Harlequins Outlast Markham Irish In Championship Match
October 21st, 2019
(MARKHAM, ON) - It was another instant classic at Fletcher’s Fields. On Saturday, the Brantford Harlequins defeated the Markham Irish 22-17 to win the 2019 McCormick Cup. It was the second straight season the two clubs met in the final. In 2018, the Irish came away with the victory, ending Brantford’s quest for a third straight championship. In 2019, it was the Harlequins turn to play spoiler, stopping the Irish from winning back-to-back titles and winning their third McCormick Cup in the past four years.
Early in the first half, the Irish opened the scoring with some nice ball movement in the back line, before winger Lee Keegel went on a 30 meter run for the first try of the match. The Irish kept up the scoring thanks to captain Jesse Lofthouse, who ran a fantastic line to break the Harlequins defence and score the second Irish try of the first half.
After going down 14-0, the Harlequins began to find their game. Their forwards wore down the Irish pack, eventually diving over the line for their first score of the game. After the Irish extended their lead to 17-7, the ‘Quins answered back. Brantford worked the ball out wide to winger Connor Fitzsimmons, who dove over the try line to cut down the Irish lead. After 40 minutes of play, the Irish lead 17-12.
In the second half, the Harlequins took their first lead of the game, thanks to their forward pack. Deep in Irish territory, the Harlequins executed their line-out to perfection, leading to a try courtesy of Captain Jordan Kozina. The score gave the Harlequins a 19-17 lead midway through the second half. The Harlequins kept putting pressure on the Irish defence, eventually earning a penalty in Irish territory. Will Kelly converted the kick at goal, giving the Harlequins a 22-17 lead.
From there, the Harlequins pack controlled play for the rest of the match, keeping the ball and running out the clock. After the final whistle, the Harlequins celebrated their 22-17 victory, winning the McCormick Cup back from their rivals.
Rugby Ontario would like to congratulate the Brantford Harlequins on another championship season! Congratulations also to the Markham Irish on their great year. The 2019 McCormick Cup Final can be re-watched on Rugby Ontario’s YouTube page.
In other McCormick Cup Day action, Balmy Beach were crowned Gee Gage Cup Champions after a thrilling 27-24 extra time victory of the Toronto Scottish. The match was a back and forth affair between two hard hitting sides. Congratulations to the Beach on their Cup victory and to the Scottish for a great season and a well played final.
In the Fall Cup Final, Barrie RFC outlasted Crusaders Rugby Club 29-24 to win the championship. It was fantastic match between two very good teams that came down to the last whistle. Congratulations to Barrie RFC for claiming the inaugural Fall Cup Trophy and to the Crusaders for their strong showing in the Championship match.
ABOUT THE ONTARIO BLUES
The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male and female rugby players in Ontario. Rugby Ontario is represented at the provincial level by the Ontario Blues. The program includes representative teams from Under-15 to Senior in both Women’s and Men’s Fifteens and Under-18 Men's and Women's Sevens. Specifically, the program is designed to develop and showcase rugby players for Canadian representative national teams.
ABOUT RUGBY ONTARIO
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To learn more, visit http://www.rugbyontario.com/
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