Gaelic Games in Dresden
October 2014 – Report
On a day of many firsts here in Dresden, the teams of Dresden, Prague, Budapest and Berlin came together in brilliant sunshine to play six thrilling games in both Hurling and Gaelic Football. In total sixty two players from Ireland, Germany, Czech Rep, Hungary, Finland, England, The USA, Australia, South Africa, Spain and Cork congregated on Dresden last Saturday, October 11th for the first Gaelic Games tournament to be held here. Just to note 31 of those 62 players hailed from our green isle.
The event got underway shortly after 13.00 with the Gaelic Football up first. Prague and Berlin fielded full teams while Budapest and Dresden joined up to form a third team to increase the competition. In the first Gaelic Football match to be played in Dresden, Berlin Gaels also took to the field for their very first match against Dresden/ B. After a hard fought game Berlin were beaten on a score line of 3-4 to 1-2. Next up was Prague’s turn to do a number on the young Dresden/ Budapest selection. It wasn’t to be however as the young heals put in an impressive performance and ran out with a 3-7 to 2-4 win. At some stage during the day it was going to prove that the 3m high rugby crossbar would play a part in proceedings and so it proved in the third and final Gaelic football match of the day when Berlin lined up against Prague. It must be mentioned and commended that the Prague team fielded 9 men and seven ladies from seven different countries with four coming from Ireland. With this, the physically strong Berliners with their Australian rules jerseys powered to a commanding win on a score line of 8-4 to 0-2.
With Budapest/ Dresden winning both of their games the captain of Budapest was presented with the Dresden Gaelic games football trophy later in the Red Rooster Bar by Ambassador Collins.
It was at this point that our special guest for the day, the Irish Ambassador to Germany, Michael Collins arrived and gave a rousing speech to everyone in attendance. It was a poignant moment for everyone involved in Dresden Gaa as it marked a great occasion day in the clubs short history. And within moments of his speech, Ambassador Collins got the Hurling underway by throwing in the sliotar in a match which pitched the two Hurling clubs of Dresden and Budapest together. Roared on by a local support of seventy+ with many more bystanders watching on from the busy cycleway, Budapest with their young heels, went at it hammer and thongs and flung over fine long range points from all angles. Two well taken goals late in the first half crippled the Dresdners who went in at half time a dejected 2-10 to 0-2 down. Dresden came out fighting in the second half and battled bravely but were always on the back foot from start to finish and went down on a score line of 3-14 to 0-7. The footballers of Berlin and Prague were next up against the might of Budapest. But with Berlin fielding four players and Prague two, extra players from Budapest and Dresden were summoned to make up a team. Magically the combined team clicked into gear early on and Budapest suddenly had a game on their hands. Scores were hard to come by with solid defensive lines. Then late in the game the combined team scored a goal and a point in quick succession to put them two points ahead. Budapest tried in vain for a late goal but it wasn’t to be. Maybe the young guns had spent their energy in the previous game but that would take away from the disciplined performance from the combined Berlin/ Prague team. The final score line was Budapest 2-3, Berlin/ Prague 3-2. Suddenly the footballers of Berlin and Prague together with support from Budapest were going for a second win and a chance to take the Dresden Gaelic games Hurling trophy. Dresden lay in front of them a little wounded with two men picking up injuries in the previous games. The ball was thrown in and within four minutes Berlin/ Prague had burst the net twice. It was clear the Dresdners were in trouble and so it proved. With fading light, the game petered out and the combined team of Berlin/ Prague went on to win on a score line of 5-4 to 0-3.
There are many people that deserve a bualadh bos for making this great day a reality. Chris Hennessy from Berlin who got the ball rolling seven weeks previous when he called to discuss a small friendly game, Bryan Flannigan in Prague and Attila Becsei in Hungary for gathering and organising their troops. An almighty effort from everyone in Dresden Hurling (you know who you are) for pulling together in the weeks previous and on the day to get the nets, pavilions, BBQ and the field set up. Bearing in mind this was our first time to organise such an event it was a huge and fantastic effort by all.
Also a big Irish thank you “Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir” to our sponsors The Red Rooster, to our affiliated club Rugby Cricket Dresden for their continued support, to the Dresden Dukes Baseball club for loaning us their pavilions and nets, to Alan Fahy & the musicians from Flowing Tide and other artists for provided the traditional Irish music at the after party in the Red Rooster, to Peter Stimpel and Jan Heinicke for their camera work and capturing so many great moments, to Karsten Werner for providing the music and sound system on the field, to Peter and Ina for their energy in promoting our club, to Sebastian and his assistant for providing medical support on the day and finally to our Ambassador Michael Collins for arranging his busy schedule to be with us for the whole day festivities and evening celebrations. It was truly a momentous day for Irish culture in the region.
So on behave of Dresden Hurling it was an honour a privilege to host you all here in Dresden. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and we look forward to keeping this mini tournament on our calendar for next year and the years to come. Let’s see where it leads…