McCormick Cup Playoffs get underway this weekend
The 2018 McCormick Cup playoffs begin this Saturday after a short break for Marshall teams. Seeding for the playoffs were determined through the season along with the newly formatted Ontario League Playoffs and with various storylines in play, the first round of the Senior Men’s provincial championship is bound to be an exciting one.
The winners of round one will move on to quarter final play on September 15. September 22 and September 29 will then be the dates for the McCormick Cup Semi and Cup Finals, respectively. The Cup Final will take place at Fletcher’s Fields with further event details including streaming to be announced.
McCORMICK CUP ROUND ONE MATCHUPS
Markham Irish (3) v Aurora Barbarians (14)
Fletcher’s Fields, September 8 at 3:00pm
The Markham Irish and Aurora Barbarians are set to meet in Round One of the McCormick Cup Playoffs. The York region rivals never met this year as the Aurora Barbarians fell to the Marshall Championship after the 2017 season. After another tough season for Aurora (4-6-0 record), the Barbarians will look for a first round upset against their Markham foes, who sported a strong 7-3-0 record in the West Premiership.
Lindsay RFC (4) v London St. George’s (13)
Lindsay RFC, September 8 at 3:00pm
London makes the trip eastward to take on Lindsay in their round one match. Lindsay settled for a 5-5-0 record to finish second in a tight Marshall East Premiership division, while London was part of a dominant West Championship. Even though the St. George’s finished the season with a 7-3-0 record, they found themselves sitting in third place, below the Burlington Centaurs and Waterloo County in the West Championship. This is an enticing first round match to say the least with both teams vying for a quarter final berth.
Balmy Beach (5) v Ajax Wanderers (12)
Tubs and Gee Gage Field, September 8 at 3:00pm
Balmy Beach finished in third place in the East Premiership directly behind Lindsay. With an identical 5-5-0 record to Lindsay, the Beach had a testing season, but look to move forward in the McCormick Cup Playoffs – a time of year when they flourish. The Ajax Wanderers came out on top of a tight East Championship division, while posting the only positive record in the division (6-4-0).
Crusaders RC (6) v Barrie RFC (11)
Crusaders RC, September 8 at 3:00pm
The Crusaders of the Marshall Premiership will meet the Marshall Championship’s Barrie RFC in the first round of the McCormick Cup. Barrie finished with a record of 4-6-0 but had a strong showing in the Ontario League Playoffs to be rewarded with a strong seed. The Crusaders had a tough season with a 2-8-0 record but were able to avoid relegation. They will look to bounce back in the McCormick Cup Playoffs against a strong Barrie contingent.
Peterborough Pagans (7) v Burlington Centaurs (10)
Nicholls Oval, September 8 at 3:00pm
Peterborough and Burlington are the definition of opposite storylines going into the McCormick Cup Playoffs. The Peterborough Pagans have found themselves relegated to the Marshall Championship for the 2019 season, after only one year in the Premiership (2-8-0 record). There were a lot of positives taken from their season though and the McCormick Cup could be their chance for vengeance. The Burlington Centaurs – on the other hand – were able to dominate in their first year in the Marshall Championship, going undefeated for a good portion of the season and they ultimately finished with an 8-2-0 record. The Centaurs narrowly missed out on promotion after a tough overtime loss to Waterloo in the Ontario League Playoff Championship Final.
Stoney Creek Camels (8) v Waterloo County (9)
Saltfleet High School, September 8 at 3:00pm
In another tale of two seasons, the Stoney Creek Camels and Waterloo County meet in the first round. Stoney Creek had their struggles this year in the Marshall Premiership, finishing in last place in the West Premiership. They will be relegated in 2019 to the West Championship, but not before they have a chance to defeat the team that will be taking their place. Waterloo County had a strong season in the Championship and earned themselves a promotion to the Premiership after an exciting Ontario League Playoffs final. They ride this high into the McCormick Cup Playoffs and will look to build on their momentum.
Round One Byes: Brantford Harlequins (1) and Toronto Scottish (2)
With the Harlequins and Scottish finishing with one and two seeds and teams from the EORU not able to join the first round of the McCormick Cup due to Quebec league commitments, Brantford and Toronto have earned a break in round one. Brantford will host the winner of Stoney Creek and Waterloo, while the Toronto Scottish will host the winner of Peterborough and Burlington.
For more information on the McCormick Cup including results and a detailed playoff bracket, go to www.rugbyontario.com/mccormickcup.
Gee Gage and Intermediate Cup Playoffs
Along with the McCormick Cup Playoffs, the Gee Gage Cup and Intermediate Cup will also be taking place in September.
The Gee Gage Cup is an optional championship for Marshall Seconds team and Branch Firsts teams. This year, the competition will include eight teams.
The teams competing are Balmy Beach (Marshall 2), Hamilton Hornets, Bay Street Pigs, Crusaders, Fletcher’s North (Combined Aurora Barbarians and Markham Irish), Toronto Scottish, Toronto Saracens and Balmy Beach Academy (Keenan 1).
Spanning over the same four weeks as the McCormick Cup and culminating with the Gee Gage Cup on September 29, the matchups for the first three weeks can be found here: http://www.rugbyontario.com/league/132336/.
The Intermediate Cup includes two home-and-home series to determine entry into the Marshall Championship for the 2019 season.
In the West Marshall Intermediate Cup, the Sarnia Saints (NRU League Representative) and the Toronto Nomads play a home-and-home series with matches on September 8 and September 15. Aggregate score determines entry or return into the West Championship for 2019.
In the East Marshall Intermediate Cup, the Vaughan Yeomen (TRU League Representative) and the Oshawa Vikings play a home-and-home series with matches on September 8 and September 15. Aggregate score determines entry or return into the East Championship for 2019.
For fixtures and results of the Marshall Intermediate Cup, go to http://www.rugbyontario.com/league/132358/.
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