Out with the old and in from the cold. Both the ladies and men of New York’s GAA circles return to the field of play this week, with games in Rockland and Gaelic Park.
While the New York hurlers entertained Dublin on St. Patrick's weekend and Cavan hosted seven sides on April 1, this will be a return of club action officially.
The ladies kick it off with an underage blitz in Rockland which will take place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday. There will be seven a side tournaments from under-8 to under-18 and the final tryout for the Feile team that heads for Ireland in June.
The senior girls of Na Fianna and Kerry/Donegal face each other in the ladies league at 3 p.m. followed by champions Cavan and hosts Rockland at 4:30 p.m.
The first encounter has the makings of a close contest, with Molly O'Rourke, Aine Dwyer and Imelda Mullarkey leading Na Fianna against a K/D side that is looking to break the mold of the big two. Denise Dunnion and Louise Lilly will look to put a damper on their rivals at the first opportunity. It promises to be an exciting day outside Pearl River.
The men of New York start their day with three contests down for decision at Gaelic Park. They are all at the senior level, with 2011 county champions Leitrim the only side with the day off. They will not make their debut until after the Connaught Championship game against Sligo which takes place on May 6.
New York had a challenge against Cavan on Tuesday night, with the result to late for press time.
The first game up is Cavan vs. Kerry at 1:30 p.m. It should be a humdinger.
Cavan were big winners when Down and Astoria folded in the last two years, and their squad has a strong home look. Michael Sloan, Sean Munnelly and Sean Kelly will make their debuts for Cavan, while Ian Galvin, the new Kerry manager, will counter with the experienced Shane Clifford, player of the year Mike Jim Fitzgerald and Eoin Hogan.
Game two is at 3 p.m. with an all Northern clash between Tyrone and Armagh. Tyrone were very unlucky against Leitrim in last year’s county final, and they also lost a number of players in the transfer window.
Look for the Garveys, Aiden Power and Jason Killeen to backbone the side to open the season. with Alan Hearty, Kevin McGeeney and Caolan Short battling in reply for the Orchard County.
The final game of the afternoon pits intermediate champions Dublin against Cork. Liam Hanley is the man in charge of the Rebels and Peter Hatzer, Derek Courtney and Jason Kelly will lead the charge for his side. Gerard McCarthy is a huge acquisition for Hanley's force also.
Dublin will look to the Reillys, Alan and Declan, in their first game at senior level for decades. A triumphant return for the men in blue.
A quick look at the crystal ball tells me that it will be Cavan by five, Armagh by one and Cork by four.