The National Collegiate GAA finals were played over the Memorial weekend at Paddy’s Field in Woodlawn and Gaelic Park with close to 40 games over Saturday and Sunday.
With hurling sides from University of Pittsburgh, St. Thomas Aquinas, University of Montana, University Connecticut, Kean University, Indiana University and Cal University, an intense competition ensued.
First game was at 9 a.m. on Saturday with UConn’s huge panel getting the better of Indiana. It was game two, however, that gave the spectators a view of the future with Montana showing their talents with an easy win over Kean.
A number of New York players were on hand for both Kean and St. Thomas including Stephen Moroney, Matt Schumacher and Eddie Hogan. At end of business on the first day, Montana had the number one seed with Thomas and UConn set as two and three.
In the semifinals St. Thomas had a battle that went down to the literally last puck of the game. UConn had moved ahead by the minimum with a free with 30 seconds left. St. Thomas had one last chance and they moved swiftly to create it.
Getting the ball down the field, it was picked up by Moroney who then headed for goal. He was fouled in the parallelogram for a penalty. The taker Niall O’Connor was told that it would be the last puck of the ball.
Instead of the easy option to tie, O’Connor stepped up and drove the ball to the net for the win and a shot at Montana for all the marbles.
There was to be no fairy tale ending for the local side. Montana with a balanced side was able to withstand anything put in their way. That included 1-1 from Thomas in the first minute of the final.
They reacted and were able to get to the break ahead 2-4 to 1-3. They pushed forward in the second half and ran out 3-10 to 2-4 victors.
In the football bracket five teams took part -- Iona, Manhattan College, Fordham, St. Joseph’s and Boston College. In the final it was extremely difficult to separate Iona and Manhattan, with the game ending 2-8 each after regular time.
Eddie Hogan and Adrian Tansey had the Iona goals while Mike McBrien and Michael Teelan had the Manhattan majors. Iona pulled away in extra time to run out 3-12 to 3-9 winners and the cup going to winning captain Conor Hogan.
Iona: Matt Schumacher Eddie Hogan, Conor Hogan, Adrian Tansey, James Mullan, Rory Redican, Conor Raftery, Manhattan, Pat White, Ed Myers, Mike McBrien, Stephen Moroney, Michael Teelan, Denis Michalak, Mike McSweeney, Vincent Petrlsino.