Just hours until the 2014 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

SUPER BOWL OF HURLING: Tipperary and Kilkenny face off in the final match of the hurling season in just a few hours. The 2014 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship is hard to find in America unless you have an Irish pub that's opening up early or you're willing to buy the game on Pay-Per-View through the web.

SUPER BOWL OF HURLING: Tipperary and Kilkenny face off in the final match of the hurling season in just a few hours. The 2014 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship is hard to find in America unless you have an Irish pub that’s opening up early or you’re willing to buy the game on Pay-Per-View through the web.

We’re just hours away from the 2014 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, which will see the County Tipperary and County Kilkenny teams against one another on September 7. Here in America, the game will be tough to see for free and expensive if you’re going to watch it on your computer.  To do so, you’ll pay a pretty penny at the GAA Go site, but that will also give you access to dozens of other games from earlier in the season.

There are probably other ways to watch the match, such as visiting your local Irish pub, but they will have to be open quite early in the morning to carry the matches live. Over in Ireland, the hurling coverage begins at 1:oo pm with the minors match featuring Kilkenny and Limerick. The big guns start their game about 3:30 in Ireland. That means here on the U.S. eastern seaboard, the coverage starts at 8 a.m. (If I’m doing my math correctly).

If you can’t see it live, I’d suggest searching YouTube a over the next week or so and you will likely find it posted there. You also might find it at the site of Irish broadcaster RTE.

While you wait, check out this beauty of a tribute video to the sport of hurling.

If you’re interested in trying hurling for yourself, then check out the Hurley to Rise list of North American Hurling Clubs. Just last weekend, hurling and camogie players from across the U.S. gathered for North America’s Gaelic Athletic Association championships. Here you can see the action from finals in those sports plus gaelic football.

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Watch Galway v. Kilkenny’s 2012 hurling final

Once again, the HurlingGoals YouTube channel has offered up a complete broadcast of one of 2012′s best games of hurling. This is the senior championship matchup between County Galway and County Kilkenny. In fact it proved to be such a great game, they’re planning a sequel on September 30! (You’ll understand what I mean by the end of this game.)
So until then, enjoy the show. http://youtu.be/oBx7ZsjziHQ

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Scenes from the 2012 hurling final: Galway v. Kilkenny

The big All-Ireland Senior Hurling final ended in a shocker — the first draw since the 1950s. That means that Kilkenny and Galway will battle it out in another full game for the title of all-Ireland winner. Ironically, the same happened in the minors.

The replay game has been set for Sunday, Sept. 30.

CANNING: As expected, Galway’s Joe Canning was pivotal for his team, scoring the county’s first goal.

CANNING 2: A look at Canning’s shot on goal in the first half.

WHISTLES: There were plenty of “frees” in the game. Early on Kilkenny missed most of their efforts to score points, often going wide of the goal posts.

KICK STARTED: In the second half, Kilkenny finally came alive with a strong run to catch up to Galway.

SHEFFLIN: Kilkenny’s man of the match was certainly Henry Shefflin, who evened up the game in the 50th minute. From then on, Galway was kept busy catching up to Kilkenny. The game ended in a tie, meaning the teams will play again on Sept. 30 to determine the winner of the All-Ireland.

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Rare treat for hurling fans: A complete hurling broadcast from Ireland

It’s extremely rare for U.S. residents to get a chance to see a full game of top-level hurling. Usually, we can only find short clips on YouTube. Lucky fans might have a local pub that carries some games that are broadcast from Ireland. And a few of us are even willing to fork out some money to buy viewing rights to watch them in their home.

But lo and behold, someone at the YouTube channel HurlingGoals has opted to load the entire 2012 Leinster final to the site. For that, Hurley to Rise and the entirety of hurling fans in America say “Thank You! … And please give us more!”

Go ahead, activate the full screen and enjoy a great game. http://youtu.be/vai3Gzd-ilw

 SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read anymore if you want to be surprised by the outcome. The likely reason HurlingGoals loaded this game is because the team who won wasn’t supposed to win. Yep, everyone one expected Kilkenny to totally blow away Galway, but superstar Joe Canning lead his underdog team to a monumental win. Great game, guys!


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A belated wrap-up of the hurling championships

Blaming the rough economy in Ireland, some fans decided tickets for this year's All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship in Dublin's Croke Park were left unsold. For more details, click the image.

It’s been a while since I updated, and you’ll have to forgive me for that. I’ve been wrapped up in personal projects and then my area of Pennsylvania had a few tropical storms roll in, which resulted in localized flooding.

The damage to my home was more of an inconvenience than anything, but enough to keep my mind off of hurling and all the excitement that happened in this great sport.

Heck, I haven’t even picked up my hurley in weeks.  And while I’ve been putting in my hurling effort on the back-burner, the rest of North America has been picking up the slack

In early September, hurling and gaelic football teams from around the United States and Canada converged on San Francisco for the North American GAA Finals.

Here’s a look at some of that West Coast action, which included at least a few East Coast teams:

The event was hosted by the San Francisco Gaelic Athletic Association. The winners list can be found here.

The games, by the way, didn’t include clubs from  the New York GAA, because that organization is considered a separate “county.” That’s probably good since that area, which also serves some of New Jersey, is teeming with Irish-born talent that would likely crush the up-and-coming North American squads.

You can also read the experience of one of the GAA officials at the game here.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the 2012 North American finals will be held right here in Pennsylvania, with the Philadelphia teams serving as hosts.

A few weeks later over in Ireland, the big leagues held their finals. The 2011 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship was a rematch from last year as the Kilkenny team took on the lads from Tipperary. Don’t worry, I won’t reveal the end — just in case you missed it.

Here’s part one of an edited telecast of the game:


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