Call it the Golden Hurl or call it Bill Jones's Axe, but whatever name history gives it, the first club to stamp it as its own will be the Jr. C Hailstones. Under Matt Daly's leadership and donning the now-vintage PBR jerseys, this panel of mostly first- and second-year Hailstones took the inaugural Jr. C hurling title at our Midwest Tournament on Sept. 17. With help from a few older club veterans, our next generation of champions has emerged.
In the traditional Jr. B division, the Hailstones made a Madison debut of their own, showing off their new O'Neills PBR jersey kit in a close, second-place finish to a talented and experienced Chicago Giants Causeway club. Congratulations to Giants Causeway and thank you to the clubs from Milwaukee, Chicago, Fox Cities and Twin Cities who joined us for another great hurling tournament and added to the amazing season-ending atmosphere with great hurling and first-time competitions in camogie and Gaelic football.
The Hailstone hurlers traveled to Seattle over Labor Day weekend, hoping to become the first team in GAA North American County Board history to win a Jr. B national championship after leveling-up as Jr. C national champs. However, the Hailstones fell in the quarterfinals to a tough Vancouver team and settled for a runner-up finish in the shield bracket.
The Hailstones' Gaelic football team scored a historic victory -- the program's first-ever win at the national finals -- before falling to eventual runner San Diego in the Jr. C football quarterfinals.
Bristled Boar (Team Yellow-Moore) repeated as hurling summer league champion, emerging from four closely fought matches with a 3-1 record, besting Silver Dollar Red and foiling The Coopers Tavern Blue's quest to repeat as league champion.
Life as a champion can be tough. It's a cliche as old as sports, and 2016 was no different for the traveling Hailstone hurlers. The spring tournament season closed out with the Jr. C Hailstones taking 3rd place in the Twin Cities Northstar Tournament on June 4, and a short-handed Jr. B club traveling to Indianapolis on June 18, posting an 0-2-1 mark. Redemption was claimed by the footballers, who made sure another Indy trophy came home to Madison by avenging an earlier loss to Cincinnati and winning the football championship.
In April, our Jr. B travel panel opened the outdoor season in Naperville, Illinois, with a win over Milwaukee, before being ambushed by a strong Naperville club, then rebounding but falling just short of the championship match with a 1-point loss to the Chicago Cusacks. At Chicago Gaelic Park, the Hailstone Jr. B's dropped out of the tournament early with a close loss to eventual champion Indianapolis, followed by a defeat at the hands of a strong, new Chicago Giants Causeway club.
The Coopers Tavern Spring Series
In April, the Hurling Club of Madison and Madison GAA Football Club debuted Gaelic Sports at historic Breese Stevens Field. Our clubs played doubleheaders across dates in April and May and enjoyed pints afterwards at The Coopers Tavern, our generous sponsor. Thanks to everyone for taking part in a competitive and well-balanced league that saw every team win and lose games in both codes, with commissioner Morris's Team White taking the hurling title in a close final match. We look forward to future action at Breese Stevens Field.
Fox River Indoor Classic
Our traveling Hailstones carried over their winning ways from 2015, opening the 2016 interclub season with 4 straight wins to defend the club's FRHC Indoor Classic title with victories over panels from the Twin Cities and Fox River. Coached by Matt Daly and led by captain Logan Spillner, the mixed panel of Jr. B and Jr. C players started the season strong, pulling away for decisive wins after strong starts from the TCRE and FRHC teams. The traveling Hailstones hit the road again on Apr. 24 for a tournament hosted by the Naperville Hurling Club in Lisle, Illinois.
Club Tavern Indoor Hurling League
The Hurling Club of Madison congratulates Team Black and its captain, Matt Daly, for their perfect indoor season and Moose Cup championship. Team Black turned in a dominating performance unprecedented in our city leagues, and challenges future teams and captains to repeat this impressive feat when league play resumes in January 2017.
