Category: Archive

NACB Playoffs Preview

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Given the NACB criteria and guidelines to be followed in hosting this huge and prestigious event, it has been an enormous task for the Boston board and local committee to prepare this excellent facility for all the games. Under the dynamic chairmanship of Galwayman Bernie Connaughton, and a giant herculean effort between the GAA and the Irish Cultural Center volunteers, five playing fields are ready for action. Sixty six games plus the youth schedule were played at last years finals in Canton. Over 70 games are expected to be played in this year playoffs. Such was the success and popularity of 3 new championships that made their debut in 2008, ladies Intermediate football, American born men’s football and over 40 men?s football competitions are on this year?s schedule. Also, making its debut this year will be an all-American born hurling championship bringing the total number of championships to be competed for to 20. In order to minimize the number of teams getting bye’s into championship finals the Northeast and some other divisions will be entering second teams for certain championships and a backdoor format will be applied in other cases where loosing teams will reenter the competition.

Following the conclusion of most of the divisional championships over the past couple of weeks, the following cities will be represented in the playoffs — Allentown Pa, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Frederick MD, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland MN, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC.
The huge schedule which starts at 9:00am on Friday, September 4th includes the following competitions – men’s senior, intermediate, junior A, B, C, D and over 40 football; ladies senior, Intermediate, junior A, B football; senior, junior A, B, C hurling; senior & junior camogie, plus American born hurling and men’s football championships. In addition there will be a youth program that will include under age at three different age levels.

It’s very difficult to predict what cities and clubs will bring home trophies this year as several of last year’s winners have failed to retain their divisional titles. In senior hurling, current national champions Chicago Limerick, have declined to travel and defend their title while in senior football, Boston McAnespies were defeated in the semi-final of the Northeast divisional championship.

As all divisions have now identified the teams that have qualified for this year’s playoffs, following is a preview of this year championships.


NACB’s most decorated hurling club Chicago Harry Boland?s, winners of 14 championships from 1966 to 2006, will represent Chicago in place of last years winners, Limerick. Since the Boland?s are recovering from a couple of lean years and played at junior level this year they will be considered outsiders to take this years title. San Francisco Na Fianna who overcame Naomh Padraig to take the Western divisional title will be anxious to win their first senior championship since 1991. They came very close to doing so last year when going down by only 3 points to Chicago Limerick in the final. Many expect the 2009 title to return to Boston for the first time since 2005 with Tipperary being the favorites to take the title after a close 2 point winner over Wexford in their divisional final. Wexford remain a competitor to win their first title as they qualify as Boston runner-ups to play San Francisco Na Fianna in the second semi-final.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

Similar to senior hurling the long campaign in Boston will benefit the divisional winner in the playoffs so Fr. Tom Burke’s will enter fray as favorites having defeated Tipperary in the Northeast final. Newcomers to the junior ?A? level is Milwaukee who qualified as a result of taking the ?B? title in 2007 and 2008. They will play San Francisco Naomh Padraig in the semi-final with the winners taking on the Boston champions in the final.

With Milwaukee moving up to junior ‘A’ the race for ‘B’ honors is wide open with teams competing from Indianapolis, Minnesota Twin Cities, Denver, Seattle and Washington DC. The Washington Gaels who lost to Milwaukee in last years final hope to reach the final again this year and will be anxious to regain the title they last won in 2006. Indianapolis, who won the ‘C’ championship last year are expected to be strong challengers.

This competition with 11 teams competing is by far the biggest championship on the playoff schedule and promises to be the most competitive. While trying to predict a winner in this championship is very difficult, Chicago Cusacks may be the frontrunner having put up a great challenge against Indianapolis in last years final. New team in the competition this year is San Francisco Rovers and playing for the second consecutive year are the Barleyhounds from Concord, New Hampshire and a team from Allentown PA. Also in the competition are Denver, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Seattle and Washington DC, Pittsburgh and Portland.

The senior football cup will change hands this year with 2008 winners McAnespies being knocked out in the Boston championship. Representing the Northeast division will be Christophers who defeated Shannon Blues in the Northeast divisional final. Their opponents in the semi-final will be Philadelphia Kevin Barrys who lost to Boston McAnespies in last years semi-final. Back on track this year is the Ulster club from San Francisco who captured their last and only NACB senior title in 2005. Chicago Parnells who are chasing their first senior title will be Ulster’s opponent in the second semi-final.

As in the senior football championship there will be a different holder of the Intermediate title this year as last years champions, Boston Kerry, were defeated in their divisional semi-final clash with Connemara Gaels. The Gaels lost in the final to Armagh/Notre Dame but enter the playoffs as the runner-up team from Boston and play Philadelphia in one of the semi-finals. Armagh/Notre Dame take on San Francisco Sons of Boru in the other sem-final.

Chicago Wolfe Tones, more famous for success at senior level, having won a record 13 national titles, are competing for their first junior ‘A’ title this year. Being inactive for the past couple of years the Tone?s revival efforts have been very successful after coming on top in a very competitive Chicago junior ‘A’ championship this year. Standing in the way for them to gain their first NACB junior championship will be San Francisco Cusacks, Charlotte and Boston winners McAnespies. The Cusacks wil be attempting to regain the title they last won back in 1991 while Charlotte will be making their debut at this level after winning the ‘B’ championship last year

This championship is always the most competitive men?s competition of the playoffs as several one club cities are striving for success. Eight teams are competing for this year’s title including past winners, Cleveland St. Jarlaths, Detroit Wolfe Tones and San Diego Setanta. Chicago Patriots who won the ‘C’ move up to this level for the first time as does LA Wild Geese. Boston representatives Shannon Blues. Representing Philadelphia will be Eire Og.

