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New York GAA Connecticut hurlers hoist silverware

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Connecticut State 4-12, New Jersey 2-6

The first piece of New York GAA silverware, contested at Gaelic Park on Sunday last, was won by a Connecticut team.

In this junior hurling knockout final, the lads from the neighboring state showed distinct class in defeating this New Jersey side, and it’s now clear that the newly reformed Connecticut side is back to take New York hurling by the scruff of the neck.

Having inflicted a heavy defeat upon Galway in the semifinal last week, much was expected of this side, and it did not disappoint its followers. The Stamford-based crew powered their way past their opponents, truly outclassing them in many departments.

Last year, Connecticut was defeated by a rampant Galway side in a high scoring encounter at Gaelic Park.

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This year, the tables were turned, and they dumped Galway out, and in the final they endured a convincing victory to become the first holders of the season’s silverware.

The first 20 minutes or so was an evenly matched affair, with the lads from Jersey seemingly up to the challenge. Neither side went too far in front, with the excellent Kevin Corbett notching a couple of scores for New Jersey, and Connecticut replying in kind through Musha Maher, and Keith Hennessy, who proved that he’s equally adept on the hurling field as he is on the footballing one.

It was Hennessy who upped the tempo, notching a couple of cracking goals that left New Jersey trailing.

New Jersey battled back to notch a couple of scores from Corbett and Mick Dennis, but midway through the half, it became clear that we were watching a side which had every intention of climbing back into New York hurling’s history books.

Goals from Musha Maher and Packie Roche added to Hennessy’s double to leave New Jersey trailing at the break.

After the interval, Connecticut seemed to relax a little, and Mick Dennis hit back for Jersey with a fine goal and a point, but by then the damage had really been done. Although Corbett added a few late points for New Jersey, Connecticut State ran out as winners by a healthy margin of 12 points.

Connecticut State: Tony Power, Richie Purcell Donal Leahy, Paul Rafter, Liam Byrne, Mick O’Connor, Keith Hennessy (2-3), Eric McDonald, Ronan O’Connor (0-3), Packie Roche (1-1), Cathal O’Sullivan, Musha Maher (1-4), Jojo Sullivan (0-1). Subs: Peadar Rafter, Noel McNamara, Donncha Dwyer.

New Jersey: Tony Spillane, Finbar Craughwell, John Mannion, Cathal Shaughnessy, John Slattery, Willie Hanlon, Tom Bermingham, Colm Gaughan, Willie Cooney, Sean Dennis, Kevin Corbett (1-3), Jimmy Creamer (0-1), Mick Dennis (1-2).

Man of the match: Keith Hennessy (Stamford).

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