Taking the Fields of Glory: Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association Games and More

Vincent Beach PicTaking the Field of Glory: Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)
By Vincent Beach

Cleveland 7-A-Side Gaelic Football Tournament
On May 21st at the West Side Irish American Club, twenty-nine games of men’s and ladies Gaelic Football were played amongst sixteen teams from 10am until 6pm. With the Virgin Mary’s statue in the front window, the tournament volunteer committee headed up by Jim Coyne were able to hold off the ominous thunderstorms that were predicted, until the award ceremonies were nearly complete. 

Winning for the Men’s was Pittsburgh Celtics (1) with their defeat of Chicago John McBride’s; for the Ladies was Chicago Aisling Gaels over Milltown Gaels; in the Men’s Shield division Cleveland St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s over Pittsburgh Celtics (2); and in the Ladies’ Consolation match, Cleveland St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s over Pittsburgh Banshees. 

Midwest GAA News
After the Cleveland Memorial 7s, teams rocked into the new season. The Cleveland Men hosted Cincinnati CLG and the two Men’s Buffalo teams squared off on May 28th.  Cleveland routed Cincinnati by the score of 5-15 (30) to 2-4 (10), despite several gorgeous points and a rocket goal by the Cincinnati’s former Midwest all-star. 

The Battle of Buffalo
The Battle of Buffalo

The new Buffalo Na Fianna squad led the entire match against the Fenians, finishing out 2-11 (17) to 1-3 (6) at Potters Road Field. The Cleveland ladies and Pittsburgh ladies had also planned to play both football and hurling May 28th, but have rescheduled to July 2nd to avoid travel to Cleveland three weekends in a row. 

Camogie 360
Camogie 360 was well attended on June 4th at Cleveland’s West Side Irish American Club by current and new players from around the Midwest (Akron, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Rochester).  The program was organized by Midwest GAA’s Camogie Development Officer, John Young, and Chicago’s Colm Egan, who also led the instruction. Ladies combined classroom and field lessons on Saturday to a game-paced action on Sunday. 

Colm Egan Instructing at the Camogie 360
Colm Egan Instructing at the Camogie 360

The program was sponsored by the Global Games Development Fund (Ireland), the USGAA, and the Midwest GAA. June 4th also saw the Buffalo Fenians’ Men travel down to the Pittsburgh Celtics at UPMC Graham Field. The Celtics beat out the Fenians.

Cleveland’s Men met the Detroit Wolfetones in Detroit at the historic Fort Wayne Fields. The ‘Tones outran the Saints by the score of 5-15 (30) to 3-7 (16).

On June 11th, the hurling season commenced, with the Buffalo Fenians again traveling, this time to Rochester. The Fenians began their inaugural hurling year with a good showing, but the now veteran Roc City won the day by the score of 8-12 (36) to 1-4 (7). 

Ladies Football also commenced the regular season games, with the Buffalo Fenians traveling in to play the Cleveland Saints. A fully stocked Cleveland side were able to spread the workload on  balmy day to beat the Fenians (34-4).  

In the Men’s west bracket for Football, Cincinnati was again on the road, this time to play the Wolfetones at the familiar Belle Isle sport fields. Detroit won, 5-21 (36) to 0-2 (2), bringing their regular season record to two wins at home with two road games ahead. Cincinnati will have their next two games at home where everyone is stronger. 

The balance of July is as follows:  July 2 will be a mid-morning double header of Cleveland v Pittsburgh ladies in Gaelic Football and Camogie.  July 9 Buffalo Hurling Blitz (Cleveland v Buffalo, Pittsburgh v Roc City, Akron v Buffalo) and the Banshees host the Fenians in Ladies Gaelic Football.

July 10 a Sunday game like they all used to be, the Battle of Buffalo when the Fenians host Na Fianna.  July 16 Cleveland Hurling Blitz (Cleveland v Buffalo, Akron v Pittsburgh, Roc City v Cleveland), and Men’s Football with Buffalo Na Fianna at the Celtics and the Wolfetones at Cincinnati CLG. 

July 23 Pittsburgh GAA extravaganza – Hurling/Camogie (Akron v Pucas, Saints v Na Laochra, Saints v Pucas) and Ladies Football with the Saints v Banshees.  July 30 Men’s football closes out the season with the Celtics playing Na Fianna in Buffalo and the Saints playing away to Cincinnati. 

Remember, the Midwest Finals are being hosted by Roc City Gaelic (Rochester, NY) on August 6th and 7th.  The Divisional Finals will determine who goes on the USGAA Finals on August 19-21 in Chicago. 

Cleveland Youth Teams 
St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s continue to hold training sessions for all ages on Thursdays from 5-6:15PM at the West Side Irish American Club. The summer sessions will end with the Continental Youth Championships.  The CYC’s will take place in Chicago over four days, July 28-31. 

Representing the Saints this year will be Ambrose Beach (U13), Bernadette Beach (U11), Cedric Beach (U9), Emilia Dietz (U11), Adam Dietz (U11), Lucy Dietz (U7), Conall Gannon (U13), Jack Kaesgen (U11), Max Kaesgen (U11) Jackson Kaylor (U15), Parker Kaylor (U11), Hudson Kaylor (U11), Tucker Kaylor (U11), Ashoka Kerns (U13), Ewan Kerns (U11), Andrew Kilbane (U13), Jack Kilbane (U11), Martin Kilbane (U11), Rose Kilbane (U7), and Emmet Kimbrell (U11).  Cleveland’s players will join others from Detroit and Buffalo.  For more info on the youth program, contact [email protected]

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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