A relatively small group of about 15 DC Gaels hurlers traveled down to Richmond this Saturday to play friendlies against Richmond Battery and Coastal Virginia. The weather was perfect for the day, with sunny skies and mid-seventies temperatures. The pitch surface was in great condition, with very short grass that really let the ball travel on the ground. And after nearly a year and a half without games against our rival neighbors, everyone was happy to tie up the boots and snap the helmet straps into place. Despite the small crew and a number of fairly new players, the team played cohesively as a unit and took home two well-deserved victories.
After the first game of the afternoon between Richmond and COVA, DC took the field to play against the Richmond home team. Midfielder Alex Durfee opened the scoring less than a minute after the throw-in and was a significant scoring threat throughout. Towards the goalmouth, Seamus McCreesh put in some real bursting runs as well as a spate of goals and points. The DC team fielded three players in the game who had never played in a competitive match before—all three performed well, and one (Chase) even scored a goal. Despite heavy pressure on our own end of the field, goalkeeper TK also made several spectacular saves throughout the match. Although there was a bit of a shemozzle towards right at the end of the first half, the game was clean and well-played by both teams throughout.
The game against COVA was a lower-scoring affair. Apparently we spent the bulk of our energy on the first match. Still, the forwards strung together several sets of neat passes that resulted in the ball rattling the net or sailing over the crossbar. From dead balls and 65s, Tommy Holian and Ian Hutchinson added a few to the scoreline throughout the matches. A stalwart backline including Paddy McCabe and Brendan O'Leary helped keep the opposing scoreline to a minimum.
All in all, whether the team left with wins or losses on the scoresheet was secondary to the fact that we were out playing hurling again. Still, better to leave with the victories.
DC vs. Richmond
4-19 to 3-7
DC vs. COVA
4-4 to 1-8
See pictures from the match here on our SmugMug. Many thanks to Niall Dempsey and Rob Rayburn for refereeing and many thanks to Richmond Battery GAA for hosting us.