More than silverware at stake for Sydney hurling winners

The winners of this year’s Sydney Irish Festival hurling game between Galway and the Allianz Division 1 winners will earn a second trip to Australia in two years’ time.

The centrepiece of the two-day event takes place at the city’s Showgrounds in Olympic Park and will throw in at the Spotless Stadium on Sunday, November 10.

During last November’s International Rules series, it was confirmed that the winners of this year’s Division 1 final would face off against Galway in the New South Wales capital in late 2018.

Part of the website promotion on the festival reads: “The jewel in the festival’s crown sees the Galway Tribesmen, winners of the 2017 GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship and home to no less than 7 All Star players, take on the reigning 2018 Allianz League Champions in a historical hurling game at Spotless Stadium on Sunday afternoon. This is more than an exhibition, with the winner earning direct entry into the 2020 incarnation of the tournament and being awarded the coveted Wild Geese Trophy.

“The trophy is set to mark the cultural respect that exists between the Australian and Irish people and has been named in honour of 6 Fenian brothers who successfully escaped W.A. and the drudgery of a British-ruled penal colony in 1876; an act of defiance that would later become known as the Catalpa Rescue.”

Damien Dempsey and Lunasa are among the festival’s headline music acts and there are plans to break the world record for the biggest stew. Spotless Stadium is home of AFL club Great Western Sydney Giants where former Cavan footballer Nicholas Walsh is a coach and for whom Mayo star Cora Staunton played with this AFLW season.

Meanwhile, former Limerick selector Paul Beary is in line to take over from Shane O’Neill as Na Piarsaigh manager. Elsewhere, last year’s Cork senior hurling captain Stephen McDonnell has been confirmed as the GPA’s player engagement manager for Munster. The 29-year-old Glen Rovers man is not part of the panel this year.


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