2014 NCGAA National Championship to be Held in New York

The NCGAA has announced that the US national collegiate GAA championships for the 2013/2014 academic year will be hosted in New York. The tournament will take place over the Memorial Day weekend, May 24 and 25. This will be the fourth year’s running of the national college hurling championship and its first appearance on the East coast. It will also be the first running of the national college Gaelic football championship.

“The NCGAA is committed to developing the collegiate GAA system on the East coast, particularly to bolster the Gaelic football movement that has been taking root there,” said Eamonn Gormley, NCGAA Chairman. “The Northeast Collegiate GAA is a new regional committee under strong leadership, we have the utmost confidence in their ability to host this event, and our ambition to develop the northeast region is underlined by our hosting this event in New York.”

Simon Gillespie, Chairman of the NECGAA, has welcomed the decision. “We are delighted to get to host this growing movement in New York,” he said. “New York has a long and proud GAA tradition, but we also recognize the importance of the collegiate system in securing our future growth and keeping underage players engaged with the GAA as they get older. It protects our investment in youth.”

A total of three bids were submitted from collegiate clubs eager to host the tournament, two of which came from the northeast. The bid to host it in New York came from the University of Connecticut Hurling Club. The NCGAA selected New York due to “a combination of the impressive facilities and the enthusiastic support for the bid that came from the local GAA community.”

The hurling club at the University of California, Berkeley, (Cal) are the current holders of the national collegiate hurling championship title and will now face a challenging journey across the country to retain the title. Meanwhile the national title in Gaelic football is yet to be claimed.

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Cal Roar to Great Victory

Cal had a fitting end to their epic 2013 campaign at Purdue on Saturday. After many player had driven 2,300 miles in a van, they overcame Indiana University in a grueling final to take the national championship.


Indiana University 3-6 (15) Purdue 2-7 (13)
Indiana University 1-3 (6) Cal 5-11 (26)
Cal 1-15 (18) Purdue 4-3 (15)

Final: Cal 2-9 Indiana University 1-9 (12)

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National Championship Schedule Update

Schedule for this weekend’s national championship at Purdue (subject to change) is as follows.

Format: Round robin, top two go to final. Any ties settled by scoring difference.

10:00am – Indiana v Purdue
12:00pm – Indiana v Cal
2:00pm – Cal v Purdue
5:00 – Final (if Cal are in the final)

2:30pm – Final (if Cal are not in the final)
5:00pm – NCGAA Annual General Meeting

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Davis v Stanford Video Highlights

The video highlights and interviews of the Davis-Stanford game are up and ready for viewing. A big thanks to Eamonn for his work in putting these together.

Match Highlights:


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Cal vs. Stanford Match Summary

Exciting college hurling over the weekend!

Stanford and Cal squared off at Treasure Island for the first of their two matches this CCGAA season. The weather was beautiful, but of course the high-quality hurling was even finer on the eyes. Stanford was reeling from the unexpected loss of two of its members before the match, leaving it down a man and at a significant disadvantage. Fortunately, Dariusz Wodziak was ready to fill in as the 9 v 9 game commenced. Cal was also missing two of its most experienced players due to injury.

The early minutes of the first half proved cagey and low-scoring. Stanford missed several mid-range point opportunities, while Cal was unable to convert on a series of frees and 65′s. Both sides played very physically, and with about a quarter gone the score remained a hotly contested Stanford 0-2 | 0-1 Cal. But late in the second half Stanford added two goals and several points to take a halftime lead of Stanford 2-4 | 0-3 Cal.

The second half proved much higher scoring. Cal substituted regularly to remain fresh, but were unable to break past the stalwart Stanford defense and goalkeeping until late in the second half. The Stanford team- without any subs available- began to get winded, but was able to slow the tempo of play thanks to the lead established in the first half. Stanford’s experience also shone through. Solid defensive work from Sean Troxel and Gearoid O’Brien provided the basis for strong scoring plays from Colin Roach and Chris Herries further forward. In the end, Stanford came out with a fine win, final score : Stanford 5-12 | 1-4 Cal.

We are all looking forward to seeing the next round of action- May 4th, back at Treasure Island again.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the Cal and Stanford team pages.

Be sure to check back for video highlights in a few days!


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Southern Collegiate GAA Forms

To support of the aims of the National Collegiate GAA (NCGAA) in the region, Eamonn Gormley, NCGAA Chairman, organized the first Southern Collegiate GAA (SCGAA) Division on October 28th, 2012.

Attendees of this founding meeting included both collegiate and non-collegiate supporters from Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee elected the following board of directors: Chairman Scott Graves (Orlando HC/SED PRO), Secretary Tim Buckley (Middle Tennessee State University HC Pres), and Member at Large John Watson (Middle Tennessee State University HC.

“Our area of responsibility is massive.” said Graves, “We cover a 12 state area bounded by Texas and North Carolina.” Initially the group will serve as communications conduit between the NCGAA and area collegiate units as they seek volunteers in each state to help spread Gaelic sports.

Collegiate participation in the South is currently sparse, and clearly lead by the energetic Middle Tennessee State University Hurling Club. However, Ryan Shrum, founder of the Charleston Hurling Club and Pat Doab, President of The Celtic Cowboys, Austin TX both indicate there may be new universities entering the SCGAA landscape. Chasing these leads, the SCGAA staff is currently engaging potential organizers at The Citidel; The Military College of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina, and Texas A&M University.

