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Nashville GAC Week 4 Match Report

Jameson Hurley Reporting

At the halfway point of the season, the Ports and the Leesiders continue to fight for top of the table honors, while the Blue Notes still search for their first win. Last week’s matches, the closest in the club’s short, but exciting history, proved that all three teams had the skill and tenacity to win matches. The confidence built by the teams in those nail biters would be put to the test as the league entered its 4th week of play.

In what is shaping up to be quite the rivalry, the first match featured the second place Ports taking on the league leading Leesiders. The short-handed Ports would look to a loan from the Blue Notes, along with a visitor, Eric Weber, from club chairman Johnny Watson’s former club, the St. Louis GAC, to fill out their numbers. The sides took to the pitch, and from the opening whistle, it was clear that this would be a tight battle. The Ports who opened the scoring with an on target shot on goal. The Leesiders responded with a point, but the scoring in the first half would be kept low, due in large part to the defensive efforts of visitor Eric “The Grill” Weber, who, assigned to mark scoring leader, Johnny “Sticks” Watson, held the marksman to just 3 points. After the intermission, the Leesiders, down by 2 points, shifted their tactics, and targeted the Ports’ goal. Nick Chamberlain put 3 in the net, with Sticks finding space and managing 3 more shots over the bar. In the final minute, the Leesiders, down a point, were awarded a free. The attempt to drop the sliotar in deep to set up a goal was thwarted by Ports, which gave them the single point victory. Leesiders 3-7 (16) v. Ports 3-8 (17) Man of the Match: Ports’ forward line playmaker, Joey Whalen.

It was “Man of the Match” from the first game, Joey Whalen, who opened the scoring campaign for the Ports in the day’s second match. The Blue Notes, sensing victory was surely within their grasp after the close match last week, worked to find an answer. The Notes’ Captain, “Griz” Davis, found himself in an intense midfield battle with Ports’ Captain, “Frank” Ouellette, which saw each of them capturing a couple of hard earned points. Ports man, Brendan “Oak” Reynolds, found his way through the Blue Notes’ defense and struck 3 punishing shots on goal that even the swift hands of the keeper, T.R. Buckley, could not stop. The fluid movement and smart teamwork of the Ports put them in scoring position more often, and the halftime score reflected as much with the Ports leading 3-4 to 0-2. The second half lacked the thunder of the first, with the scores being limited to 3 points from the Ports, two of which came from frees. Final score: Ports 3-7 (16) v. Blue Notes 0-2 (2). Man of the Match: Ports’ goal scoring maestro, Brendan Reynolds.

The Blue Notes, determined to not let the match 2 defeat get them down, huddled between games and came up with a new strategy. Big T.R. was relieved of his goal keeping duties and dispatched to the forward line. A confused Johnny Sticks remarked, “Hey, you’re defending that goal,” indicating the opposite direction. “Nope, I’m attacking yours,” remarked Buckley. And attack he did, smashing in 1 goal and 4 points in the first half alone. The game, separated by 1 point in favor of the Leesiders, went to the intermission with both sides gunning for victory. In the second half, the Leesiders, responding to Buckley’s attack in the first half, marked the big man with one of their own, tasking Dan Sachs with shutting down T.R. Buckley. Johnny Watson answering his teams’ call to bring the points, put 3 thrilling shots on goal and 3 more over the bar. Dylan “Double D” Heath, playing well in his role at fullback for the Notes, did his part to minimize the scores, making no fewer than 6 blocks, but in the end that effort would not be enough to see victory for the Blue Notes. Final score: Leesiders 5-9 (24) v. Blue Notes 3-6 (15) Man of the Match: The Leesiders defensive tactician, Dan Sachs

The Ports reclaim their seat at the top of the table, sitting level on point with the Leesiders, but edging them out by a +16 score differential. Newcomer, Dylan Heath, in only his second week of league play claims the Man of the Day honors for his strength on defense for the Blue Notes, while Johnny Watson continues to lead all scorers adding 5 goals and 12 points to his total. Next week’s games kick off at Noon with the Ports v. Blue Notes, followed by the Blue Notes v. Leesiders, and ending with the Leesiders v. Ports. We’ll see you at Heartland Fields for all the action.

