Indy Hurling Club members battled the Midwest humidity, heat, and hurling elite as they took part in the Second Annual St. Louis Gaelic Sports Festival held last Saturday, July 11.
Festivities in the full-day event included Gaelic Football, Hurling, and Camogie competition. Indy participated in the hurling tournament, where we were joined by clubs from St. Louis, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Indy brought enough players to field two teams in the tournament. St. Louis broke into two teams as well. With the addition of Chicago and D.C., six teams in all participated in the two-division tournament.
As the club has come to expect from our neighbors in St. Louis, the organization of events was flawless and entertaining. Vendors of foods, beverages, and Irish goods lined the sidelines of glorious Buder Park. Our own Steve Quigley displayed his impressive line of locally-made hurleys and equipment for sale, and still managed to lead his team through three tough matches.
Temperatures in St. Louis reached 87 degrees in the hazy sun, with humidity peaking at 94%, for a scorching heat index of 112 degrees. Nature took its toll on the stamina of our players, who fought to stay cool and hydrated.
Indy A won the first game of the morning against the St. Louis B team, then went on to tie Chicago in our second meeting in two weeks. Despite great effort in the stifling heat, they finished their day with a loss to St. Louis A. Through three games, Littlejohn and Phil did their best to control the midfield, with Richard and Monaghan placing well-earned points. John, Nate, Katie, and Chris played well and got a major tournament under their belts. Ciaran was his usual self, and Andrew seemed to thoroughly enjoy his time in goal.
Indy B won their first outing as well, beating a very respectable Washington team handily. Indy B went on to lose their next two matches against the St. Louis A team and Chicago. Rudy played like a defensive genious, and Brian Mathes showed his versatility by playing defense and adding to the scoring as well. Tim Lilla found the back of the net for a great goal, and Tommy sneaked several shots behind the three defenses he faced. Quigley contolled the flow of the game with his midfield leadership, with help on the side from Mike Green. Kyle played inspired defense for a newbie.
With three impressive wins for the day, the St. Louis A team was crowned tournament champions.
The sporting events were followed by continued hospitality from our fellow hurlers of St. Louis, who joined us at the nearby Tower Pub and Amsterdam Tavern. Club members enjoyed BBQ and other refreshments as we relaxed after a draining day.
Indy Hurling is grateful for the hard work and thoughtful planning the St. Louis Gaelic Athletic Club showed in hosting this event. We remain inbebted to St. Louis for the genuine interest they have always had in helping us grow our club, as well as their unbeatable hospitatility. We look forward to our next meeting at our Habig Invitational in two weeks.