for Na Fianna’s trip to Detroit, but the hosting Pucas second side fell to the Celtic Guards of Akron.

Check out the table for fixture results to date. A few recent results are still awaiting official submission at the time of this writing. 

Cleveland Hurling Wins
The Gentleman and Lady Saints headed out to Indianapolis for their annual hurling and camogie invitational. The camógs played hard but fell in the opener to the hosting Indy club by the score of 6-4 (22) to 7-10 (31). The ladies then went on to play Denver and notched their first win, decisively outscoring the Gaels 11-6 (39) to 2-6 (12).

On the men’s side, Cleveland entered the junior bracket and faced St. Louis first. They downed Gateway City 2-12 (18) to 2-5 (11).

Next to fall was Indy, with the final tally of 7-18 (39) to 1-3 (6), setting up a final against Knoxville. Netting seven and knocking over twelve (total score 33) while Na Oglaigh (volunteers … Tennessee folk) could only put up 4-5 (17), Cleveland bought their ticket to the finals.

Meeting them there was the runner-up from pool play, St. Louis. A second crack was too much for the Gatewayers, and the Saints went on to claim their first major trophy in the revitalized era of Cleveland hurling. In the excitement of the win and the dousing of Coach Margida with ice, the final score was not recorded, but honestly, does it matter?

Comhghairdeas leis an uile dhuine. Author’s note: the nicknames attributed to the opposing clubs are entirely fictional, although they carry historical and geographic significance in which the author’s brother believes further consideration should be given. The opposing clubs can be referenced formally by the standard GAA or GAC without the confusing saints, martyrs, revolutionaries, or heroes.

Midwest Finals Cleveland
As you heard last month, the Cleveland GAA has been selected to host the Midwest GAA Finals over the August 5th-6th weekend. We will be back to the Barton-Bradley Fields in North Olmsted, site of the 2013 USGAA Finals.

Joining the Midwest competition this year will be CLG Acla (Achill GAA) to take on the intermediate squad of the Pittsburgh Celtics – the showcase game on Saturday. The Achill lads will also be accompanied by several members of the pipe band, who will join forces with their counterparts of the WSIA to parade the teams and entertain fans.

The weekend will have a festival-like atmosphere, with food and beverage trucks, traditional music from the best players between the Atlantic and the Mississippi, sports, youth games (Saturday), the pipe bands, hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, and fine Irish culture. The weekend is fast approaching – if you are interested in volunteering, advertising, or sponsoring, please reach out (contact info below).

You will be among friends you haven’t yet met. To see the full schedule visit and select the Midwest Fest tab.  Listen – the GAA is real Irish culture (no plastics) here in North Olmsted Ohio. You won’t want to miss it. 

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  Email [email protected]

*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 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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