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Congratulations to Our Fall 2016 League Champions Quore!

quore fall league champions

Following our longest and most successful season to date, Team Quore, captained by Ben Flynn, took home the Harper Hurl after the championship match yesterday. Their competition, Homegrown, was captained by Trevor Hoagland. Homegrown edged out the third team, Beer Pale, during last week’s matches, when Beer Pale had to forfeit the first match of the day with too few players.

While Quore hit the ground running during the first of the season, easily winning match after match, both Beer Pale and Homegrown experienced tremendous improvement throughout the fall. Homegrown took two or three weeks to find their stride, as Beer Pale handed them loss after loss. Somewhere around the halfway mark, however, the tides turned. While Quore was still the big winner most weeks, Beer Pale and Homegrown began a fierce battle for the second spot in the championship.

Captain Ben Flynn assembled a crack team from some of the most experienced players on the NGAC roster, as well as two newcomers, including Doug Shaughnessy and Thom Watkins. Thom also took home the “Man of the Match” trophy yesterday. Also making up Quore’s team were Britti Layne, the Woman of the Match, Greg Roberts, Virginia Poole, Chris Davis, Ryan Buckley, David Bowen, Bill Rodriguez, Aaron Joley, and Ashley Murdock (absent during the championship match).

Homegrown also started the season with several new players, some of whom had never played a match before the first sliotar dropped on September 11. New players included Danny Espensen, Ryan Culligan, Chase Quirk, Frank Prather (who was absent during the championship match), and Andrew Tiller (playing his second season with the NGAC). Anchored by experienced players Brenden Rauer, Rayne Leonard, Liam Barry, Samantha Hoagland, Sam D’Amico (also missing from the championship match), Molly Buckley, and Captain Trevor Hoagland, the Homegrown rookies quickly caught up, winning one match over Quore last week before heading into the championship game yesterday.

man and woman of the match

Indeed, Thom Watkins and Britti Layne exhibited tremendous skill yesterday, with both responsible for most of the points on the board for Quore. Also of note from the Quore side were Aaron Joley, with perhaps his best hurling performance to date; Chris Davis, who split his time between turning in a spectacular performance and mentoring his rookie opponent; and Virginia Poole, who, in her second season with the NGAC, put some points on the board, as well.

The Homegrown squad also turned in spectacular displays, with Andrew Tiller performing jaw-dropping defense on several occasions, Liam Barry frustrating the Quore offense whenever possible, Danny Espensen playing injured (don’t tell his doctor!), Brendan Rauer’s dogged offense, and Ryan Culligan, who put points up for Homegrown.

As thrilled as we all are for Quore members, the real winner here is the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club. This season was filled with some of the best hurling we’ve seen in our three and a half years of existence. We owe it to our captains, Ben, Trevor, and Caleb of Beer Pale, and to our seasoned players who have challenged and guided new members over the past few months.

Though competitive hurling is closed for the season, we look forward to a bright 2017 and a spring league filled with even more new players. Thanks to all who came out to support us this fall. We can’t wait to see you next year!

quore and homegrown

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Nashville GAC Fall League Championship Report

ports win fall league 2015

Jameson Hurley Reporting

Nashville, TN

November 1, 2015

 

Ports and Leesiders Battle for League Title

After 6 weeks of league play, the Ports faced off against the Leesiders to decide who would be crowned champions. The Leesiders earned a chance to challenge the league-leading Ports when they narrowly defeated the Blue Notes in week 6. The Ports, who suffered two defeats in week 6, would look to break the Leesiders’ newfound momentum in hopes of hoisting the Harper Iron Hurley at the day’s end.

Pace and Skill Mark the Opening Minutes

To say that the atmosphere was tense with anticipation would be an understatement. The captains, Brendan Rauer for the Ports and Corbett Ouellette for the Leesiders, rallied their sides, and the teams took to the pitch. From the opening whistle, the play was fast and furious. Johnny Watson was the first to find the target when his long shot, which looked to be headed for a point, slipped just under the bar for a Ports’ goal. Watson was quick to follow with a point, giving the Ports a confidence building early lead of 1-1 to no score. The Leesiders, finding motivation under the zealous cheering of Captain Ouellette, tightened their defense and played smart balls into their forward line. Ouellette, along the quick and agile Grant Gill found the target for the Leesiders, leveling the score.

