Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Pluck of the Irish  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 10/12/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) ''Go Clann! Go Clann!'' the lively hometown crowd breaks into the traditional cheer as Marie O'Brien speeds towards the opposing goal. 

They get louder when she lobs the ball to herself, past an awkward shoulder tackle and into the box. From this distance, she couldn't possibly miss.

Wait, did no one else spot the blatant hand ball? Dark skies notwithstanding, both the ref and the players had clear lines-of-sight to the ball. Best not to point it out.

The supporters are much too worked up. The other team didn't seem to care anyway. Hurried into her kick by the keeper's advance, Marie's effort sails high over the crossbar.

Men-Clann1

The men's hurling team played regional powerhouse Dubai hard

''Point. Well done!'' In the din, the utterly confused stares of a bemused few are paid little heed. More head-scratching was to follow over the course of the Middle East Senior League tournament, a showcase of Gaelic sports held at the Oman Club on Friday. Decked in red, green and white, Clann na hOman faced teams from across the GCC in a gruelling morning of Gaelic football and its close cousin, hurling.

''Gaelic football is a mix of soccer, rugby and field hockey,'' said club chairman Liam McAuliffe, delivering a clearly well-practiced instructional. ''You can run up and down the field, either kicking the ball, dribbling or lobbing it to yourself or to teammates. And there's no tackling.''

Which explains the ease with which Marie and her teammates were able to pull off one stunning scoring run after another against their opponents from Sharjah in the final of the first Ladies Middle East League tournament hosted in Oman. To learn that they lost despite scoring seemingly more tallies (and, surely, applause) is cause for further confusion.

''Kicking the ball over the goal only gets you one point. The other team managed to put the ball in the net more. Goals are worth three points,'' McAuliffe explained, with a shake of the head. ''It was there for the taking. They were as good as the others. They can take heart in that.''

Men-Clann2

Marie wasn't in the mood to. ''You can leave your heart on the field but there's no cup to bring home. Just dirty jerseys and wet boots,'' she said. The sunken shoulders and disconsolate faces are reflective of Clann na hOman's attitude to their sports. Indeed, the Irish are famed for die-hard, all-or-nothing mindsets on fields of play but for the wider diaspora, it's both an all-overriding passion for their games and a slice of home life.

''These sports are huge at home. You either play them or you go watch them being played. So you find that no matter where in the world Irish people are, they will find a way to play. It's great to leave the home country and not be finished with these games,'' McAuliffe said.

For hurling, a 2,000 year old sport steeped in Irish mythology and considered the ''fastest to be played on grass (in terms of how quickly the ball travels from goaline to goaline)'', the dedication verges on the feverish What, if not this', would drive the players to push themselves to exhaustion during pre-season practices in the peak of summer? Training in the 40C evening heat in July is ''by far the hardest part,'' said Ciaran Hanna, the team's fleet-of-foot midfielder.

''It's all physical. They run us into the ground. You have to be physically fit to play this game. I play midfield meaning I'm both a back and a forward and I've to run the whole time.''

But, the ''passion for the game is what drives us. It is always there. No matter what club a hurler plays for, he will always put his heart into it''. That preparation came in handy on Friday with the official competition debut of the 'Super 11s'? a fast-paced, attacking format recently adapted for use overseas.

Men-Clann3

''It's usually 15 players a side, but when there's just 11 (thus, Super 11s), it's less cramped on the field and a little easier to run around. It's a lot more open and there are more spaces to cover.

''It's pretty much the same game but everybody does a bit of everything. Whereas in Ireland, the backs never come up. It's a compromises we make here.

''The wide-open style of play means a defender can never be more than arm's length away from his man,'' said McAuliffe.

''If he is, then he's in trouble. ''Less people playing means you're constantly on the run to cover open spaces. We can play 35 minutes at home and come off no worse for wear. Seven minutes here and you're absolutely wrecked.''

On the day, Hanna put his training to good use. Ducking under swooping hurleys (curved wooden clubs) and side-stepping leaden challenges, he broke off long scoring runs into the opposing half, kept the leather tennis ball-sized sloitar away from grasping hands and finding the back of the net five times. Brief scrums and shoving matches are commonplace especially in the frequent fights for loose balls, but the weaving runs and the cross-pitch sloitar thwacking (''The ball can travel a 100m with one hit,'' McAuliffe


 


Muscat Daily




  MENA News Headlines
 Aug 4 2015 - Turkey's Erdogan says Putin may 'give up' on AssadThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Russian President Vladimir Putin is having a change of heart on the Kremlin's wholehearted support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and may "give up on him" in the future, ...

 Aug 4 2015 - Qatar- Sheikh Ahmad coy about who should succeed BlatterThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) As the candidates hoping to succeed FIFA's outgoing President Sepp Blatter continue to lobby for support, the political kingmaker who could have a big influence on who gets ...

 Aug 4 2015 - Tunisia's Yassine leaves FC Zurich for Al GharafaThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Tunisian mid-fielder Yassine Chikhaoui (pictured) has joined Qatar's Al Gharafa Sports Club with immediate effect, his agent Khalid Al Qasabi said yesterday.The 28-year-old ...

 Aug 4 2015 - Qatar- Ministry recalls Chevrolet Corvette 2014 to modify airbags positionThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC), in collaboration with Chevrolet's sole distributor in Qatar, Jaidah Automotive, has announced the recall of Chevrolet Corvette ...

 Aug 4 2015 - Gulf markets edge up after sell-off Egypt softThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Major Gulf stock markets edged up yesterday after Sunday's sell-off but Saudi Arabia lagged because telecommunications operator Mobily tumbled following yet another negative ...

 Aug 4 2015 - Industries Qatar's H1 net profit touches QR2.4bnThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Industries Qatar (IQ), one of the region's industrial giants with interests in the production of a wide range of petrochemical, fertiliser and steel products delivered a net ...

 Aug 4 2015 - U.S., Gulf states plan to counter destabilising acts in region - KerryThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (3rd L), Qatari Foreign Minister HE Khalid Al Attiyah (2nd L), GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani of Bahrain (2nd R) and ...

 Aug 4 2015 - Jewish extremist head arrested after anti-Arab violenceThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A Jewish extremist group's leader was arrested Monday after a Palestinian baby died in a West Bank firebombing, as police investigated online threats against Israel's ...

 Aug 4 2015 - Libya probes video of guards beating Gaddafi's jailed sonThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Libyan state prosecutors are investigating unidentified guards purportedly shown in a video beating a son of Muammar Gaddafi held in a Tripoli prison, a statement said ...

 Aug 4 2015 - Defending Gaddafi's PMThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Members of the committee for the defence of former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi's last prime minister Al Baghdadi Al Mahmudi, English lawyer Karim Khan (right) and French ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help