The junior ‘C’ division which was started in 2003 contributed to the ongoing promotion of Gaelic football for American born players over age for the youth program. With an NACB rule in place that only American born players could play in this C championship in the four major cities several hundred American born players contributed to the formation of new teams in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. However, a rule change this year that prohibits Irish sanction player from playing with any team resulted in the junior ‘C’ competition being split into two divisions, 1) with sanctions, 2) without sanctions. Just 2 teams, Boston and Philadelphia, will compete in the ‘no-sanction’ division while there will be two semi-finals in the ‘with sanctions’ division with the following draw: Washington DC Vs Denver and San Diego Vs Austin.

This championship has been very successful for the promotion of football for newly formed teams. Winning the competition in 2007 was a great boost for the recently formed club in Austin who have since moved up to ‘C’ level. Charlotte and Phoenix, previous winners of this competition have entered teams in an attempt to regain the title this year, while teams fro Baltimore, Buffalo and Minnasota Twin Cities will be trying to win the trophy for the first time. . They will try to retain the trophy this year but will get good competition from St. Louis, Baltimore, Charlotte and new teams from Frederick MD and Austin TX.

Three cities, Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco, will be represented in this year’s senior ladies football championship. Boston Roscommon who won the title last year will not repeat feat this year having been defeated by old rivals Tir na Nog in the Northeast divisional final. Tir na Nog await the winners of the San Francisco Fog City Harps and Philadelphia Mairead Farrell semi-final for the final game.

This is the second year of staging the intermediate championship. Similar to last years just two teams competed for the new cup with San Francisco defeating Boston Tir Na Nog. There will be two different opponents this with San Francisco Saoirse taking on Washington DC Gaels.

With 2008 winners Washington DC Gaels playing intermediate this year this championship is wide open. This competition produced an epic final last year between DC Gaels and Philadelphia Notre Dame with the Gaels winning by the narrowest of margins, 5-8 to 4-10. There is every indication that another great final is in the works this year. Notre Dame, attempting to make amends for last years 1 point defeat will be heavy favorites to take the title. They play new team Chicago Aisling in the opening game. Also competing are Atlanta, San Francisco Fog City Harps and Seattle.

As in the men’s junior ‘B’ football competition this ladies championship is usually a most competitive and enjoyable contest given the number of cities competing. It produced several great games in the 2008 playoffs with Chicago McBrides taking their first title with a 7 point win over Detroit St. Ann’s . With McBrides not competing this year St Ann’s will be favorites to win their first championship. San Diego Na Fianna who won the first 2 ‘B’ championship back in 2004 and 2005 will be anxious to make it three in six years. Also competing are Denver Gaels, Atlanta Gaels and Charlotte James Connolly.

Three teams, Chicago St. Mary’s, Boston Eire Og and San Francisco Shamrocks will be competing for the senior camogie championship this years. Current champions will Play Eire Og in the semi-final with the winners taking on the Shamrocks in the final.

At the moment Washington DC Gaels and Milwaukee are the only teams competing for the junior championship.
Following is the schedule for the 2009 NACB playoffs:

Senior Hurling:
Boston Wexford Vs Chicago Harry Bolands
San Francisco Na Fianna Vs Boston Tipperary

Junior A Hurling:
San Francisco Naomh Padraig Vs Milwaukee
Boston Fr. Tom’s Vs San Fran Naomh Padraig or Milwaukee

Junior B Hurling:
Indianapolis Vs Minnesota Twin Cities
Washington DC Vs Denver
Seattle Vs Indianapolis or Twin cities

Junior C Hurling:
Indianapolis Vs Washington DC
Milwaukee Vs San Francisco Rovers
Chicago Cusacks Vs Pittsburgh
Denver Vs Seattle
N.H. Barlyhounds Vs Philadelphia Allentown
Portland Vs Denver or Seattle

Men’s Senior Football:
Boston Shannon Blues or St. Christophers Vs Philadelphia Kevin Barry’s
Chicago Parnells Vs San Francisco Ulster

Men’s Intermediate Football
Boston Armagh ND Vs San Francisco Sons of Boru
Boston Connemara Gaels Vs Philadelphia Young Irelanders

Men’s Junior A Football
Chicago Wolfe Tones Vs San Francisco Cusacks
Boston McAnespies Vs Charlotte

Men’s Junior B Football
Chicago Patriots Vs Cleveland St. Jarlath?s
Boston Shannon Blues Vs Detroit Wolfe Tones
Philadelphia Vs LA Wild Geese
San Diego Vs Patroits or St. Jarlath’s

Men’s Junior C Football (sanctions)
Wasington DC Vs Denver
San Diego Setanta Vs Austin

Men’s Junior C Football (no sanctions)
Boston Vs Philadelphia

Men’s Junior D Football
Charlotte Vs Phoenix
Mid-atlantic Mason Dixon Vs Buffalo
Baltimore Vs Twin Cities

Ladies Senior Football
Philadelphia Mairead Farrell’s Vs San Francisco Fog City Haps
Winners of semifinal Vs Boston Tir Na Nog

Ladies Intermediate Football
San Francisco Saoirse Vs Washington DC Gaels

Ladies Junior A Football
Chicago Aisling Gaels Vs Philadelphia Notre Dame
San Francisco Fog City Harps Vs Atlanta
Seattle Vs Aisling/Notre Dame winner

Ladies Junior B Football:
Atlanta Vs Washington DC
Charlotte Vs Detroit St. Ann’s
San Diego Vs Seattle
Denver – Bye

Senior Camogie
Boston Tir na Nog Vs Chicago St. Mary’s
Winners of semi-final Vs San Francisco Shamrocks

Junior Camogie
Washington DC Vs Milwaukee

Eamonn Kelly


Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese