Morning Star Staff
It’s a special weekend of senior lacrosse in Armstrong.
The Shamrocks host the Kamloops Rattlers tonight at 8 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre for its annual alumni game.
The club honors the Shamrocks and Vernon Tigers, who, for years, battled on the floor for local lacrosse dominance and who pioneered the intense community rivalry but more importantly forged timeless bonds as lacrosse warriors.
Almuni players from both teams will be welcomed and introduced during an intermission ceremony and players and wives will enjoy Shamrocks hospitality while watching the game.
“This has become a fantastic annual event that is growing in numbers every year,” said Shamrocks general manager Chad Pieper.
“Both the current and alumni players really look forward to this event as it gives them a chance to reminisce with old stories and give the old guys a chance to take a look at some of the skilled younger players playing the game now.
The next night, it’s a game being billed as “the provincial championship final that never was” as the ‘Rocks host the Port Moody Express in an exhibition friendly at 7 p.m.
The two teams were on a collision course to meet in the final of last year’s Senior C Invitational Lacrosse Championships in Armstrong, but an odd scheduling and protocol anomaly saw the Shamrocks lose a semifinal match to a provincially-ineligible team and miss playing the Express in the gold-medal match.
“It really was an odd situation, the two teams with provincially-eligible rosters should have met in the finals of the tournament for the gold medal,” said Shamrocks coach Ryan Nitchie.
“There should have been clearer language in the tournament agreement and Maple Ridge should have been playing for the tournament trophy and we should have played Port Moody for the Provincial gold medal” added Nitchie.
The Shamrocks are even dusting off an old piece of hardware to present to the winner, resurrecting the Royal Cup which used to be played annually between the Irish and Tigers.
The renamed Okanagan Challenge Cup and will be handed to the winner of the game.
The Express are 11-time champions of the West Central Senior Lacrosse Association. Port Moody is 8-2 in league play and sit in second place, just two points behind the Ridge Attack.