FORMER Sean Treacy’s player Chris McAlinden created history at the weekend by captaining the London senior hurling team against his native county Armagh.
This was the first competitive outing for Chris in London colours having only joined up with the squad in November 2012. In the opening game of the division 2B National Hurling League Chris lined out at midfield and was tasked with very familiar opponents. In a hard hitting and energy sapping game it was clear the Armagh men were not going to let Chris forget where he came from, but Chris was up to the challenge and delivered some fabulous balls and vital interceptions.
London came out victors on the day with a score line of 0-21 to 0-14 and Chris even managed to chip in with a superb long range point.
Chris, known to his friends as Clint, played hurling with Sean Treacy’s from a very young age. He was always a key player on all underage teams both club and county and at the tender age of 18 he was selected for the county senior panel. Chris’s love for the game had gathered pace and his unique ability was evident. In 2007, Chris started at full forward in the final of the All Ireland Nicky Rackard Cup in Croke Park and although Armagh were beat by two points on that occasion, Chris gave a man of the match performance, claimed a personal tally of 4 points and later received an All Star award for his efforts.
Further successful hurling years with club and county followed, however Chris finished full time study with UUJ in 2010 and found himself struggling to secure full time employment in his chosen profession. Having no other option he made the big step to leave Ireland and set up camp in the English capital leaving behind his beloved Sean Treacy’s Hurling Club. Still driven by the love of the game, Chris found himself a new hurling club, Kilburn Gaels. Last year was his first year with the North London based club and Chris had no problem holding down a first 15 spot mixing it well with top players from Tipp, Cork, Limerick and the likes.