Keeper Barry Stands Strong

The Ports tried to respond, but despite some great balls into the forward line, the confident goalkeeping of Liam Barry denied the Ports time after time. The boy from Cork, Barry, would bring the crowd to their feet as he blocked a shot from the Ports’ powerful mid-fielder, Nick Chamberlain, and made a spectacular second save when Chamberlain attempted to strike Barry’s ricochet into the net. Barry would certainly be a nominee for man-of-the-match honors for his first-half performance, which along with the spectacular defense from Coby Baker and Chris Davis shut down the Ports for the remainder of the half, and a late-half goal gave the Leesiders the lead going into the break. Ports 1-2 (5) to Leesiders 2-2 (8).

Ports Fight Back

The second half saw the Leesiders open the scoring when Officer David “Hightower” Smith, relieved for the day from his patrol duties, found the back of the Ports’ net. Although Johnny Watson and Nick Chamberlain found a couple of points to keep the Ports in it, the match looked to be the Leesiders’ for the taking. A shift in the match came when Ports’ Captain, Brendan Rauer, moved Sam D’Amico onto the forward line and slid Katie Sampuda up into the midfield. D’Amico, on his first touch at Corner Forward, skirted a ball past the Leesider Keeper for a goal. He was quick to follow with a second, which brought the sides level.

As the tough play continued up front for the Ports, their defense came into form. Torrey Stroud shut down “Hightower” Smith, while the rookie, Emily Rodriguez did well to put up some strong defensive pressure, winning balls and playing them into the Ports’ midfield. The Ports gained confidence as the half wore on, playing excellent team hurling—defending, passing, and setting each other up for scoring opportunities. Grant Gill and Corbett Ouellette did well to win balls in the midfield for the Leesiders, but their hard work rarely resulted in points. Johnny Watson sent a screamer from near the 20-meter line into the upper corner of the keeper’s net, while D’Amico continued his goal scoring ways. Chamberlain and Caleb Harper added to the Ports’ tally with fine points from range.

Leesiders Fight Hard in Closing Minutes

As the match moved into the closing minutes, both sides dug deep into their reserves. The Ports hoped to hold onto their lead, as the Leesiders fought hard to get back into the game. But as time wore down, it looked to be the Ports’ day. A late goal from the Leesiders, while spectacular to watch, would be not be enough to secure the win for the red and white side. With one last look at his watch, the referee blew the final whistle, and players from both sides fell to their knees, having given it all in the closing minutes. Cheers erupted from the sidelines as much for the fantastic match as for the Ports’ victory. Ports 6-6 (24) to Leesiders 4-3 (15).

Ports Hoist the Iron Hurley

After a thrilling match, and a competitive and exhilarating season, the “Harper Iron Hurley” was presented to Ports’ captain, Brendan Rauer. Rauer, who was sporting in victory, paid tribute to his fellow captains, Ashley Tabolinsky – Blue Notes and Corbett Ouellette – Leesiders, thanking them for their hard work all season in leading their teams. Club Chairman, Johnny Watson, thanked the captains and players stating that, “this was the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club’s most competitive season to date.” Excellent matches all season culminated in a superb championship match and a season that will be remembered for its passion, sportsmanship, and excellent hurling.

Baile Ceol Abú

 

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Nashville Hurling League Championship Match

Jameson Hurley Reporting

After 7 weeks of regular season play, it all came down to this: The Ports under the guidance of Captain Corbett Ouellette earned to right to face the Leesiders, captained by Grant Gill in the league championship match. These two teams spent the regular season swapping spots at the top of the table, so it was only fitting that they would take to the field on the day of the final to settle the score. Would the Iron Hurl remain in the hands of the Ports, or would the Leesiders take possession of the coveted prize?

As the captains readied their teams, the crowd began to gather under the clear blue skies of the autumn afternoon. Opening ceremonies commenced with the presentation of the teams, followed by beautiful renditions of the National Anthems of Ireland and the United States, sung by Caleb Ben Harper and Jennifer Barry, respectively. Ports man, Mike Conway, and Nashville Pipe and Drums Major, Nathan Dungan, gave the crowd a special treat, putting on a fantastic musical display on the bagpipes. And with that, the players took to the field for 60 minutes of much anticipated action.

