• Pat Hodgins

Montreal Tour 2017 - Recap

Weather will be sunny and dry with showers the classic Irish weather forecast held true for the over seventy Markham Irish players and supporters who travelled to Montreal. The tour revived the tradition of the Inter Cities Cup and was the first that included junior boys, junior girls and senior men.

The junior girls kicked off first after sharing players with Montreal, regardless of which club their home base was, the girls put on a spirited display of rugby with strong running and fierce tackling. The score didn’t matter as both teams were having fun and showing that they have a promising season ahead.

Next up was the junior boys who played a fast paced high intensity game with numerous breakaway tries in a game played in perfect conditions, the field softened by the rain but dried by the brilliant sunshine. In the end Markham prevailed by eight tries to three which augurs for our future.

The lively frolicking between the juniors after the game, I am told, was a carryover from the blast they had on the coach ride to Montreal. Details are unavailable as ‘what happens on tour, stays on tour’.

The battle for the cup got underway with Montreal first on the scoreboard and having the most ball possession. As the first half progressed the score see-sawed back and forth, on the half time whistle the outcome seemed uncertain and return of the cup to Markham in doubt. The second half was a different affair, the promised shower cut into the sunshine with thirty minutes of torrential rain. Ball possession shifted to Markham, the error rate declined and the tries came. Final score: Markham Irish 48 Montreal Irish 24. The cup comes back.

The men held court after dinner with Chief Justice Posty presiding along with his Associate Blackie. Dress code was in effect and some beverages were available for consumption by those being charged. In accordance with the Quebec Civil Code all records of the proceeding were erased at the conclusion of the hearings.

Given the rain during the week the games had to be moved from Montreal’s home at Ste-Julie to Loyola campus. The hosting was extraordinary, with food and awards at the field for the juniors after the game and a meal and awards for the men at PJs pub. Our thanks to all in Montreal, particularly Cathy McKee, Chris Smith, David Keane and Jimmy Heaslip, for hosting us so well despite having to rearrange plans as the weather changed over the week. We look forward to seeing you in Markham in 2018.