Week 3 of Competitive League
By: Jameson Hurley
Week 3 of the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club proved even more exciting than the first two weeks. As player skill and fitness improves, so does the quality of play. Officially, it was the second day of summer, and if game time temperatures were any indication, Nashville is in for a hot one. It was as if the men and women of the NGAC wanted to be “one in heat-suffering spirit” with the USA Men’s Soccer team, as game time temperatures in Nashville exceeded those predicted in Manaus for later in the day. With pop-up tents for shade, and ice water on hand, the matches were underway.
Match 1 featured the Blue Notes v. the Leesiders. A question hanged heavy in the heavy hanging air: Would Captain Gill lead the Lees to victory with the confidence gained from their prior week’s win over the Blue Notes, or would Captain Joley rally his squad and rebound from their loss? It was clear from the start that this would be a memorable battle. The ball moved about the field like a butterfly on a calm spring day, but when shots were fired for scores, they were erratic and often off target. While the gladiators did battle at midfield, the goalies were kept busy with puck outs after the countless wides. In time though, the scores did come, with Anji Wall leading all scorers with 5 points from play. The score line remained close throughout the match, with both teams gaining and losing their advantage, but in the end, it was the grit and determination of the mighty Blue Notes that won on the day, edging out the Leesiders by 1 point. Blue Notes 1-7 (13) to Leesiders 2-6 (12).
With that, the Leesiders retreated to the shade for rest while the Blue Notes remained in the sun’s glaring rays for the second match of the day. Captain Ouellette’s Ports, eager to hold the top position in the league, and to rebound from their drawn match against the Notes in week 2, took to the pitch in varsity fashion. From the throw in it was clear that the Ports meant business, marking the opening score of the game. The Notes gave an early response, with a cracker of a goal from Captain Joley, but that was nearly it for the scoring from the Dublin colored side. Captain Ouellette, in goal, locked down the net, and his defenders took care of minimizing points from play. Some fantastic battles took place for the ball, but all too often it was the Ports who emerged from the scrum with possession. And all too often those won battles resulted in goals and points. The Blue Notes, exhausted from their earlier battle, did indeed leave it all on the pitch, but at the final whistle, the referee’s score card read: Blue Notes 2-1 (7) to Ports 5-6 (21).
Did the Ports leave enough in the tank to finish the day with two wins? The Leesiders emerged from the shade, and took to the pitch to find out. You’ll recall the incredible battle between these two teams during the second week of play, when the Ports scored a late goal to defeat the red and white side by two points. From the opening toss, this match looked to rival that classic. Quick scores from both sides got things going, and the points continued to come with ease, in this, the second highest scoring match of the season. The usual suspects: Nick Chamberlain, Eric Vick, and Corbett Ouellette for the Ports, and C.s. Kammerzell and Sam D’Amico for the Leesiders, were joined by newcomers to the scoring sheet, Jesse Gammons and Greg Roberts, who all had points from play. The crowd was treated to an exciting and very tightly contested match, and when the referee blew his whistle for the “player welfare water break,” The teams were separated by only 1 point. At the restart, it was clear that both sides had imbibed on some sort of “goal scoring” tonic during the break, as the sleepy keepers were unable to defend their nets. A final Leesider free into the box failed to be converted by the attackers for a much-needed goal, and with that the full-time whistle blew. The Ports held their seat at the top of the table. Ports 5-8 (23) to Leesiders 4-7 (19).
Join us for the games next week at 4:00 at Heartland fields. Game 1, Ports v. Blue Notes, followed by Blue Notes v. Leesiders, and finally, Leesider v. Ports.
Standings: Ports 16 pts., Blue Notes 7 pts., Leesiders 3 pts.