The New York hurlers reached the shield final of The Gathering tournament in Galway last weekend after a busy three day schedule which saw the side play four games.
After a successful group stage where they defeated a rest of Britain select in their first game by 5-14 to 2-7 on Thursday, and then drew with San Francisco in a thriller, 2-15 to 1-18, in the first game Friday, they lost their final group game to London’s Kilburn Gaels, the side that was to go on and win the tournament, by 3-22 to 1-7.
New York jumped into an early 0-3 to nothing lead over Britain in the first game with Donie Broderick having the honor of getting the first score. Their opponents did reply with a goal after seven minutes, but the Big Apple quickly cancelled it out with a Danny Breen goal when he soloed in for 20 yards before driving to the net.
A string of points followed with David Hallinan getting three before Donie Broderick had the side’s second goal with 10 minutes left in the half. They went into the break 2-9 to 1-02 ahead.
A brace of goals from Mike Maher in the second half helped the side ease to the finish line with Paul Loughnane and Ger Kelly (two) also adding points. The New York scorers: Mike Maher (2-0), David Hallinan (0-5), Donie Broderick (1-2), Ger Kelly (0-4), Danny Breen (1-1), Ger Crowe (1-0), Darren Coffey (0-1), Paul Loughnane (0-1).
In New York’s second game they faced stiff competition from San Francisco. The west coasters held a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after six minutes in a high scoring opening and they were punishing any New York indiscretions with points from frees.
Pat Egan brought the sides back on level terms with a solo run and goal eight minutes in which was followed by a Kelly free for a slim 1-3 to 0-5 lead with 10 minutes gone. But San Fran reacted positively with five of the next seven points.
Kelly, Egan and Broderick all got on the New York scoresheet as the half drew to a close but they still trailed 0-14 to 1-8 at the short whistle.
Goal keeper Stephen Delaney had an inspirational free to open New York’s account in the second half while Kelly also launched a 65 over the lathe, but their opponents also had a brace at the other end.
New York also lost Loughnane to a broken finger which was to prove to be devastating in the later games. They finally got back on level terms and into the lead with a whirlwind ten minute period in the middle of the second half. Kelly, Broderick (two) and Kelly again had the side within one at 1-14 to 0-18 with time ticking down before Hallinan and Breen combined to get goal number two and push the side in front.
San Francisco won a free on the 21 with time winding down and the low ensuing shot went all the way to the net. The end looked ominous, but again New York attacked with stalwart Broderick firing over the equalizer for what would have to be deemed a fair result considering the waves of dominance in the contest. The New York scorers: Ger Kelly (0-8), Pat Egan (1-2), Donie Broderick (0-4), Danny Breen (1-0), Fintan Meehan (0-1).
Alas that was the final positive result for New York as they now faced off on Friday evening against Kilburn at the Gort field in south Galway.
The winners started with a flourish of 1-2 to cancel out Kelly frees, and they were able to score at will despite the best efforts of Kevin McKay, Richie Gaule and Matt Cashman in the New York rearguard.
Breen and Fintan Meehan followed with points for New York, but a string of frees by Stephen Lambert for the winners put the side into a 1-10 to 0-4 half time advantage. It was more of the same in the second half with the one high a goal by Stephen Moroney when he was first to react to the rebound of a Broderick shot.
A pair of goals midway through the second half set Kilburn on the easy road to success. New York also had to contend with Breen breaking a rib in an awkward challenge that did not even result in a free amazingly. The New York scorers: Ger Kelly (0-3), Stephen Moroney (1-0), Pat Egan (0-1), Donie Broderick (0-1), Mike Maher (0-1), Fintan Meehan (0-1), Dan Breen (0-1).
On Saturday New York faced off in the shield final versus an Australian side that included former New York hurler and footballer Brendan McGourty. It was to be a challenge far too large as the Men from Down under were easily victorious 2-20 to 0-11.
The winners had the pair of goals scored within five minutes of the start. With McGourty playing a leading role they stormed to the finish line while never being threatened.
Kelly did have a number of long range frees, but that was the main highlight as the talent of their opponents was just too much to contend with.
The New York panel for the tournament: Stephen Delaney, Matt Cashman, Richie Gaule, Paul Sweeney, Richie Hartnett, Paul Loughnane, Kevin McKay, Darren Coffey, Brian Glynn, Ger Kelly, David Hallinan, Danny Breen, Fintan Meehan, Pat Egan, Donie Broderick, Padraig Kyne, Mike Maher, Enda O’Connor, Stephen Moroney, Rob Lowery, John Power, Ger Crowe.