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Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club Launches Inaugural City Hurling League

Match Report: June 1, 2014

Jameson Hurley

10341841_248306115293023_996863059459184260_nOminous skies and a worrisome weather report hung over the launch of the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club’s inaugural city hurling league. But the players arrived in force, the pitch was prepared, and the historical event went off in brilliant form.

After a league rules seminar by club chairman, Johnny “Sticks” Watson, opening ceremonies were underway. Introductions were made, and then as if ordered by Cú Chulainn himself, the clouds let loose, and the rain began to fall. The incomparable design team of Timothy Ryan Buckley and Grant Shelton Gill received thanks and gifts for their hard work on the jerseys and club crest.

With a proper rain now coming down, guest of honor, Roger Ryan from the Blackrock National Hurling Club in Co. Cork, Ireland, threw in the ceremonial first ball to NGAC club founders Anji Wall and John Watson. The humidity reminded us we were in Middle Tennessee, but the rain, and Roger’s presence, made us feel like we were at Croke Park preparing to play in the All Ireland!

Three teams warmed up and prepared to take on the day. The light blue/navy “Blue Notes,” the navy/gold “Ports,” and the white/red “Leesiders” would each play two 30-minute matches. Up first were the Ports and Blue Notes.

With the rain still falling steadily, the Ports and the Blue Notes took to the pitch in the first ever hurling match in Nashville, TN. Captain Corbett Ouellette’s Ports, in their navy and gold kits, were first to strike with a cracking goal. Blue Notes’ captain Aaron Joley kept his team focused and the assembled crowd were treated to a great half, all be it a wet and low scoring half. Rain moved out of the area during the second half, and the scoring opened up. The match proved to be a great opener for the club’s new Sunday tradition. Final score: 2-3 (9) to 2-1 (7) in favor of the Ports.

Coming off that first win, the Ports took on the Leesiders in the second match of the day. Captain Grant Gill’s team looked fantastic in the red and white of Co. Cork as both teams took to the field. The Ports were first to strike when Johnny “Sticks” Watson left Nick Chamberlain unmarked, costing the Leesiders an early point in the contest. The fit feet of the Ports kept the pressure on through the first half, leaving the Leesiders with huge deficit going into the second half. With inspirational words, captain Gill motivated his troops, and the second half was better for the team in white. Unfortunately for the Leesiders, scores would not come. In the end, Captain Ouellette’s Ports crushed the Leesiders 4-3 (15) to 2 goals (6).

The now tired legs of the Leesiders remained on the pitch to take on the Blue Notes in the final match of the day. Captain Gill’s crew, having learned from their first match, reorganized a came out swinging. With the sun now shining, both teams put on a fantastic display of the ancient game. In goals for the match, Peace Corps man, CS Kamerzell, was put to the test, but rose to the challenge, making some spectacular saves. It was clear that both teams came to play as the ball moved around the field with spectacular precision, but in the end, the lethal combination of former MTSU club mates, Timothy Ryan Buckley and Jamie Norris, proved too much for the Leesiders. Final score 5-3 (18) to 3-3 (12)

The day was a great start for what is sure to become a long tradition in Middle Tennessee. The Ports now sit at the top of the league table ahead of the Blue Notes followed by the Leesiders.

Ports: 6 points; Blue Notes: 3 points; Leesiders: 0 points.

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Nashville GAC Joins Nashville Kangaroos at Greer Stadium

Last night was a great one for sports in Nashville. The Nashville Kanagaroos extended an invitation to the Nashville GAC to join them on the Bud Light Deck at Greer Stadium. These two international sports clubs cheered on the Nashville Sounds as they defeated the Iowa Cubs.

Nashville GAC and Nashville Kangaroos at Greer Stadium

Nashville GAC

Nashville GAC

Greer Stadium fireworks

We open our first competitive city league today at Green Hills Park, so plenty of banter filled the night air. While we hope everyone will join and play, we welcome spectators, too.

The league consists of three teams: the Blue Notes, the Leesiders, and the Ports. The season will culminate in a tournament, with one team lifting the cup. The winners will then head into the fall league to defend their title as champions.

The Nashville GAC also thank the Nashville Kangaroos for their generosity and hospitality. We all look forward to a fun-filled summer of Aussie Rules and hurling matches. You can find the Kangaroos schedule by visiting their website. The Nashville GAC will play every Sunday at 4 pm. More information is always available on the Facebook page.

 

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Nashville GAC Crowdfunding Effort Launched

The Nashville GAC is moving ahead at full speed. We recently announced the formation of a competitive city league and our new official crest, and now we’re preparing for the travel tournament season. In order to play in tournaments in the midwest and southeast, we need a little help from you.

Our members do pay fees that help cover the cost of equipment and field use, but we can’t do it all on our own. We need some club helmets so new players can join in until they’re able to afford their own. We also need some new hurleys and sliotars (the stick and ball) so everyone can join in – especially new recruits. On an even grander scale, we need travel jerseys so we can identify ourselves as NASHVILLE whenever we travel.

