NY Hurling Development Squad at Philadelphia 7’s Tournament
NY Hurling Development Squad at Philadelphia 7?s Tournament
April 23, 2019
The New York Hurling Development Squad set off at 6.30am on Saturday 13th April to take part in the Philadelphia 7’s Tournament. With 11 All-American Hurlers packed onto a bus ready for a day of competitive games, they were hopeful of the chance to take home a bit of silverware back up to New York.
Our first game at 10.00am against South Jersey Rebels, a group of mainly American players that had only started the team a few months ago. New York’s years of experience shone through with Eddie Hogan and Steve Mulroney proving a lot to handle for the South Jersey defense. Eddie and Steve hit their net early on in the first half and second half to stop any chance of a comeback, their high catching and first touch just proved too much to handle. New York went through their first game with ease 6.6 to 0.2.
Our second game was versus Father Toms, a group of Irish senior Hurlers from Boston. The lads watched their game before hand as Father Tom’s put Allentown, Philadelphia away fairly easily. The hour break for New York caused a slow start for the team in red, white and blue – with the Boston side hitting goals early on. New York were 8 points down at the break, but it could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for Pi King and Brandon Hickey. PJ winning numerous balls from deep in his own half, even sending one straight over the Boston crossbar to settle NY down, while Hickey dispossessed Boston’s best forward Ali Dooey on a few occasions, his blocking and hooking proving significantly hard to get away from. Father Tom’s slick passing proved to be the difference in the end, as New York lost their second game 5.6 to 1.2.
Next up was Jersey Shore, who have been training hard over the last few months and have had an influx of new arrivals too. The game started off slow with the heat in Pottstown, Philadelphia starting to tire the teams in Limerick’s playing field. A few too many wide’s and decision-making errors only saw New York up by 3 points after the first half of 10minutes. The second half saw a more critical NY side come out with Shane Doheny in the middle of the field scoring 1.1, and Tiarnan Mathers getting a tally of 2.1 to his name as well. The work rate from Mathers and Doheny, hassling and tackling like men possessed helped New York run out winners on a score line of 4.4 to 0.3.
The last group game of the day was against Baltimore, with a few good Irish players and some American’s on their team too. The game was hard hitting and aggressive from the start, right to the finish. The match would decide who would go to the Cup final and who would go into the shield final – and New York wanted another crack at Father Tom’s. Padraig Kyne was a rock in defense the entire game, Baltimore’s long high ball never seemed to work against New York’s man mountain. With 2.1 each at the half New York knew they had more in the tank. Conor Boyle in defense really stepped up his game in the second half, his support play and decision making on the ball was exactly what the Exiles needed – wherever New York needed help Boyle seemed to be there. As Baltimore went a point up, Dave Lewis in the middle calmly struck a point over the bar to equalize. With two minutes still on the clock Lewis showed great vision with a cross field ball to pick out Gearoid Kennedy before putting it in the back of the net. New York showed great character and decision making under pressure to see out Baltimore, final score 3.3 to 2.3.
New York finished second after the group stages and that put them into the Cup Final against Father Tom’s of Boston. The lads in the red, white in blue came out of the block strong with Dylan Grace in the forward line causing Boston problems, charging down the right-hand side and hitting the sliotar inches off the Father Tom’s post. Gearoid Kennedy at midfield hit the Father Tom’s post as well, New York just needed a bit more luck in front of goal. With 2 minutes before the half Father Tom’s were more efficient with their shot selection, and went two goals up at half time. New York still didn’t feel out of the final yet, with two pucks of the ball in it. The second half started and Grace made no mistake this time, hitting a bullet into the left-hand corner of the goal mouth, but Boston was quick to equalize with a fast, long puck out to their own forwards, again there were still two goals in it. Another display of slick passing and a solid first touch saw Father Tom’s go a few more points up. New York weren’t quick to give up though with the Tipperary contingent of Grace hand-passing the ball to Kennedy – before volleying is past the Boston keeper, one of the goals of the tournament. Right up to the finish the All American’s never gave up, final score New York 2.3 Father Tom’s 4.8.
This was another fantastic step in the right direction for this group of lads as they play Allentown, Philadelphia on May 5th at 9.00am in Gaelic Park as a curtain raiser for the Connacht Championship in the Interprovincial Cup. A lot of them will be travelling back to Ireland this summer to compete in the 2019 Renault GAA World Games in Waterford IT, with the finals in Croke Park. A really good learning curve and chance to demonstrate this team’s character and passion for the game. New York Abu!!