Dublin and Galway hurlers bound for Boston’s Fenway Park
It will be the first time since November 1954 that hurling will be played at the world famous home of the Boston Red Sox
Dublin hurler Mark Schutte and Galway’s Dave Collins at a press conference announcing the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival Announcement, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Photograph: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox
It may not offer much consolation for the way their seasons ended but the Dublin and Galway hurlers are headed for Boston’s Fenway Park at the end of November.
The AIG Fenway hurling classic will be the feature event of a new Irish festival to be staged in Boston on the weekend of November 21-22nd: Dublin will play Galway in the Super 11s hurling format on the Sunday 22nd (the day after, incidentally, Ireland play Australia in the one-day International Rules test at Croke Park).
On the Saturday, November 21st, also at Fenway Park, Boston College will also take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in a high-profile US college football game.
It will be the first time since November 1954 that hurling will be played at the world famous home of the Boston Red Sox (back then All-Ireland champions Cork defeated an American hurling selection). speaking at the event announcement in Croke Park yesterday, GAA director general Páraic Duffy reckoned the 11-aside format was an ideal way of introducing hurling to an overseas audience. “Our overseas network is extremely important to us”, said Duffy, “and bringing hurling to what is widely recognised as an Irish city outside Ireland is massively important to us.”
Super 11s formatGPA
Galway lost out to Kilkenny in this year’s All-Ireland final, while Dublin exited in the quarter-final stage against Waterford. Also speaking at the announcement of the Fenway hurling classic, Dublin manager Ger Cunningham said none of his players had yet hinted at retirement, although there will be some changes to his backroom team. Selector Shay Boland is stepping down, and there is also speculation Gearóid Ó Riain and Ed Coughlan will follow suit. Cunningham, however, expects all of his 2015 panel to make themselves available for next year.
“No one has made any contact with me with relation to not making themselves available,” said Cunningham. “We’ll need to reassess when the club championship is over who impressed us and at the same time, we need to see what’s coming through. Fellas will get an opportunity to put their hands up for selection. Like anything, when you come into a new job, you nearly inherit a panel. Having had a full year now, we’ve gotten to know the players that are there and the players that are outside the squad as well.”
Fears that Dublin defender Peter Kelly may have sustained cruciate damage in a club game at the weekend were allayed: “From what I can gather, it’s a suspected dislocated knee,” said Cunningham. “There’s cartilage damage but it’s not a cruciate. That’s the prognosis.”