MISSOULA - Having won the 2014 National Collegiate Gaelic Athletic Association Hurling Championship of America last summer, the University of Montana Griz Hurlers will host the McEneaney Cup from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
Hurling is an ancient Irish game based on single-person combat and has been played for more than 3,000 years. It is the national sport of Ireland the world’s fastest field sport. It has been described as a mix of lacrosse, field hockey and baseball.
The McEneaney Cup is a Cascade Hurling League competition that was named in honor of the McEneaney family who donated the cup for the first tournament in 2014. The event will bring together the Montana Grizzlies Hurling club; Regina Gaels GAA from Saskatchewan, Canada; the Columbia Red Branch Hurling Club from Portland, Oregon; and the Benton Brigade Hurling Club from Corvallis, Oregon.
The McEneaney Cup is free and open to the public. Organizers encourage families and individuals with an interest in Irish culture and sports to watch the competition.
The Montana Grizzlies Hurling team was founded in the fall of 2013 when Naoise Waldron from Kilkenny, Ireland, came to Missoula to teach Irish as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant. Less than a year later, the Montana Grizzlies Hurling team not only won the first McEneaney Cup under Waldron’s tutelage, but also went on to win the National Collegiate Gaelic Athletic Association Hurling Championship in Gaelic Park, New York, in May 2014.
The team also will host this year’s NCGAA Championship Saturday and Sunday, May 23-24, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
“The McEneaney Cup promises to be the first of two fantastic sporting events here in Missoula that will be fun for the whole family,” said Naoise Waldron, co-founder, coach and captain of the Montana Grizzlies Hurling Team, “Anyone proud to be a Griz or who is Irish will want to be at both this week’s international tournament and at next month’s National Hurling Championship games in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.”
Participants can order limited-edition Montana Grizzlies Hurling jerseys, the proceeds of which will help support the future development of the UM club. Donations also will be accepted at the event in the form of a check.