FIRST LAST Total Goals Total Points Total Score
Johnny Watson

15

41

86

Brendan  Reynolds

11

8

41

Nick Chamberlain

8

15

39

Jamie Norris

1

21

24

Mike Conway

6

4

22

Brendan Rauer

5

6

21

Corbette Ouellette

3

11

20

Joey Whalen

4

6

18

Ryan Buckley

3

6

15

Grant Gill

3

3

12

Chris Davis

0

12

12

Aaron Joley

2

3

9

Sam D’Amico

1

5

8

David Smith

2

1

7

Thomas Saunders

1

0

3

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

Dan Sachs

0

1

1

 

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Nashville GAC Week 3 Match Report

Match Day 3
Jameson Hurley Reporting

Just as it was beginning to look like summer had released its grip on the Nashville area, the fireball in the sky, having consulted the calendar, gave a nice, hot, last day of summer. The competition in the third week of the Nashville City League was heating up too. Coming into the day, the Ports and Leesiders sat tied in points at the top of the table with the Ports claiming the top spot on score differential, while the Blue Notes looked to get their first win of the season. The gathered crowd was in for a real treat, as the growing skill, confidence, and fitness of the players would surely lead to some quality hurling.

After a hand-passing skills clinic, led by Johnny Watson, the Leesiders under the guidance of Captain Grant “Vinnie” Gill and the Blue Notes, captained by Chris “Griz” Davis took to the pitch. The Blue Notes were the first to strike when birthday boy, Brendan Rauer, put a great shot over the bar. The Blue Notes, invigorated by the score, put the pressure on. Their new mantra, “turn and point,” coupled with some realigned defensive tactics, made it clear that they only had one thing on the mind: victory. Newcomer Dylan “Double D” Heath and standout defender Ashley “Smashley” Tabolinsky, put the Leesiders’ forwards under extreme pressure, while the always sure hands of Timothy Ryan Buckley repelled the Leesiders’ shots on goal. An extraordinary effort on both sides of the pitch kept the sides nearly level throughout, but a late Leesider goal from Jason Clark, would provide the confidence the red side would need to finish the match strong. The referee’s whistle blew shortly thereafter, and after a few moments of scoresheet confusion, it was settled that the final score read: Leesiders 2-11 (17) to Blue Notes 3-4 (13).

Match 2 would prove to be just as exciting and competitive, as the Leesiders remained on the pitch to take on their top-of-the-table rival Ports. After a pitch shift to accommodate a curious game that looked to be a form of Gaelic football where the players were not allowed to take the ball into their hands, shots over the bar counted for nothing, and players spent a considerable amount of time writhing around on the ground, match 2 was off. Strong defense on both sides of the pitch kept the scoring low, and magnificent saves by both goalies meant that the only scores to be had would come from shots over the bar. Johnny Sticks and Nick Chamberlain connected on some key passes, and were able to work the ball over the bar for a few Leesider points, while Jamie Norris, escaping from his position in goal, led the scoring for the Ports. The usually reliable Mike “Spec Ops” Conway saw his shots on goal saved by the valiant efforts of the Leesiders new goalie, “New” Grant Schlisner, who in his first day playing hurling was already proving himself to be a wall through which the sliotar could not penetrate. A strong push by the Ports in the closing minutes, complete with a highlight reel worthy battle between Conway and Chamberlain, would fall just short of leveling the game. At the whistle, the exhausted Leesiders pumped their arms in the air as their single point victory moved them into first place. Leesiders 1-7 (10) to Ports 1-6 (9).

