Category: Archive

Games of the Gael N.Y. GAA season opens with full slate

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

It’s that time of year again for the big throw-in.

On Sunday, GAA players, their supporters and enthusiasts will make their way to Gaelic Park in the Bronx for the curtain-raiser of the 1999 season.

This is a special year for the GAA in New York. Under president Monty Moloney and his officers, the association has shown it is pointing itself in a more efficient and professional direction, an effort rewarded by supporters last year who turned out in spirited numbers to attend some of many of the games.

But what sets this year apart in particular is New York’s involvement in the championship in Ireland. With this in mind, players can be expected to give even more of their spirit and enthusiasm, while the GAA hierarchy has already taken measures to ensure administration of the game in New York measures up to that in Ireland. For example, referees for the various games are now being selected by the schedule committee and can be announced well in advance of games. (On this Thursday night, a referees’ meeting will take place at 7 in The Lansdowne).

Four games are down for decision this Sunday, the first a junior football A clash starting at 12:30 p.m. between Rangers and Fermanagh. The referee is Phil Sheridan.

With a disappointing performance by Fermanagh last year, Rangers are favorites to win this match. Rangers forward David Phelan is again expected to be on target, backed up by the Bermingham brothers, Thomas and Phil, as well as Seamus Kiernan and Joe Maloney.

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However, Fermanagh will fight for every ball with forwards Stephen Bogue and Rory Judge certainly marksmen to watch, while in the backs, Eamon Cassidy will be keeping a keen eye on his territory.

The second game, at 2 p.m., is a senior hurling knockout clash between Limerick and Kilkenny. Here, referee Paddy Hogan will be the man in charge.

This will be a keenly contested game. The Cats are reigning champions of the knockout competition, while Kilkenny are reigning champions of the regular competition.

For Kilkenny, captained by J. Edge, strong performances are expected from Brian Barcoe, Vinnie Norton and goalkeeper James Joyce.

Limerick’s defensive skills will be evident through their goalkeeper supreme Finbar Flood, as well as veteran defender Tom Canty. Others to watch will be Brendan Cagney in the middle and Maurice Nelligan up front.

Reigning champions Leitrim will be in action at 3:30 p.m. in a senior football Div. 1 clash against Cavan. Tommy Fahey will be in charge of the whistle.

Leitrim are the obvious favorites here and strong performances are expected from the likes of Jim Donohue, Neville Dunne, Richie Maher and Cookie Meehan.

For Cavan, Joe Cassidy, Shane Nugent, Barry Arnette and Gary McDermott will be depended upon to at least give the Shannonsiders a run for their money.

The second senior football game of the day, at 5 p.m., will be between Clare and Roscommon. The outcome of this game is difficult to predict because both sides have lost players, both through transfers and players returning to Ireland.

Among those on whom Roscommon’s hopes will depend are Paul Levins and Enda Flaherty, while Clare will be looking to solid performances from Gay Looney, Eddie McDermott and Brian Chambers.

Although the booming Irish economy has attracted some players back home, this year’s season, sponsored mainly by Budweiser, opens in New York with a renewed sense of optimism. All that’s needed now is favorable weather this Sunday afternoon.

Army games

Also adding excitement to the New York GAA scene are two games, scheduled for April 16 at 6 p.m. and April 18 at 4 p.m., between a New York team and the Irish Army International team.

The Irish army team consists of a number of Irish county footballers and it gives a New York selection the chance to come face to face with some of the best that Ireland itself had to offer on the Gaelic football field. The game will also be watched with interest by GAA enthusiasts in Ireland eager to get the measure of this year’s crop of the Big Apple’s best.

Opening Games at Gaelic Park

April 4

12:30 p.m. JF A Rangers vs. Fermanagh Ref.: Phil Sheridan

2 p.m. SH Limerick vs. Kilkenny Ref.: Paddy Hogan

3:30 p.m. SF1 Leitrim vs. Cavan Ref.: Tommy Fahey

5 p.m. SF2 Clare vs. Roscommon Ref.: Sean Jones

April 11

12:30 p.m. JFA Dublin vs. Westput Ref.: Jimmy Naughton

2 p.m. SH Offaly vs. Westmeath Ref.: JoJo O’Sullivan

3:30 p.m. SF1 Stamford vs. Tyrone Ref.: Liam Bermingham

5 p.m. SF2 Longford vs. Sligo Ref.: Emmet McCormack

April 16

6 p.m., New York vs. Irish Army International Team, Gaelic Park

April 18

4 p.m., New York vs. Irish Army International Team, Gaelic Park

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