Hot-tempered fight breaks out during goodwill GAA game between Galway and Dublin hurlers, at Fenway Park, in Boston.YouTube

A goodwill game between Galway and Dublin hurlers, at Boston’s famed Fenway Park on Sunday, descended into a brawl with players from both sides fighting each other in a hot-tempered incident.

The game, created by the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), featured two of Ireland’s finest hurling teams, Galway and Dublin, and a massive crowd of 30,000 at Fenway, where the night before 38,000 sports fans watched the Boston College vs Notre Dame game.

Players pause for a press shot before the big game.

Players pause for a press shot before the big game.

The Notre Dame nickname the “Fighting Irish” could hardly have been more apt for what happened between Dublin and Galway.

Spectators might have been excused for thinking the hurling game was featuring WWE wrestling rules as a fight broke out that saw players running the length of the field to be involved. The brawl stopped and restarted several times. The teams both play in the Leinster province back home and are keen rivals. (Galway, though based in Connacht, has no hurling opposition there.)

Of course there was a massive reaction on Twitter to such a display:

It was the second hurling game in America featured by the GPA. Two years ago a game took place at the Notre Dame lacrosse stadium in South Bend, IN which was considered an unqualified success.

The game featured different rules with 11 players on side, as opposed to the usual 15, and only goal-scoring allowed (no points for balls hit through the uprights), but there was clearly an edge to the match right from the beginning.

The GPA has done sterling work introducing Irish games to American audiences and holding fundraisers for players, who are all amateurs with psychological and physical ailments.

Last year a Galway hurler took his life after suffering depression and the GPA had intervened successfully in many other cases.

But Sunday’s game will not be on the highlight reel after the shenanigans which left many of the American spectators surprised and nonplussed. What should have been an exemplary sporting occasion instead became an all-out brawl.