By PHILIP CHANDLER
For fast-paced action, there’s no better place to be this Saturday afternoon than the Queenstown Rec Ground.
Queenstown’s ‘Band of Brothers’ tackle Christchurch-based Canterbury GAA in the very Irish sport of hurling, while also fundraising for St John Wakatipu.
Said to be the fastest game on grass, it’s also pretty physical as two teams try to hit a small ball at their opponents’ goalposts — either over the cross-bar for one point or into a net underneath, that’s guarded, for three points.
Both teams will be playing for the first time for the Lindis Pass Trophy named after, roughly, the halfway point between Queenstown and Canterbury.
It was organised by local player Declan ‘Diesel’ Malone.
Queenstown proudly hold the trophy as they beat Canterbury when they last met in 2019 — last year’s game was canned due to Covid.
Eight Wellington players, who haven’t been getting many games due to the global pandemic, are also flying down to bolster both sides’ ranks.
Queenstown’s got 15 squad players — 13 Irish plus one Welshman and a Scotsman.
‘‘You kind of have to grow up playing it,’’ captain Niall Quinn says, ‘‘though we have a couple of guys who’ve never played it before.’’
The local boys also pride themselves on their fitness — one stalwart, Declan Murray, has been doing Queenstown Parkruns for many months and even did one to start his stag do last Saturday.
Asked if Queenstown will win, Quinn says: ‘‘I reckon we’ll just tip them.’’
Canterbury, he says, are missing their regular infusion of young Irish farmers going there to make silage.
Saturday’s game will also be a colourful spectacle — 10 large green Irish flags will be dished out along with 85 kids’ flags.
The game, which is 35 minutes each half, starts 1pm — entry’s by cash donation to St John.
Leaflets explaining the rules will be handed out.