Though college v college play is the foremost priority of both the NCGAA and SCGAA, both national and divisional branches hope to encourage a symbiotic relationship between college units and local area clubs. This relationship is demonstrated by the Celtic Cowboys in assisting in organizing Gaelic football matches for Texas A&M in the spring of 2013 and with club practice and area tournament invitations by the Charleston HC.

To learn how you can support the NCGAA, visit their Find a Club page. A Southern Collegiate GAA website/FaceBook presence is forthcoming but the Southern Collegiate GAA staff can be reached as follows:

Scott Graves, Chairman pro.southeast.usa@gaa.ie
Tim Buckley, Secretary trbuck13@gmail.com
John Watson, Member at Large hjwatson@gmail.com

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California Season Opener

Cal and Stanford joined local clubs Na Fianna and St Joseph’s for an informal tournament at Stanford on Sunday to get the college hurling season started.

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Purdue to Host 2013 National College Hurling Championship

The National Collegiate Gaelic Athletic Association (NCGAA) has announced that the 2013 National College Hurling Championship will be held at Purdue University over the Memorial weekend of May 25 and 26. The Championship will travel back east to the home of the current hurling national champions after their victory in the 2012 National Championship at Stanford University.

“The NCGAA is excited to have our flagship competition hosted on the home campus of the reigning national college hurling champions,” said Eamonn Gormley, NCGAA Chairman. “We look forward to rising to the challenge of getting even more teams into the games in 2013 and keeping this movement growing.”

This will be the second consecutive time that the competition has been held on a college campus, drawing more attention from American college students toward the ever growing sport. It promises to be an exciting event held at a great venue.

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Video Highlights from National Championship

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Purdue takes 2012 National Championship

Purdue University claimed the 2012 NCGAA hurling championship over Memorial Day weekend, beating hosts Stanford University in Sunday afternoon’s final. The tournament also featured full squads from UC-Berkeley and UC-Davis, meaning that the number of full squads participating doubled from last year’s inaugural championships in Chicago, when Indiana and Purdue had full teams and a third team was created from Berkeley, Stanford and Pittsburgh players. This year’s edition was also historic in that it was the first time the championship was hosted at a college campus.

The tournament started Saturday morning, perhaps fittingly,with a match between Stanford and Cal, the first two schools to play an intercollegiate match in North America. Stanford had swept through the California championships this year, but this match was close throughout, with just three points separating the teams as time ticked down in the second half. The Cardinal pulled away to win 4-6 (18) to 3-1 (10), but the tone was set for an intense weekend of hurling.

The next match, Purdue vs Davis, did not look that way at the beginning, as the midwesterners raced out to an 8-0 lead. But Davis — the newest team in the competition, having played competitive matches for just two years — came back and actually had a one point lead (3-3 to 1-8) at the half. Purdue’s experience won out in the end, though, as the match ended in a 5-15 (30) to 5-5 (20) Boliermakers victory.

After a lunch break, Davis was back at it against Stanford, and once again the story was much different from the CCGAA season — the ever-improving Davis squad was neck-and-neck with the hosts, only down a single point at the half. However, Stanford found its rhythm in the second half, ripping off a flurry of long range points and a few timely goals to grab a 4-18 (30) to 5-6 (21) win.

In the final match of a jam-packed Saturday, Cal and Purdue had themselves a goal-scoring bonanza — of the 47 total points in the match, 36 came from goals. Purdue opened the scoring with four straight goals, and while Berkeley came back to make a match of it, the final score ended up 7-8 (29) to 5-3 (18).

Given that the final two matches of the round-robin would be repeats of the already-determined final and third place matches, they were abandoned to allow for more rest on Sunday. That meant Sunday’s first match was the third place game between Cal and Davis, and what a match it was. Davis jumped out to a 15-1 lead to start the match, but the Golden Bears patiently clawed their way back into the game, cutting it to 16-9 at the half and eventually taking the lead at 17-16 in second half.

It looked like they had an incredible victory wrapped up with a 22-19 lead with just minutes left, but the referee awarded a free to Davis from about 25 yards out. Mitch Hennessy buried it into the corner of the net, and it was all square again. It was not to be Davis’ day, though, as Cal’s Gerard O’Reilly put a long range point over the bar, and Berkeley added a goal and a point as Davis pushed forward to equalize. The game of the tournament ended in a 5-12 (27) to 6-4 (22) Berkeley victory.

Unfortunately, the final could not match the third place game in excitement. It was physical and hard-fought by both teams, but Purdue took an early lead and took the Stanford midfield off of its game with swarming defense, not allowing them to play their attacking style. The Cardinal showed heart in mounting a late comeback, but it was too little too late, and Purdue iced the game with a few late goals as Stanford pushed its backs forward. Ironically, the final saw the largest margin of victory, at 5-15 (30) to 2-6 (12).

It was hard luck for a Stanford team missing three of its players out of town for the weekend, but Purdue were deserving winners. They played their best game when it mattered most, and executed to perfection. And while much was made of the numerous Irish players in their squad, the truth is that their American-born players were just as impressive. In the end, it was a great weekend for the Purdue hurling squad, and an even better one for college hurling as a whole.

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