The Blue Notes, rested and relieved from their officiating duties, snapped their helmets back on and took to the pitch to face the Ports in the 3rd match of the Day. Still pained by the earlier close loss, the Blue Notes brought the fight. Much like the previous two matches, this one would prove to be a battle of the defenses. Dug in like soldiers engaged in trench warfare, the sides would attack and retreat with no real gains on the scoreboard. The halftime score reflected the tactics as it read Blue Notes 0-0 to Ports 0-2.  Had the Notes forgotten their new mantra already? The second half was slightly more productive for the Ports as Joey Whalen, Captain Corbett “Frank” Ouellette, and Jamie “Day Job” Norris put up points. To counter the Ports points, the Notes seized a couple of opportunities to break down the Ports’ defense and net 2 goals. With 5 minutes to go, the match was level at 2-1 (7) to 1-4 (7). It would remain so until a shot from Corbett Ouellette sailed over the bar in the closing minute. On a last push, and with time nearly expired, the Blue Notes were awarded a 65. Timothy Ryan Buckley came out of his goal to take the shot and attempt to level the match. It was not to be, however, as his free sailed wide right of the post. Final score Blue Notes 2-1 (7) v. Ports 1-5 (8).

What a day of hurling. The three matches were the closest to date. Johnny Watson spoke to the crowd after saying, “Wow, we had two matches where the teams were only separated by a point, and another separated by a goal and a point. (This is) truly a testament to the improved play of all of the hurlers. The day will be remembered for excellent defensive battles and hard won scores.”

League standings: Leesiders 12 points; Ports 9 points; Blue Notes 0 points. See you at next week’s games. The Leesiders and Ports get things going at Noon at Heartland Fields.

Man of the match for match 1: Jason Clark for his late, confidence building goal
Man of the match for match 2: Grant Schlisner for his goal keeping heroics
Man of the match for match 3: Liam Barry for his critical defensive play
Player of the day: newcomer “New” Grant Schlisner for a standout performance on his very first day playing hurling

Scoring Leaders:

FIRST LAST Total Goals Total Points Total Score
Johnny Watson

10

29

59

Nick Chamberlain

5

14

29

Brendan  Reynolds

6

8

26

Mike Conway

6

4

22

Jamie Norris

1

17

20

Brendan Rauer

4

5

17

Corbette Ouellette

3

7

16

Joey Whalen

3

3

12

Grant Gill

3

2

11

Aaron Joley

2

3

9

Chris Davis

0

9

9

Ryan Buckley

2

2

8

Sam D’Amico

1

4

7

David Smith

2

1

7

Thomas Saunders

1

0

3

Ed Brosz

1

0

3

Jason Clark

1

0

3

Pete Kennedy

0

2

2

Ashley  Tabolinsky

0

2

2

match day 3

Match Day 3

 

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Nashville GAC Autumn League Week 2 Match Report

fall league afters
Jameson Hurley Reporting

Traffic on area highways heading into some other small sporting event at LP Field delayed some players’ arrival at Heartland Fields on Sunday, but all arrived safely and eager to play under the clear blue skies and ideal temperatures. In what will become a weekly feature, Johnny Watson kicked off the afternoon with a skills clinic. Players used this opportunity to focus on the fundamental skills of a proper lift and to warm up ahead of the day’s matches.

Match 1 saw the teams from last week’s midday match, the Ports and the Blue Notes take the field, eager to get the day underway. Cody Murdock opened the scoring with a fantastic point from long range in the early minutes of the match. That, however, would bring the end to the scoring for a good while. Minutes ticked off the clock, as both team’s defenses crushed their opponents attacks. A fan on the sideline was heard to mutter, “Jeez, is anyone going to score?” The halftime score sheet reflected the sentiment with only 1 goal and 3 points registered between the two sides. The second half would be a different story, though, at least for the Ports, who under the leadership of Captain Ouellette managed to put the Blue Notes under great pressure. Mike Conway and Brendan Reynolds opened up on the Notes net, combining for 6 goals between them. And while Timothy Ryan Buckley put shots on target for the Notes, his charge wouldn’t be enough to overcome the Ports’ offense. Ports 5-6 (21) v. Blue Notes 1-2 (5).

