Gaelic warriors set to play America’s finest in Ohio

The Cayman Islands Gaelic Club is in Ohio this weekend playing in the North American Championships in front of a couple of thousand people.

It runs from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 and both Cayman’s men’s and women’s teams have entered the tournament.

It is an annual championship of Gaelic football, hurling and camogie (Irish stick and ball sports), which this year brings a record-breaking 108 men’s and women’s teams from the U.S. and Canada, as well as Cayman, to the Barton-Bradley Soccer Complex in North Olmsted over the Labor Day weekend.

Cayman men’s key players are Paul Hennessy, Dave O’Connell, Kevin Guirey, Hugh Anderson and captain Eamon Wilson. Hennessy is their target man up front and current player of the year.

Club chairman O’Connell plays center back and Wilson plays at center forward.

O’Connell said, “It is a huge privilege for the club to be invited to play in such a tournament and I’m sure we will represent Cayman Gaelic excellently.

“Our men’s team has been drawn to play the winners of a preliminary game between Charlotte and Midwestern League Winners and our ladies national team have been drawn against Austin of Texas. We are both in Junior B category so we should be well able to compete.”

This is the largest Gaelic sporting event worldwide and this year is the biggest one in the history of the North American Championships.

O’Connell said, “Anyone who has been lucky enough to qualify and play or visit a North American championship festival in the past will tell you that the weekend is exceptional fun – full of Gaelic games, marquee social events, music and plenty of ‘craic’.

“It is essentially the champion’s league of all Gaelic football in US terms and attracts over 2,000 people annually. All league champions from the likes of Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Toronto will be there.”

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