Indianapolis hosted a glorious day of hurling in the Second Annual Hibernian Hurling Invitational on Saturday, August 1 in Westfield, Indiana. The event was attended by hundreds and showcased hurling talent from teams across the Midwest, including Akron, Bloomington, Chicago, and St. Louis.
The six-team tournament was won by the Chicago Cusacks, whose three strong wins that day brought a trophy home to Illinois, and proved without a doubt that the Cusacks club is a force to be reckoned with.
Play commenced at noon and ran until 6:00 pm. In addition to the champion Cusacks, Indy was privedged to welcome the Akron Celtic Guards, the St. Louis Gaelic Athletic Club, and the Bloomington Gaelic Athletic Association. Akron started the day after a long drive against Bloomington, then went on to play a great match against a St. Louis / Indy Select team. Bloomington's second match was against a high-octane St. Louis team, then went on to play in the shield match against Indy Hurling.
Indy Hurling made the best of their day, getting great play from all positions in the three games they fought in. After tough games against St. Louis and Chicago, they played in the shield match, beating the Bloomington team in the penultimate game of the day.
The championship match was between Chicago and St. Louis, each of which won their two earlier games. The first half belonged to Chicago, who racked up a tremendous lead with scoring from many different faces. However, St. Louis kept it a game by roaring back in the second half, threatening to turn a lopsided victory into a couragous comeback. The Cusacks held strong, however, and fought off the valiant effort long enough to claim victory.
As an added bonus to the competition, an informal "team" of youngsters present was formed, trained, and took to the field against Indy Hurling. The youth team won decisively, 20 goals to zero.
Witness to these festivities, which comprised the largest hurling tournament ever held in Indiana, were scores of spectators lining the fields in the shade. The event included concessions provided by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and hurling gear for sale by American Hurling Company. Healing Arts Indy and Mother Nature's Sun provided massages throughout the day.
We certainly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in making the day a success, and that extends to all who travelled from different cities to take part in this event.
Special thanks goes out to Brockway Public House, who hosted afters for the atheletes, and the Westfield Youth Soccer Association for generously allowing use of Habig Fields.