History repeats itself. For the second year in a row, three Montreal Irish teams reached the cup finals and for the second year in a row, two Montreal Irish teams came away victorious.
It was an early start for the 3rd team who kicked off at 8.30am against XV de Montreal 2nd team. All that separated the teams after 80 minutes was a John Weller try and Montreal Irish took the Division D Cup with an 8-3 win.
The 2nd team faced St Anne’s 2nd team, their rivals from the previous year’s final. The Green started strongly and led for much of the game. Two tries against the run of play with some amazing running from two of the St Anne’s backs was the difference on the day. Despite dominating the forward play and powering their way over the try line, a late penalty to St Anne’s put the final nail in the coffin for the Irish and the game ended 18-13.
The highlight game of the day, the Super Ligue Cup Final, saw the 1st grade take on surprise finalists, Ottawa Irish. Ottawa, who finished second from bottom in the league, caused an upset in the semis by knocking out league winners St. Anne’s. They looked to be causing another upset in the final as everything was going their way. After one of the best tries seen this season and with only fifteen minutes to go, Ottawa led the game 14-3. Montreal nails were being bitten on the touchline. It was going to take something special to turn the scores around and that something came from Mark Gallagher. Cries of “Oh no!!” could be heard when Gallagher’s kick went up just outside the Ottawa 22. But an awkward bounce saw the ball find its way into James Murray’s hands on the wing and there were sighs of relief as he cruised over the try line. This was the turning point of the game and Montreal ran in another two converted tries to claw the game back from the hands of defeat. Final score 22-14 and Montreal Irish Men remain Quebec Champions for another year.
Full match reports coming soon.