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Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club Closes Summer Hurling League And Prepares For Fall League

ports winner of iron hurl

ports winner of iron hurlNASHVILLE, TN The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (Nashville GAC) will kick off the fall hurling league Sunday, September 7 at Heartland Soccer Complex in Donelson. This new season comes on the heels of the club’s inaugural city league summer play. Three teams played competitive matches for the duration of the six-week season, culminating in Nashville’s first hurling championship on August 3.

Founder John Watson says, “The autumn league will be similar to the summer league (hopefully without the punishing heat) with 3 teams facing off in 7-a-side matches each Sunday. The summer saw some incredible games as the Ports, the Leesiders, and the Blue Notes battled over 6 weeks. In the end, it was the Ports and the Blue Notes who earned the chance to claim the first league championship and take home the Iron Hurl.” The Iron Hurl is actually a solid steel, full-sized replica of a hurley, crafted by club member Caleb Harper. Watson continues with, “On that day, the Ports took the prize, but the real prize went to all of the men and women who showed up week in and week out to play the ancient game right here in Nashville.”

The fall league is currently open to any in the area who wish to join. The club hosts introductory sessions on Thursday evenings at Centennial Park. Nashville GAC also welcomes spectators to the league games on Sundays at noon.  To those considering the ancient Irish sport, Watson challenges, “Who will raise to trophy this November? Will you be among those who take to the pitch and play the fastest game on grass? There’s only one way to find out!”

The Nashville GAC also recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign, which enabled the purchase of travel jerseys for summer tournament play. These shirts feature the club crest and the words “Baile Ceol,” which mean Music City in Gaelic Irish. There is currently no sponsor featured on the jerseys. Businesses interested in sponsoring should contact the club to discuss the potential benefits.

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Gaelic Games Infographic

Created by Jurys Inn in Dublin, this infographic compares Gaelic games to some with which you might be more familiar:

Gaelic Games Infographic
Infographic by Jurys Inn Hotels

Want to see hurling in action? Join us Sunday at noon at McFerrin Park at the corner of Meridian and Grace Streets. We’ll have equipment. Just wear comfy athletic clothes and shoes!

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Week 6 Match Report

Last Regular Match of the Summer League

By Jameson Hurley

After 5 weeks of battle, and 15 matches played in rain, boiling heat, and swampy conditions, the three teams of the Nashville GAC descended on Heartland Fields for the final week of regular season play. Going into the day, the Ports were guaranteed a spot in the championship match, while the mighty Blue Notes looked to be well positioned to secure the second spot. Captain Gill’s Leesiders would need to win both of their matches and see the Notes lose both of theirs in order to move to the second spot on the table. Would the Leesiders muster enough grit and determination, along with a little bit of luck to advance, or would Captain Joley’s Notes capture a victory and thus a spot in the inaugural season’s championship match?

Every player knew what was at stake in the first match of the day as the Blue Notes faced the Leesiders. The match started with quick pace, and lots of back and forth play, but neither team was able to score. Minutes ticked by as shots were blocked and balls went wide. It was the Leesiders who eventually opened the scoring when C.s. Kammerzell put the sliothar over the bar. A quick response for the Note’s Jamie Norris, however, made it clear that this contest would not be settled quietly. Both sides, determined to play again in two weeks’ time, battled hard, but the Blue Notes ability to crack the Leesider defense and put shots on goal proved to be the deciding factor. Final score Leesiders 2-12 (18) v. Blue Notes 5-7 (22), and with that the Notes earned a spot in the championship match.

A down, but not beaten, Leesider team regrouped and prepared for the second match of the day. Sure, they could no longer make the championship, but an opportunity for a spirit raising victory still existed. Close followers of the league know that the Ports defeated the Leesiders in each of their previous 5 matches. And with that in mind, Captain Gill rallied his team and charged them with winning their final match of the summer. Would the team in white and red find that elusive victory and finish the season on a high note, or would Captain Ouellette’s Ports salt their open wounds?

The match unfolded like so many between these two sides, as players arrived ready to work and evenly matched. The match featured crisp play, effective passing, and brilliant scoring as both sides worked to spoil the other’s day. With 2 minutes to go, the sides were tied. A point for the Ports put them in the lead, followed by a quick answer from the Leesiders. With time nearly expired, the Leesiders were awarded a 65; this would surely be the final play of the day. Johnny Sticks, unable to get a clean lift from the heavy grass, was forced to pull straight away on the ground. It was Sam D’Amico who used his quick feet to win that ball. A pass to the good Dr. Wall, who was perched in the center of the field, resulted in a Leesider point. With that, a final puck out for the Ports was followed by the referee’s fulltime whistle. Leesiders 2-9 (15) v. Ports 2-8 (14).

