Indy Hurling are Champions of the Dublin Irishfest Tournament 2007 are some great displays over this past weekend. Indy took on several teams from the mid-west and emerged victorious with the trophy and the title tucked safely under their arm. Indy began their winning ways on Saturday by defeating old rivals Purdue in a hard-fought game, where Kyle LaPrees and others scored a couple of vital goals to ensure victory. Peter Mackey and Neal Mulrooney marshaled the defense superbly throughout the game and limited the opportunities for Purdue to stage any form of comeback.
As Indy traveled in force to Dublin, Ohio, a second team - the All-Stars - was entered in the tournament. The All-Stars took to the field against Akron's Celtic Guards, trying to emulate their club-mates' victory over Purdue. After a great first half, the highlight of which was a fantastic goal by Tim Fick, the All-Stars were sucker punched with a couple of goals right at the final whistle (a whistle that may have come a little early..!!). It was tough loss for the All-Stars, especially as so many like Brian Mathes, Matt Glasheen and Nate Risteen had played so well.
So to Sunday and the Shield Final pitted Indy All-Stars against Purdue. Despite dreadful weather, again, Indy started brightly and found themselves with a good lead at half-time following good scores from Tim Fick, Richard Connolly and Nate Risteen. However, Purdue came back strongly in the second half and really tested the All-Stars. However after a brief delay for lightning, the All-Star players really stepped up to the challenge and defended stoutly. In mid-field, Richard Connolly raised his game and made several relieving clearances and chipped in a couple of scores as well. At the final whistle, the All-Stars had held on for a well-deserved victory and third place in the tournament.
The championship final saw Indy take on Akron in what promised to be a very competitive game. The game began fairly evenly with some well-taken scores by both sides, however, Indy managed to push into a 6 points lead at half-time. Indy expected a strong challenge from Akron in the second half, but they never gave Akron the chance to get going in that second period as they drove hard for the finish line with a barrage of scores. Their were some great passages of inter-play resulting in excellent scores from Brian Church, Ian Heraty and Mike Monaghan. When Akron did get into the Indy defensive third, they found Stephen Quigley, Jim Kelly and David Littlejohn in no mood to permit scores, and Bob Finley in good form in the Indy goals. At the end, Indy were very worthy winners and claimed the inaugural title of Dublin Irishfest Tournament Champions.
Congratulations to everyone from both teams who represented Indy Hurling so well in the tournament games. All should be very proud of the manner, the standard and the quality of their play over the tournament weekend.
Special thanks goes to the Dublin Irishfest Committee and the Akron Celtic Guards for putting on a spectacular weekend.