By Connie Kelly
BOSTON — Gaelic sports fans from all over North America and Ireland came together last weekend for the official opening of the new GAA playing pitch and the dedication of phase one of The Irish Cultural Center, at Canton, Mass.
In perfect weather conditions, fans were treated to two senior football games as well as two senior games of hurling.
On Saturday afternoon, the pick of Boston played the pick of Philadelphia with the home team dominating for most of the first half, running up a score of 0-12 to 11-1, with some well taken points by Darren Lee (3), Richie Fleming (2), Darren Farmer (2), Mark O’Brien (3) and Brian McStay and Ricky Rush one each.
Richard Comiskey opened Philadelphia’s account with a well-taken point which was followed by a splendid goal by Larry McVeigh two minutes later. But the Boston backline of Paul Ford, John Hirrell and Hugh Meehan kept the visitors scoreless for the remainder of the half.
The second half was much closer with Boston scoring seven points to Philadelphia’s six. Overall this was a very entertaining game of football.
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In senior hurling, the pick of Boston had a very big win over a fancied New York squad. Considering Boston had not pucked a ball in six weeks, they came away with a one-point win on a score of 1-15 to 2-11. New York had a three-point lead at the half, thanks to a fine performance by Dave Simms 1-3.
John Madden chipped in three points, Dave Ryan and Alan Slattery had one each.
Chris Dunn had a fine first half for Boston, scoring 1-3. Johnny Murray added two points to leave it 1-8 to New York’s 1-5.
Jamie Duggan had New York four up two minutes into the second half but it was Boston which picked up the pace with points by Mick Lynch (1), Michael McGrath (3), Phil Callaghan (1), Johnny Murray (2) and Chris Dunn (3). Simms and Madden pulled back two for New York and a late goal by Mike Curtin was too little too late.
Playing well for Boston in the back Sean Power, John Feely, Phil Callaghan, Richard Gentleman and Brendan Morrissey were solid at centerfield. John Madden and Dave Simms were best for New York.
On Sunday, the replay of the All Ireland senior football final did not live up to expectations with Cork punishing Meath on a score of 5-10 to 1-8.
Meath were playing with several of their All Ireland starting line out, and Cork took full advantage of this, knocking in 3-5 to Meath’s 1-6 in the first half.
The second half proved to be one way traffic once again for Cork adding 2-5 to their total. The Meath forwards were off the mark on several occasions and were also unlucky hitting the uprights on a number of shots.
In the senior hurling game, the All-Stars had way too much fire- power for Cork, knocking over 11 points in the first half and nine in the second to Cork’s 1-9.
Cork had a lot of the play in the first half but their finishing and short passing proved to be their downfall.
In what seemed like a Cork revival five minutes from the end of the first half, Fergal McCormack sent a lovely pass to the open Seamie McGrath and he had the only goal of the game and the first lead for Cork 1-4 to 0-6. But the All Stars came right back with five unanswered points, two by Martin Storey, two by Joe Dooley and one by Michael Duignan.
The second half saw the Cork goalie pull off some great saves but the All Stars forwards kept the pressure on with points by Charlie Carter, Joe Dooley, Martin Storey, James O’Connor and John Dooley. Captain, Mark Landers had a solid performance for Cork along with Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Sean Og Halpin and Seanie McGrath.