Coming off their two victories last week, Captain Gill’s Leesiders took to the pitch to try their luck against Captain Davis’s Blue Notes. The clash started off with some great back-to-back scoring as both teams seized upon weaknesses at midfield and put the sliotar over the bar. Most impressive was the work of Ashley Tabolinsky, whose 2 early points put the Leesiders under real pressure. Captain Davis summed it up well, “Ashley was great. She was aggressive to the ball and didn’t pause when she took her confident shots.” Those points would be offset by an equal number of points along with some goals at the other end, and at intermission, the Leesiders led by 3 goals. The second half opened up for the Leesiders, with club Chairman and last week’s top scorer, Johnny “Sticks” Watson along with Nick Chamberlain and Sam D’Amico, adding to the scoring total. Final score: Leesiders 6-7 (25) v. Blue Notes 1-5 (8).

The Leesiders, showing signs of strain from the victory over the Blue Notes, remained on the pitch to battle the Ports in the third match of the day. The match turned out to be a battle of the midfields, and for much of the 30 minutes, it was the midfield of the Ports that held control. The Ports, with their quick feet, sure hands, and accurate passing mounted a full team attack, finding points and goals at every turn. The sides headed into the halftime break level on points, but with the Ports holding a 3-goal advantage. The second half brought more of the same, and while Chamberlain and Watson kept the points coming, the lack of teamwork from the Leesiders, combined with a barrage of points from the Ports gave the dark blue side the clear advantage at the full-time whistle. A confident Captain Ouellette said, “The Iron Hurl (league championship trophy) will remain in the hands of the Ports at the end of the season.” If his side’s teamwork, good hands, and determination in this game are any indication, his prophecy just might come true. Ports 7-8 (29) v. Leesiders 2-9(15).

At the close of week 3, the Leesiders and the Ports sit in first and second with 9 points each, but the Ports 13 point goal/point differential advantage, puts them at the top of table. It was another fantastic week of hurling, proof that the ancient game has a firm grip on Nashville. Jen Barry, club public relations officer, summed it up well: “The games were great, and each week the quality of play improves. This week was even more exciting and skillful than last week.” It is her great hope that “the Ports win the league, and that we can recruit enough players to add a fourth team in the spring season.”

We’ll see you next week at noon at Heartland Fields for all the hurling action in week 3 of the autumn league.

Season scoring leaders:

FIRST LAST G1 P1 TOTAL
Johnny Watson

9

18

45

Mike Conway

6

4

22

Nick Chamberlain

4

9

21

Brendan  Reynolds

4

7

19

Jamie Norris

1

11

14

Corbette Ouellette

3

4

13

Joey Whalen

3

2

11

Grant Gill

3

1

10

Aaron Joley

2

3

9

Chris Davis

0

7

7

Brendan Rauer

1

3

6

Sam D’Amico

1

3

6

David Smith

1

1

4

Ryan Buckley

1

1

4

Thomas Saunders

1

0

3

Ed Brosz

1

0

3

Pete Kennedy

0

2

2

Ashley

0

2

2

 

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Nashville GAC Autumn Hurling League Opening Day

team photo
Jameson Hurley Reporting

In stark contrast to the brutally hot days of the Nashville summer hurling league, the autumn league kicked off under overcast skies and temperatures that topped out in the mid 70/20’s. At high noon, the players from the three newly drafted teams gathered for opening ceremonies. Grammy award winning country musician, Pete Kennedy from Birr, Co. Offaly was on hand to throw the ceremonial first ball in to retiring captain, Aaron Joley and summer league champion captain, Corbett Ouellette. And with that toss, the league was underway.

