Imperial College Gaelic Athletics Club (ICGAC) set out to take on the Camborne School of Mines (CSM) with the aim of reinstating Imperial Hurling to its former glory (League Champions in 2012). The unofficial Bottle Match fixture pitted two traditional Celtic sports, Shinty and Hurling, against one another. Imperial were unlucky to lose 3-1 to 2-0 (which equivalates to 10 points to CSM against 6 points to ICGAC).

The game involved a mélange of rules from both sports. Hurling, a traditional Gaelic sport, is described as an amalgamation of hockey, lacrosse, and golf. It is regarded as the fastest and oldest field sport in the world and the ball can travel up to speeds of 120km/h. Shinty is a Scottish game derived from hurling with sticks which more resemble hockey sticks than the Irish ‘hurl’.

The first half saw the inexperienced ICGAC team bravely take on the Shinty team who were armed with sticks twice the size of our hurls (hurling sticks). In the first minute, the Men’s Captain Lorcán Cropper had to leave the pitch due to a battered and heavily bleeding hand, leaving the team a man down. Despite some excellent hold up play by Alex Aboud and Beth Hassan, CSM managed to score 3 goals taking advantage of their well-rehearsed team tactics against Imperial’s still forming team.

“After the match, a well-deserved pint or two was enjoyed at Wetherspoons”

ICGAC has, however, faced worse odds and survived. The second half saw a totally rejuvenated performance where Imperial came into their own. A solid defence consisting of Joe Allen and Nelson Taluker, with Nick Oon in goal saw off every challenge CSM could throw at them. This, along with the work of mercenary Fulham hurler Paul Mannix, whose end-to-end passing, tireless running and total dominance of the midfield helped to ensure some pride could be restored. He and our own American Sniper, Eoin Lyons, peppered the opposition goal with shots, scoring a goal each.

After the exciting match, a well-deserved pint, or two, was had by both teams at Wetherspoons. The occasion was spent reflecting on how this was fast becoming a major annual fixture for both clubs. The ICGAC Chair, Beth, thanked CSM and all the dedicated Imperial players for dragging themselves out of bed on a Sunday morning for the match. A special shout-out was given to our very own cheerleader and photographer Sorcha Begley (out-of-action due to injury), who captured some great shots of the action on the day.