Our jerseys will feature quite a few exciting things. First, our club colors of green and gold, which pay homage to founder Anji Wall’s ties to Blackrock Hurling Club in Cork, Ireland. Her family has played for the Rockies for decades. Then, there’s our new crest, which was designed by Grant Gill of Belmont University and Timothy Ryan Buckley, a recent graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. The crest is uniquely Nashville, as you’ll see in the image below. The guitar silhouette, Tennessee tri-star, and Parthenon – symbolizing where the club gathers to play and recruit every Thursday night – will all identify the Nashville GAC to any who see it.

Nashville GAC crest

Perhaps most importantly – at least to those who might consider contributing to our campaign – is the inclusion of sponsor logos. Should any business or individual choose to help us out, your company logo will take pride of place on the front of the jersey and the sleeves. When we wear these jerseys in Nashville and the cities to which we travel, everyone will know you’re a supporter. If that’s not enough, you can be certain our club members will support your business any way we know how. We’ll visit, buy stuff, give shoutouts on social media, tell others about you, and list you right here on our club website with many, many thanks.

We know not everyone can give great chunks of money, so we’ve prepared some other gifts, too. Want bumper stickers? League T-shirt replicas? An embroidered patch of our new club crest? Maybe you want a mini hurley signed by all of us to hang in your man cave. All of these can be yours.

So, how can you get on board? Follow the link below. If you can’t give right now, we understand. Instead, please consider sharing this with everyone else you know, joining us one Thursday night at Centennial Park (we meet at 6 pm in the shadow of the Parthenon), and coming out on Sundays during the summer to cheer us on.

Help the Nashville GAC! 

Baile Ceol Abù!

 

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Places You Might Find the Nashville GAC During the Week

The Parks and Pubs We Call Home

by Jameson Hurley

where the nashville gac playsThe Nashville Gaelic Athletic club held their first hurling demonstration on April 20, 2013 in Centennial Park, with the goal of introducing Nashville to the traditional sports of Ireland. Centennial Park is the crown jewel of the Metro Parks system, and it features a life-sized replica of ancient Greece’s Parthenon. Hurlers still gather on Thursdays from March to October, 6:00 to sundown to teach and play our ancient game. Beginners are most certainly welcome to join in and learn this fast paced, high scoring, thrilling field sport.

Have you seen hurling? Do you want to give it a try? Did you come to the Thursday evening puck around and catch the bug? The club holds introductory sessions and practice each weekend at parks around Nashville. Green Hills Park, Richland Park, and West Park are recent stomping grounds, and currently we can be found on Saturdays from 11:00-1:00 at South Inglewood Park in East Nashville. We have spare equipment if you want to give it a go.

The body must be cared for, and what better way to replenish vital nutrients then to head to the pub for a pint of the good stuff after training? “Afters” take place at revolving locations. One of our favorites is Kavanagh’s Irish Pub. Tom and Ann Kavanagh opened their doors in Mt. Juliet right around the same time we started the club. They have authentic Irish food, and Tom is certified by Guinness to pour the “perfect pint.” Live music, darts, and hurleys on the wall top off this authentic Irish experience.

When we want to stay closer to the training grounds, we head to some of our other favorite watering holes. You’ll often find us telling tall tales and licking our wounds at Blackstone Brewery, Boscos, 12 South Tap Room, and M.L. Rose. Wherever we are, though, we’re always eager to talk about the sports we love, so come on down and join us.

South of Nashville, the Middle Tennessee State University Wolfhounds have been hurling since 2011. If you are in Murfeesboro, you should look them up, and after a practice in the ‘Boro, you can head to O’Possum’s pub, their official club sponsor.

For more information about the club, visit our website, like us on Facebook, or contact us at nasvhillegac@gmail.com.

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What Is Hurling?

Gaelic Sports Come to Nashville

By Co-Founder John Watson

Nashville gaelic sportsIt’s a Saturday afternoon in Centennial Park, and the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club is out in force batting a small white ball around with sticks. Passersby stop and watch; the more curious among them ask, “Hey, what sport are you playing?” “Hurling,” we reply. “Curling?” they ask, correcting us. “No, hurling, with and ‘H’, it’s and Irish field sport.” They’ve never seen it, have never even heard of it, but they are fascinated. We tell them that we welcome newcomers, and that we’ll teach anyone to play. Continue reading What Is Hurling?

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The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club

Formed to promote the Irish sports: hurling, Gaelic football, and camogie in Nashville, TN., the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club held its inaugural event, an introduction to hurling, on April 20, 2013. The club was founded by John “Johnny sticks” Watson and Anji Wall. The husband and wife duo, and former St. Louis GAC club mates, relocated to Nashville in 2011, and brought with them a passion for Gaelic games.

Continue reading The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club