The Leesiders, under the guidance of captain Grant Gill, took to the pitch against Captain Ouellette’s Ports for the first match of the day. The Leesiders grabbed the ball off the initial throw in, but nerves and rust resulted in chaotic play and an eventual shot wide of the posts. As the early minutes ticked by, it was clear that these two teams were evenly matched, but it was captain Ouellette’s Ports who got off to an early lead. One of the summer leagues’ top scorers, Jamie Norris of the Ports along with Brendan “OAK” Reynolds, were in fine form as they racked up points from play. With minutes to go in the half, special guest Pete Kennedy subbed in for the Leesiders, and while it is well known that the singer/songwriter can play guitar, all in attendance were witness to the fact that he can also play hurling. With the Ports leading at half, Captain Gill gathered his Leesiders and refocused their attentions to the task at hand. Whatever he said must have worked, because they came out firing. Nick Chamberlain and Johnny “Sticks” Watson, who seemed to be practicing their wides in the first half, straightened out their shots. Their points along with some goals from Watson and Gill were enough to put the Leesiders over the top. Final score 1-7 (10) to 3-7 (16) in favor of the Leesiders.

A reporter and a photographer from the local newspaper, The Tennessean, were on hand for the opening throw in of the day’s second match between Captain Corbett “Frank” Ouellette’s Ports and the Blue Notes under the leadership of Chris “Griz” Davis. Although they’d just battled the Leesiders, Ouellette’s Ports looked fresh and ready for play. Jamie Norris seemed to find his stride as he pointed at will. The Notes’ offense was strong, too, as they worked together to put the sliotar over the bar. At the half, the Ports, who were able to find holes in the Notes’ defense and score goals held a solid lead. The second half proved to be a duplicate of the first, with Norris on pointing duty, while Brendan Reynolds, Mike Conway, and Joey Whalen found the back of the net. One of the most thrilling goals of the day came when Thomas Saunders, unwilling to give up on his attack, took a massive shot on goal, which brought the Ports’ goal total to 6. While the Blue Notes kept it nearly level on points, it would be those six goals, coupled with what the Tennessean reported as the “barked instructions” from Captain Ouellette, that put the Ports on top in the end. Ports 6-7 (25) v. Blue Notes 1-6 (9).

The third match of the day saw Captain Gill’s Leesiders return to the pitch to face the tired but not defeated Blue Notes. The campaign took off with energy and enthusiasm, as both teams fought hard for the ball and attacked early. Captain Davis reworked his line-up and positioned his Notes for a more effective defense and a more precise offense. But would it be enough? The Leesiders game 1 “wide shooters,” Chamberlain and Watson, must have spent the break between games practicing their shots and passes as they seemed to find sure footing, precision passing, and shots on target to be the order of the this match. In defense for the Notes, goalie Cody Murdock and backs Caleb Harper and newcomer Padraig “Fish” Dùna made some magnificent saves and clearances, but the Notes were not able to capitalize with scores. Skillful hurling and clean teamwork by the Leesiders gave them their second victory on the day with a final score of 6-8 (26) to 1-5 (8).

After the first week of the 8-week season, the Leesiders top the table with 6 points, followed by the Ports with 3, and the Blue Notes with 0. Where will they stand at the end of next week? Be sure to check back for all of the news from Heartland Fields.

Don’t miss the incredible photo album by Tennessean photographer Mark Zaleski. 

FIRST LAST GOALS POINTS TOTAL
Johnny Watson

3

8

17

Grant Gill

3

1

10

Nick Chamberlain

2

4

10

Aaron Joley

2

3

9

Jamie Norris

0

9

9

Brendan  Reynolds

1

4

7

Mike Conway

2

1

7

Joey Whalen

2

0

6

Brendan Rauer

1

3

6

Chris Davis

0

5

5

Thomas Saunders

1

0

3

Ed Brosz

1

0

3

Pete Kennedy

2

2

team photo

Many thanks to Mark Zaleski, Brian Wilson, Pete Kennedy and family, and Sky network for joining us on this exciting day!

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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.

IMG_4497 IMG_4518 IMG_4522 IMG_4530 IMG_4532

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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