Game Recap – Week Four

Celtic Crossing 4-9 (21) vs Murphy’s Pub 6-1 (19)

Sunday had a slow start with both Team Celtic Crossing and Team Murphy’s scrambling to find volunteers to make up for absent players. With both team captains attending the Beale Street Music Festival, temporary captains were elected to lead the teams in what would end up being one of the closest matches of the season so far. Ferran Espin elected to lead Team Murphy’s and Joshua Foster was selected to lead Team Celtic Crossing. Both captains elected to start as goalie to be able to have a better vantage of the entire pitch. The first half of the match saw Murphy’s gain a massive lead with Rachelle Cooper making a stunning four goals. At the half, both teams left the field with Murphy’s ahead by seven points and Celtic Crossing needing to find a way to make up the lost ground.

Back on the field, still gassed from the first half, Buck Morris, Eric “Viking” Vick, and Beaú Holland worked tirelessly to move the football up the field and start a relentless assault on the Murphy’s goal while Jay Allmon and Elizabeth Loggins helped keep the strikers from having an easy path to the goal. On the Murphy’s side, Tommy Schlather, Melvin Purdy, Joshua Gordon, and Rachelle Cooper tried to keep the pressure on the Celtic goal while Ferran worked to keep the ball moving forward. The highlight of the game happened just after time was called out to be just 30 seconds left and Celtic Crossing had just scored another point bringing the score up to Celtic Crossing 3-9 (18) to Murphy’s 6-1 (19). With Celtic Crossing’s Buck Morris and Beaú Holland hot on the tail of Muphy’s Melvin Purdy just ahead of the Murphy’s goal, Melvin tried to do a back-pass to Ferran to be launched down the field to end the game. The ball got just beyond Ferran’s reach and slowly rolled into the goal giving Celtic Crossing what would be their final goal needed to get ahead of Murphy’s for the first time all game. Ferran launched the ball downfield but in an unfortunate pass deflected by a Celtic player, the time just ran out before the ball had a chance to be put back into play by Murphy’s giving Celtic Crossing their hardest won game so far this season!

Brass Door 0-7 (7) vs Majestic Grille 1-0 (3)

Dermot Murray and the Majestic Grille team looked like they had finally figured out the secret to breaking through the Brass Door defense when new club member Charlie Fox scored a goal to gain an early lead. After the initial shock, Liam Coyle and the Brass Door team regrouped and started their slow climb back to the top. By the end of the half, the Brass Door team managed to score four points and Chris Smith was able to shut down the Majestic Grille offense preventing any more scores. Tommy Schlather, Eric Vick, and Buck Morris came back into the second half with a fire in their hearts to try and come back. Buck kept fighting hard to make plays but Chris’ lock-down defense was the key difference maker in this game. With Chris and the Brass Door team using their strong defense that we’re all so used to, their team was able to run plays down the field and grind out some well-deserved points through the uprights. The game ended with Patrick and Merrill scoring two points and Emily, Liam, and Cullen scoring one point each.

This week, we saw the closest games we have witnessed in the entire season. The sheer amount of Memphis spirit each team brought to the pitch was absolutely astounding. Seeing the progress all the teams have been able to make since the first week has been amazing. I personally can’t wait to see what we’re able to do as a club when we start heading to tournaments.

Rise of the Majestics – Game Recap – Week Three

This week, we got a taste of what the Majestic Grille team will be able to do with their new players, Buck Morris and Victoria Godwin. The Murphy’s team took to the pitch at a significant disadvantage with three of their players (Shane Keely, Ferran Espin, and Damien Klingberg) unable to take to the field. The Murphy’s team took volunteers and powered through the mud and rain to try and maintain to gain any ground possible. The Majestic Grille team was just far too strong for this undermanned team. Able to sub in a player, the Murphy’s team had no chance to catch their breath. The Majestics were relentless in their ability to apply pressure. In the end, the Murphy’s team was only able to four points (Joshua Gordon 0-1 and Zach Harrington 1-0) against the Majestic Grille’s impressive 31 points (see the event page for a full breakdown.)

In the second game the Celtic Crossing team was missing three of their star CBU players and decided to forfeit the match and play a scrimmage with volunteers from the Majestic Grille team, looking for some revenge from the past week. The Brass Door team was able to really stretch their legs and move their players throughout the pitch to keep the opposition confused and keep the ball moving. This strategy seemed to keep their opposition guessing and less able to get the ball to their star player, Brendan Bennett. The noncompetitive match ended Brass Door 3-6 (15) to Celtic Crossing 1-3 (6). It looks like we’ll just have to wait until later in the season when we can hopefully see these teams really meet on the field with their full entourage.

The current league standings are as follows…

2017 Spring Gaelic Football League

PosTeamPWDLFAGDPts
1550041162510
253029434606
352034057-174
4500545113-680

Opening Day Games – Recap Week 1

As the games began, it was already obvious that it was going to be a fantastic day for Gaelic football. Plenty of Memphians came out last Sunday to show their support for the Memphis GAA by cheering on their friends, family, and favorite Irish establishment.

