Rain the day before left Sunday cool for the final round of games for the 2021 hurling pub league. Bayer Ear Clinic faced off against Talnua for the Wooden Spoon, while The Irish Rover and Man Shave went head-to-head for the title.
Bayer Ear Clinic v. Talnua
Talnua came out of the gate strong — while they lost the toss-in, they quickly regained possession and sent the ball over the bar. With Peter and Keefe in the mid-field, Talnua was able to set a good lead with points.
Phil stood in goal for Bayer and proved to be a solid asset — making some great saves against Paul and Kendall in the full forward line. Ultimately, Talnua’s passing and communication out on the field proved to be their secret weapon; they took their steps and looked for relief passes that connected to points and goals.
In the second half, Greg Sheedy stood in goal for Bayer. His long and precise puckouts allowed Bayer to put up a strong fight in the second half. When Talnua wasn’t reset and marking their player, he delivered great balls to his teammates, which turned into points and goals.
Playing seven-a-side left a lot of space out on the field, and ultimately Talnua won more loose balls, which combined with their sold passing led them to winning the Wooden Spoon for the 2021 Pub League.
Man Shave (6-13) v. The Irish Rover (8-11)
Right from the get-go you could tell both teams wanted the win. Loose balls were fought for hard, and runs for puck-outs were woven across the field.
Sean Sweeney had a great game in the backline — blocking countless shots from the Rover that could have either made it into the net or over the bar. And not only did he block those shots, he also rounded up the loose ball and sent it up the field to his teammates.
Bingo proved to be an ace up the Rover’s sleeve. His ability to precisely deliver puck-outs to his teammates made the efforts in the midfield and forward lines to make space pay off. Rarely did his puck-outs make it into the hands of Man Shave’s players.
The Rover’s strategy of having Kyle Dunne shut down Kiefert paid off, as Man Shave managed to only score six goals — below their average for the season. It was a few sly goals that secured the Rover’s victory as 2021 Pub League champions.
Overall, both teams played well, and it really could have been either who took home the cup. If the Denver Gaels play like this at the upcoming USGAA Nationals, things are look up for us!