Category: Archive

NACB Championships: Chicago clubs lay claim to lion’s share of titles

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Connie Kelly

Chicago claimed the lion’s share of the trophies at the 1999 North American playoffs, which were held over the Labor Day weekend at Chicago Gaelic Park.

Gaels from throughout the U.S. gathered in their thousands for the GAA’s biggest weekend. All of the 10 divisions were represented and 46 games were played in three days on four playing fields.

In the senior hurling final, Harry Bolands collected their 14th title in a row, beating Erin’s Own by a single goal, 3-12 to 2-12. In a rather tame first half, Harry Bolands ran out to an early lead which they never surrendered, the highlight of the half coming in the last two minutes with three goals being scored, two for Bolands and one for Erin’s Own, which brought the crowd back into the game.

The second half saw Erin’s Own reduce the lead to a single point with some excellent shooting by Liam McGrath and Michael Beavans. With both teams missing some easy frees, Beavans tied the game with three minutes to go, but a later goal by Lenny Higgins sealed it for Bolands.

In the senior football final it was a rather easy win for Chicago’s Wolfe Tones over Philadelphia’s Kevin Barry’s, 0-16 to 0-7. The home advantage saw the Tones pick off points with ease while Kevin Barry’s seemed to be struggling to get the ball up the other end for most of the game. Kevin O’Brien had a solid game with four points, along with Ronan Fitzsimons (4) and free-taker Rory Mone (5-2 from frees). Richie Gammell, Sean McLoughlin and Damien Behan had one a piece for the Tones. Jonathan Niblock had four points for Kevin Barry’s. Brian McGuckin and Malachy McVeigh one each. Paul McFlynn’s point in the first half was the best score of the game. So the home team makes it a double in the senior division.

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Chicago’s Junior A St. Brendan’s had a good win over John McBrides.

In the Junior B final, Seattle Gaels St. Pat’s had their first title win since the club was formed in 1979 over the Atlanta Gaels 3-10 to 0-9.

In Junior hurling, St. Pat’s of Southern California had to go to extra time to beat Galway of Boston. Final score St. Pat’s 0-20, Galway 1-15.

In Intermediate football, the Connemara Gaels of Boston had a six point win 1-12 to 1-6 over San Francisco Sons of Boru.

The best game of the weekend was the women’s senior football final in which the Boston Shamrocks defeated last year’s champions, St. Bridget’s of Chicago, by 0-13 to 1-8 in a thriller that went right down to the final moments of the game. Right from the throw-in these ladies got down to business and at the end of 30 minutes of play the score was 0-6 to 0-4 in favor of Boston.

The second half started with the same intensity as the first with some excellent hard hitting and close marking on both sides. Woman of the match, Boston goalie Christine Elliot made some brilliant saves and turned back several of the Bridgets attacks. Colette Rohan scored the game’s only goal on a penalty. She had an outstanding game along with Amy Bennett and Tina Casey.

For the Shamrocks a star performance was turned in by Geraldine O’Shea and Majella Griffin. In the back line Mary Quirke, Kathleen Rohan and Dara Sugrue were excellent. Lisa Morrissey and Dianne Kelly battled hard in the middle of the field. Paula Callaghan stayed in the game with a severe ankle injury and when captain Joan Reen raised the Cup at the end of a gruelling game a five year dream had come true for the Boston Shamrocks — they were the North American champions.

The Emerald Isle of Boston beat St. Mary’s of Chicago in the camogie final 5-3 to 0-3. The scoreline here is in no way a reflection of this game as it was a close hard fought game all the way. At the half only a goal separated the sides 1-2 to 0-2.

In the second half, injured Paula Callaghan playing her second game of the day just happened to be in the right place at the right time and scored two goals in less than two minutes. Val Fitzpatrick also had two goals and Bernie Broderick one goal. Laura Connolly was woman of the match for her performance in the backs. Also playing well were Eleanor Brennan, Tina Roche, Helen O’Leary, and Mary Ruane and Liz O’Shea who was playing her second game of the day. Rose Horan stood out for Chicago.

In the minor football final, San Francisco handed last year’s champions, Boston, a major defeat on a score of 1-17 to 0-3.

Chicago won both the under-12 and under-14 finals to complete what certainly was a great weekend. Thanks to their dedicated coaches Lisa and Liam Flaherty.

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