While the final match of the day would have no impact on the standings, it would offer a preview of the championship match. The Ports and the Blue Notes took to the field for this blue on blue battle. These two tough sides showed all in attendance how they earned their spots in the championship match. Hard, precise play from both sides kept the game tight throughout. While many were wowed by Timothy Ryan Buckley’s massive puck outs, and Jamie Norris’ punishing scores, this reporter was most impressed by the play of the two Mollys (Webb and Bombardi) and Katie Sampuda, who fought hard for every ball, and made massive contributions to their respective teams. The score line was tight throughout the game, but in the end, it was the Blue Notes who edged out the Ports 4-5 (17) to 3-4 (13).

After another amazing day of hurling, the final is set. The championship match will see the Ports face the Blue Notes in what is sure to be a fantastic match. Join us at Heartland Fields in two weeks time on Sunday, August 3 at 4:00.

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NGAC Featured on PorterBriggs.com

PorterBriggs.com, the Voice of the South, just featured the Nashville GAC in their latest online magazine. You can read about our roots and learn where we’re going, or just stop by to thank them for giving us some really good press.

If you’ve been out lately, you know we’re growing at an exciting rate. When Lisa interviewed us for this article, we hadn’t even launched our city league! Now, we’re four weeks in and seeing some exciting play from everyone in the club. Let’s keep sharing with everyone we meet, especially when we get some attention like this from PorterBriggs.com.

Baile Ceol Abù!

 

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Nashville City League Match Report

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).

nashville hurling leagueDid 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.

Nashville hurling city league DSC_4540 DSC_4523 DSC_4519 DSC_4518 DSC_4509 DSC_4494 DSC_4399 DSC_4473 DSC_4387 DSC_4411 DSC_4535All photos by Ashley Raby.

 

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Nashville Hurling League Match Report

Nashville GAC City League Week 2

Jameson Hurley Reporting

Week 2 of the Nashville City League saw three fantastic matches played at our new home pitch, Heartland Fields. Whatever deal the Board made to get the fields must have included a provision that all games be played in 90+ degree weather. It was agreed upon by the captains that water breaks would be taken at the midpoint of each half, and with that hopeful reprieve, the Leesiders and the Ports entered Dante’s Inferno for the first match of the day.

Coming off two defeats in Week 1, Captain Gill’s Leesiders looked to get a win. An enthusiastic pep talk raised the spirits of the white and red side as they took the field. The scoring came quick from both sides, but it was the Ports who pulled to the early lead with back-to-back goals. Johnny “Bad Back” Sticks was put to the test in goals, allowing 3 in the first half alone. The stand out strike of the half came from Renee Anzivino’s foot as she kicked the ball over the head of the Leesider keeper. The Ports were in full control of the match at half, but the Leesiders, with memories of the crushing defeat at the hands of the Ports in week one, were determined to not go down with out a fight. It was C.S. Kammerzell at the helm, seemingly scoring at will. The Leesiders charge was nearly complete when, with scores level, the Ports scored a fantastic goal near the end of the game. In the end, the Ports were the victors in the thrilling and very close match. Ports 4-4 (16) to Leesiders 2-7 (13).

With no rest time for the Leesiders, it was on to the second match of the day. Captain Aaron Joley readied his mighty Blue Notes as the Leesiders took time for a brief recovery. It must have been the painful loss of that very close first match that motivated the Leesiders, as the determined side came out swinging from the opening throw in. It was the skillful C.S. who once again led the charge. Sticks, having learned much from his first time in goal, placed his “goals closed” sign up, denying the Notes several opportunities to hit the back of the net. Jamie Norris and Brendan Reynolds did their best to keep the Blue Notes in the game, but at the end of the day, the scores came too often from the Leesiders, and the Notes fell 8-8 (32) to 2-8 (14).

It was now the Blue Notes turn to rebound from a loss as they remained on the pitch for game 3. The Ports, well rested and hydrated, but maybe a bit stiff, looked to be the early favorites in the game. Nick Chamberlain and Eric Vick gave the Ports the early lead with goals in the opening minutes. But Jamie Norris and Timothy Ryan Buckley were set on saving the day for the Notes. It was clear to all in attendance that the heat was taking its toll on all of the players as tired legs and minds moved about the pitch in lethargic fashion. The game was not without thrills though, and as the clock ran down it was clear that this game was set for a fantastic finish. With the referee’s announcement of a minute to play, both sides dug deep, and pushed for a victory. With 1 last attempt for a point, Jamie Norris burned what little gas was left in his tank, but the score would not come. At the blow of the whistle, the score sheet read: 3-3 (12) to 2-6 (12), a TIE.

Who will come out on top in next week’s matchups? Join us at Heartland fields for all the action. As a reminder, games will begin at NOON so that we can finish in time to cheer on the USA as they take on Portugal. Match 1. Leesiders v. Blue Notes; match 2. Blue Notes v. Ports; match 3. Blue Notes v. Leesiders.

Standings: Ports 10 points, Blue Notes 4 points, Leesiders 3 points

 

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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.