The legs will be tired from marching with pride in the various parades that will be taking place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. While New York's Irish American community will be gearing up for the largest parade of them all up Fifth Avenue, some will start the exertions of the weekend with a hurling challenge on Friday evening.

The hurling match is a challenge between the visiting Kevin Boland's side from Dublin and the local New York hurlers.

With a challenge game for the New York footballers set for the following weekend and the Cavan sevens on track for April 1, this contest is the unofficial beginning of the new year Gaelic Park.

Eddie Gowran has been putting the New York hurling squad through their paces in the last three weeks as they prepared for this contest.

It is the first in what promises to be a busy year for senior hurling chairman Kevin Kennedy and junior hurling chair Jo Jo Sullivan.

Further challenges are being discussed with Boston and other visitors to New York over the summer as well as the local championships at both junior and senior level.

New York will look to Liam Butler, Robbie Jackson, Gary Donaghue, Brian McNaughton, Aaron Farrell and Paul Loughnane to backbone the side, with Pat Egan and Conor Costigan others who have been braving the weather in recent weeks.

Gowran has also has a number of Irish Americans in training, with Padraig and Eoghan Kyne and Eddie Hogan also part of the panel for the upcoming encounter.

It promises to be a rousing start to the weekend festivities with a 7:30 throw in on Friday evening.

Gaelic Park in the Bronx, NYGoogle Images