The Armstrong Shamrocks grounded the Prince George Westwood Pub Devils 14-4 Sunday morning in the bronze-medal final of the B.C. Senior C Lacrosse Championships at Hassen Memorial Arena.
The Port Moody Express took the provincial title despite losing 8-6 to the Maple Ridge Attack in the final.
Because the Ridge roster featured more than three call-up players, they were ineligible to win the BCLA championship, meaning the Express pocketed gold and Armstrong moved up to snag silver.
Said Shamrock head coach and tourney co-chairman Ryan Nitchie: “It’s a strange format that does need some clarification, however, this year was the first time the tournament has featured 10 teams. Ideally, the field should be split after round-robin play into two sides; one representing the provincially-eligible teams and the other the general tournament teams and only the eligible teams compete against each other for the B.C. title.”
“It’s something we need to address with the BCLA at the AGM, however, there were no hard feelings after this tournament as this is a growing sector in lacrosse and we want to build for the future.”
The Shamrocks, who went 3-0 in prelminary play before bowing 10-8 to the Ridge in a Saturday night semifinal, entered the provincials after a comeback Shaw Cup series win over the Kelowna Raiders.
“We have an exceptional group of players, coaches and volunteers and our team has made an important turn to the positive and we expect even better things for our team next year,” added Nitchie.
Jarett Medhurst supplied 4+2, while Steve Clark produced 3+1 as the Shamrocks stopped the Devils in the semis.
“We played probably our best game of the year,” said Nitchie. “Guys were playing for fun and they loosened their sticks and everything was working for us.”
Andrew Schwab added 2+2, while Kyle Versteeg earned 2+1 for the Shamrocks. Craig Bigsby bagged 1+3, while soon-to-be-married Braydon Sanders and Jamie Cockerill also scored in support of Chad Pieper.
After a Friday stuffing of the Ladner Pioneers, the Rocks jolted the Victoria Jokers 15-8 paced by six goals from Medhurst and then bounced the BX Pub Bandits of Prince George 13-4. Port Moody and Maple Ridge joined the Shamrocks at 3-0 following the round-robin.
“We had more than 30 volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this event the best senior C provincials since the tournament was started and the visiting teams appreciated everyone’s efforts” added Nitchie, assisted by Pieper in running the event.