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Corvallis Hurling Club Hosts First Annual Willamette Cup Hurling Tournament!

May 15th, 2010

By Nick McKee & Dustin Herron

Corvallis, OR – It was a beautiful and sunny day for the inaugural Willamette Cup Hurling Tournament. The host club, Benton Brigade, gave it their all to host Oregon’s first ever hurling tournament which boasted 5 clubs in attendance. Teams included the Seattle Gaels, Eugene Trappers, Washington State University Hurling, Columbia Red Branch and the host Benton Brigade.

It was a full day of hurling as teams took to the pitch at 10am and played all day with the last match ending at 6. Teams each played 2 matches, with the two undefeated teams meeting in the tournament championship final. Being piped onto the field, the first match saw the Seattle Gaels team 1 and Benton Brigade face off. It was arguably the best match of the day with a lot of good physical give and take. The two teams let no score go unanswered and with the scored tied 11-11 a 5 minute over time ensued. The Brigade came out strong but suffered with accuracy on a few attempts until team leader John Cox put one over the bar to win it, 12-11 for the Brigade in the last minute of OT.

Many of the younger clubs had their troubles stacking up against veteran teams like the Gaels and Columbia red branch. However, players from both WSU and Eugene Trappers displayed a true dedication to the sport of hurling that showed their perseverance to become better. The pivotal match of the day came down to Columbia Red Branch against Seattle Gaels team 2, the winner advanced to the final against Benton Brigade. Red Branch fought hard and showed tremendous skill with the sliotar, but ultimately lost to the more experienced Gaels.

The final match had the host club showdown against the best of the Seattle Gaels. The Brigade had a firm start, matching the physical level of the Gaels, but found themselves down at the half. Experienced Gaels players Ryan Newitt & Paul McGarry proved to be a dominant force that the home club struggled to contain. The home team gave it a valiant effort, but in the end the visiting team prevailed and took the cup home to Seattle winning the match 3-6 to 0-2.

The inaugural Willamette Cup was a great success, fun was had by all, and the Benton Brigade was excited to share their passion for the Irish sport of hurling with the greater Corvallis community. Next year's tournament promises to be even bigger, with an open invitation extended to clubs nationwide. Hurling is alive and well in the Pacific Northwest!

Check back in February 2011 for next year's tournament flyer!