Majestic Grille vs Brass Door

In the first game starting at 1PM we had Majestic Grille vs Brass Door with Shane Keely as the match referee. A solid display of teamwork, athleticism, and grit made by the Brass Door team led by Liam and Seamus. Brass Door definitely had the advantage, up one man on the field and two extra on the side line to sub in, they played a well-sustained match against Majestic Grille. Tommy Schlather of team Majestic Grille made excellent strides to get the ball down the field and keep Brass Door goalie, Tanner Lyday, on his toes. The Brass Door was at the most inspired by their ability to get the ball between it’s members and score through the uprights, hardly giving Dermot Murray a chance to block goals. Team Majestic Grille was hardly far from being able to catch up to Brass Door, but the final nail in the coffin came in the second half when Seamus Loftus came on to take a free kick and rocketed the ball in the goal in the game’s only goal.

In the end, Majestic Grille was just unable to take hold against the supreme tenacity of Brass Door. The game ended with Brass Door 1-11, Majestic Grille 0-1.

Results

TeamGoalsPointsTotal
Majestic Grille011
Brass Door11114

Celtic Crossing vs Murphy’s

In the second game, both team Celtic Crossing and team Murphy’s took to the pitch down one man. Murphy’s couldn’t seem to get their footing in the first half, being blocked at every turn by Celtic Crossing goalie David Higgins. Brendan Bennett, Patrick Power, and Sean Rutter of team Celtic Crossing all showed their excellent football prowess by relentlessly being able to field the ball from the opposition and move right back into attacking. Brendan showed his experience early on when he intercepted a ball from a Murphy’s pass and managed to solo down the entire the pitch and sink a solid goal just past Murphy’s first half goalie, Melvin Purdy. Team Celtic Crossing really found it’s stride late in the last half after making a player rotation on the field allowing star players to take full advantage of their wide strides downfield. The first half ended with Murphy’s having an uphill battle in the second half.

Murphy’s took time in the break to regroup and formulate a new plan of attack. Ultimately deciding to move Melvin Purdy onto defense, Graham Hillhouse into the goal, and opting for a more defensive strategy, team Murphy’s managed to find a plan that kept the hill from turning into a mountain. Cheered on by their enthusiastic supporters, Murphy’s managed to start the second half very strong. Both Shane and Melvin managed to score a goal in the first minutes of the second half where Ferran Espin had several near misses on goal. In the midst of the second half of the game, team Celtic Crossing came across a unique strategy of a “forward defense” when Celtic Crossing’s Joshua Foster was able rebound quickly off kick outs from Murphy’s defenders. This change halted the strong momentum Murphy’s had managed to gain.

Ultimately, both teams ended the second half on a relative stand still where very few goals or points were able to be scored late in the second half. The game ended Celtic Crossing 11-8,Murphy’s 2-4.

Results

TeamGoalsPointsTotal
Celtic Crossing11841
Murphy’s2410

This season is just beginning and it is looking like it is going to be exciting to see how it unfolds. Next week the Murphy’s team will face off against Brass Door in the 1PM game and Celtic Crossing will see if they can continue strong against Majestic Grille in the 2PM game. Be sure to join us at the Fairground Youth Athletic Fields next Sunday (April 9th, 2017) for our next Gaelic football matches!

2017 Gaelic Football League Standings

PosTeamPWDLFAGDPts
1550041162510
253029434606
352034057-174
4500545113-680

Meet the Captains: Shane Keely (Murphy’s Public House)

Murphy’s Team Captain, Shane Keely

Third in our “Meet the Captains” series is Murphy’s team captain, Shane Keely. Shane coaches soccer for Christian Brothers University and is a player for the Memphis City FC. An Ireland native, Shane picked up the sport of Gaelic football early in life and you can really see that experience play out on the field. Join us as we talk to Shane about his plans for the season.

How long have you played Gaelic football? Where did you play? And what was your favorite position?

“I played Gaelic football from about 5-18 years old (so 13 years). I played for St. Finian’s GAA club in Swords, County Dublin. My favorite position was right half forward or midfield.”


How do you plan to win the inaugural Memphis Gaelic football league?

“We plan on playing smooth silky sexy Dublin style of Gaelic football to win the league. Take your points and your goals will come haha!”


Why should anyone want to signup for your team?

Shane Keely holding the Sam Maguire Cup

“People should sign up for the Murphy’s team because we already have a lot of good recruits signed up and with Dublin being the current All Ireland Champions what better team to play for then the team in Blue! Everyone hates the Dubs and we all know everyone hates the best hahaha.”

We’ll have to see if Shane and team Murphy’s will be able to get the formula right and follow the lead of his native Dublin. Club sponsors Seamus Loftus (Brass Door) and DJ Naylor (Celtic Crossing) are both from County Mayo so I’m sure they are more than eager to get the chance to take the Memphis title as payback for the 2016 All Ireland Finals!

For your best chance of joining your preferred team, be sure to sign up for the 2017 Gaelic Football Spring Pub League by Thursday, March 23rd. Join us Wednesday when we talk to club chairman and Majestic Grille team captain Dermot Murray!