The early minutes were filled with nerves as players from both sides made sloppy work of the game, and the usually sure striking players, Jamie Norris (Ports) and Johnny Watson (Leesiders), put their first attempts well wide of the posts. It was the Leesiders who were the first to calm down though, taking the first point of the game with nearly 3 minutes of time expired. That point was quickly followed by a goal from the Leesiders’ left corner forward, Dan Sachs. In response, Ports man, Jamie Norris looked to even the match, taking every opportunity to send the ball over the bar, which he would do on 4 occasions during the half. The calm winds aided the goalies in their ability to drop long puck outs out to the wings of the field, and great clashes ensued as players fought to win the ball and set up scores.

The match was shaping up to be the exciting battle that all had anticipated with great hurling coming from both sides, but substitute Alan O’Connor, who came off the bench for the Leesiders, would prove to be the difference-maker in the first half. His play, controlling the midfield, and giving another option to the Leesiders regular attackers, Chamberlain, Watson, and Sachs, opened up play and opened the door for the scores to tally up in favor of the team in red.

The half came to an end, just after the chaos and confusion from a last minute injury to Ports forward, Joey Whalen, was cleared up. It was reported to the sideline that Whalen (who it turned out had simply twisted his ankle) suffered a break. Physiotherapist, Michelle Dickston, responded to the calls for help, and found Spec Ops Conway holding Whalen’s left ankle. She began examining it, with Whalen responding that everything felt fine on that ankle, only to follow up with, “it’s actually my right ankle.” Alan O’Connor would later be heard to remark, “it was like an episode of M*A*S*H out there.” With that all cleared up, the half came to a close, with the Leesiders leading 5-9 (24) to 1-5 (8).

After the intermission, and with the captains agreeing to allow two Blue Notes to join the now short-sided Ports, the players took to the field for the second half. This would not be a repeat of the first half, as the Ports, not ready to give up the fight, mounted an all hands-on-deck attack. Timothy Ryan Buckley, now in goal for the Ports, closed off the leaky first-half net, while Mike Conway and Jamie Norris focused their attention on attacking the Leesiders goal. The two would combine for 6 goals in the half. Recognizing the threat coming from these two powerful strikers, Captain Gill repositioned his players, and worked to shut down the big men. As the half wore on and the players wore down, the Leesiders found the strength to forge forward and get scores of their own. The red sides’ regular scorers were added by shots on target by Captain Gill and Sam D’Amico, and in the end it was their teamwork and tenacity that would see them raise the Iron Hurl at the end of the day.

Final score: Leesiders 9-15 (42) to Ports 7-6 (27)

Leesiders: Katie Sampuda, Molly Webb, Ed Brosz, Nick Chamberlain, Grant Gill (C.) (1-1),  Sam D’Amico (0-1), Alan O’Connor (1-8), Nick Chamberlain (2-2), Johnny Watson (1-3), Dan Sachs (3-1), Grant Schlisner

Ports: Liam Barry, Molly Bombardi-Mount, Mike Conway (3-1), Jamie Norris (4-4), Joey Whalen (0-1), Corbett Ouellette (C.), Thomas Saunders, Timothy Ryan Buckley (loan), Caleb Harper (loan)

Man of the match honors go to the men and women of the Nashville Gaelic Athletic club for their hard work promoting and playing hurling in Nashville Tennessee.

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Season Scoring totals:

FIRST LAST Total Goals Total Points Total Score
Johnny Watson

20

56

116

Nick Chamberlain

10

17

47

Mike Conway

14

5

47

Jamie Norris

6

29

47

Brendan  Reynolds

11

11

44

Brendan Rauer

8

7

31

Dan Sachs

7

2

23

Corbette Ouellette

3

12

21

Ryan Buckley

3

11

20

Joey Whalen

4

6

18

Grant Gill

4

6

18

Chris Davis

1

13

16

David Smith

4

3

15

Alan O’Connor

1

8

11

Aaron Joley

2

3

9

Sam D’Amico

1

6

9

Thomas Saunders

2

0

6

Renee Anzivino

2

0

6

Ed Brosz

1

0

3

Jason Clark

1

0

3

Eric Weber

0

3

3

Pete Kennedy

0

2

2

Ashley Tabolinsky

0

2

2