The inaugural 2017 Memphis Gaelic football pub league was a roaring success. Over 40 players signed up to play for the four pub teams – Brass Door, Celtic Crossing, Majestic Grille and Murphy’s Public House.
From the outset, Brass Door, captained by CT native Liam Coyle was a formidable outfit, easily dispatching Majestic Grille, captained by Westmeath (Ireland) native Dermot Murray, in the opening round of matches on April 2nd. Celtic Crossing, captained by Belfast native Brendan Bennett, also laid down an early marker, beating Murphy’s captained by Dublin native Shane Keely. The momentum stayed with both teams in the next round of matches on April 9th, with Celtic Crossing easily defeating Majestic Grille, and Brass Door easily overcoming Murphy’s. And so after two weeks of play, it was starting to look like a two-horse race for the championship.
However things took an interesting turn in Week 3 (April 23rd), when the core CBU soccer team members of Celtic Crossing would seem to go missing for the rest of the season, thereby giving Brass Door a forfeit win over their nearest rivals. Majestic Grille had started to strengthen their roster with some fresh talent and as a result registered their first win against Murphy’s. The next round of games on May 7th saw perhaps the closest game of the season when Murphy’s took on a new-look Celtic Crossing (both teams having borrowed players) and ended with a 21-19 win for Celtic Crossing in the dying seconds of the games thanks to a mix-up in the Murphy’s defense and a very strong second half played by Celtic Crossing. In the other game, Brass Door scored the double over Majestic Grille, although the margin was only 4 points, compared to 13 in the opening round.
What turned out to be the final round of matches on May 14th saw forfeits in both matches due to a shortage of players for Celtic Crossing and Murphy’s, handing the wins to Majestic Grille and Brass Door, respectively. As a result, Brass Door was duly crowned champions. The teams still played a couple of lively pickup games to round out the season. The final standings for the season was as follows:
Congratulations to Liam Coyle and Team Brass Door for a very well executed opening season. The team was well drilled by its team captain, and demonstrated the excellent recruitment efforts of Brass Door owner, Seamus Loftus.
We’ve decided to “hand out” a few awards to specifically bring to light some excellent players this season.
The Most Valuable Player goes to the player of the champion team that showed the most leadership in guiding their team to becoming the Champions. It should be no surprise that this season, that award will be given to Liam Coyle of team Brass Door for his absolutely expert ability to lead his team to victory. Although his season scores may not rank among the highest in the league, he managed to play an amazing defense and was able to move the ball to all his players.
The Highest Scoring Man goes to the man that scores the most goals and points in the season; it should be little surprise that this award goes to Brendan Bennett of team Celtic Crossing. Brendan almost certainly had a running for this award with his first game after scoring six goals and four points. He solidified his award in his second game when he scored an additional three goals. Although he wouldn’t get the chance to see another official game for the rest of the season, Brendan remained the top scoring man of the season.
The Highest Scoring Woman goes to the woman that scores the most goals and points in the season; with a stunning display in one of her last games before heading on a trip to Europe, Rachelle Cooper solidified her place for winning this award. Playing for Murphy’s Pub, Cooper managed to keep Celtic Crossing goaltender guessing at every instance possible as she sunk goal after goal. Cooper ended up with four goals in just one game!
The final award is the Rookie of the Season; this award goes to a player new to the Memphis Gaelic Athletic Association and the sport that shows an amazing ability to pick it up. Naturally, this award goes to Buck Morris of team Majestic Grille for his amazing ability to score points and goals. It would be an understatement to say that Buck “makes this sport look easy.” Having never played before and coming into the season late, Buck managed to score five goals in one of his first games! An amazing feat for even a veteran player and almost giving Brendan a run for his money.
Finally, a message about our inaugural Gaelic football season from our club Chairman, Dermot Murray:
On behalf of the entire Memphis GAA club, I would like to congratulate Brass Door for winning the inaugural Gaelic football season. Seamus and Liam did a great job recruiting and training their players – and the team spirit they instilled in their team carried through the entire season. Well done “Brassers”! On behalf of the Memphis GAA board, we would like to wish everyone safe travels this summer. We’re really excited to see how this club grows! Memphis Abú!”