Clare were crowned champions of the 2017 AIG Fenway Classic in Boston this evening, after seeing off Tipperary and Galway.
First blood to Clare
Clare’s summer in 2017 came to a disappointing conclusion after reaching their first Munster final since 2008. As Gerry O’Connor and Donal Moloney look ahead to 2018, there is an acknowledgment that pushing on to the next level in the coming season is a necessity if this crop are to hit their former heights once again.
Picking up the Players Champions Cup today in Boston is a boost to morale ahead of the New Year, but counts for little when the first ball is pucked in the league.
Danny Sutcliffe return is a major lift for Dublin
The 2013 All-Star has made his return to the Dubs, which is hugely significant for the Boys in Blue. The St Jude’s clubman’s impact was immediate, as he rattled the net twice in the first half against Dublin.
If Dublin are to get back to the sport’s top table, they need top class players. The 25-year-old’s return gives the Boys in Blue a major threat in the forwards, and he’ll help ease the scoring burden for his teammates.
Team helmets don’t work
There’s a lot to like about Super 11s. The speed. The goals. The action.
However, one drawback was most certainly the team helmets. Similar to American Football, all the players on the team wore the same helmets. For hurling, we don’t think this is a fit, and it was considerably more difficult to distinguish between the players.
Super 11s provides desired spark
The novelty format provided entertainment at the famous baseball arena. The end-to-end nature means that a game can change quickly, seen during the tension at the end of Tipperary vs Clare as the 10-man Premier attempted to reel in an 18-point deficit.
The quality of goalkeeping was even more paramount than usual. All in all, a great afternoon’s watch.
Appetite for hurling in the US
A crowd of over 20,000 packed into the famous old baseball ground to witness the spectacle, and were given value for their money.
The shots, the saves, the pace and the physicality was hugely appealing to the Americans in attendance, and they voted with their feet by turning out in numbers.
We haven’t seen the last of these events!