Oct. 15: One Barrel Brewing 8-17, The Coopers Tavern 9-10
Oct. 22: Glanbia 20-12, Coopers 4-13
Oct. 29: Glanbia 8-12, One Barrel 7-11
Nov. 5: Glanbia 49, One Barrel 31
Nov. 12: Glanbia 83, Coopers 36
Nov. 19: Coopers 53, One Barrel 35
League Standings (W - L PF PA +/-)
Glanbia 4 - 0 236 128 112
One Barrel Brewing 2 - 2 161 151 10
The Coopers Tavern 0 - 4 133 249 (116)
Midwest Hurling Tournament [click for results]
Hailstones close 2015 season with another championship
Cottage Grove, Wis., Sept. 19, 2015 -- The Hurling Club of Madison hosted seven clubs from throughout the Midwest on a perfect late-summer Saturday at the Wisconsin Rugby Complex. The Hailstones won the tournament opener with a win over Fox River, but dropped a tough one to the Chicago Cusacks in their second match, resulting in a 4-seed in the playoff round, where Madison edged the top-seeded Twin Cities Robert Emmets team in a high-scoring match to advance to a rematch against the Cusacks in the final. The Hailstones took a 7-point lead into the half before the Cusacks rallied to take a 1-point lead with about 5 minutes remaining. Madison held on, answering with the final two points of the match, including Brian Murphy's game-winning point from about 50 yards out with 35 seconds remaining. The Hurling Club of Madison would like to thank the teams that helped keep the Midwest Hurling Tournament the premier hurling event in Wisconsin: The Akron Celtic Guards, who made their first appearance in the Midwest Tournament, along with our good friends from the Fox River Hurling Club, Naperville, Milwaukee Hurling Club, Twin Cities Robert Emmets and Chicago Michael Cusacks. Click here for scores and final results.
Hurling Club of Madison rolls to NACB Junior C national hurling title
Oak Forest, Ill., Sept. 6, 2015 -- Since the Hurling Club of Madison's founding in 2007, our club and players have shared a singular dream -- to hoist a national championship trophy. On Labor Day weekend at Chicago Gaelic Park, after eight years of recruiting, training and assembling a fast, skilled and conditioned club , that dream became a reality. Early-round wins over Hampton Roads and Pittsburgh brought the Hailstones to the semifinals, where our lads earned a win against a talented Portland, Maine, team. On Sunday, the Hurling Club of Madison claimed the North American County Board Junior C national hurling championship, with gritty win over an Allentown club that exemplifies its city's hard-working roots. The Hurling Club of Madison would like to thank our friends and families for giving us the time and support to bring home the NACB championship cup to Madison. We also could not have done it without our generous sponsors. We encourage you to visit them and thank them for their support of our great game in the Madison area.
GAA football club completes its first season at NACB finals
Cheers to Marcus Kennedy and our football lads who completed play against the Cayman Islands GAA football club in a NACB finals shield match on Sunday, after falling in the opening round to the LA Wild Geese. Our football Hailstones competed 100% to the final whistle of each match, receiving accolades from both opponents who made a point to come over and let our lads know that they'll be a force at Nationals in future seasons.
NACB Finals: Match results
Hurling 1st round (Sept. 4): Madison 8-17, Hampton Roads 1-4
Football 1st round (Sept. 4): LA Wild Geese 1-12, Madison 4 points
Hurling quarterfinal (Sept. 4): Madison 1-18, Pittsburgh 5 points
Hurling semifinal (Sept. 5): Madison 17 points, Portland (Maine) 1-5
Football shield (Sept. 5): Cayman Islands def. Madison
Hurling final (Sept. 6): Madison 2-16, Allentown 12 points
Tullamore D.E.W. Summer Hurling League
Congratulations to Coopers Tavern Blue, which clinched the summer league with a convincing victory over Green in our summer league finale. Thanks to everyone for taking part and making it a competitive league. And thanks in particular to Bill for taking the lead on set up each week and his new goal system which worked great, and to Alan Morris, whose work as league commissioner kept the teams fair, balanced and competitive.
Inaugural GAA football league
It's often a cliché, but in the case of our club's first GAA football league, it is the truth: The final standings are not indicative of the competitive balance of the league. While the St. Colmcille Muck Savages (Red) were able to post just one victory, the point differential across all matches in the 5-game series was +18 in favor of the Painted Cows (White) team, a difference of just over 4 points per match. Congratulations to captains Eoin Wren and John Campbell for their skillful drafting and presenting of full panels for all matches. A huge thanks to Bill Jones for becoming a quick study in GAA football rules and in officiating these close, sometimes emotional matches. Finally, the entire club owes Marcus Kennedy a pint. His work has been nothing short of amazing, from recruiting new players, to forming the league, securing sponsorships and ordering new jersey kits. The traveling panel has already been successful in interclub matches and we look forward to watching our footballers burst onto the scene at Nationals.
In a historic day, the Hailstone hurlers went 4-0, taking home the cup for the Indianapolis Invitational junior hurling championship with a convincing win over St. Louis in the final. Meanwhile, our Hailstone footballers were impressive in their tournament play debut, posting wins over St. Louis and Indianapolis, before falling to a veteran Chicago Parnells club in the final match.
A panel of 17 Hailstones survived injuries and the absence of a few key players to post a big win over the Twin Cities Robert Emmets C team, before falling to the TCRE Bs in a preliminary match and rematch in the tournament final.
The traveling Hailstones sent a 15-player panel to Chicago's Gaelic Park on May 16, going 2-1 in the club's first-ever Jr. B hurling tournament, hosted by the Michael Cusack Hurling Club.