The Edmonton Wolfe Tones hosted the 2015 Western Canadian Championship. The club, which marks its 40thanniversary this year, dug deep and organized the biggest championship to date in the West with 7 men’s Gaelic football teams, 3 ladies’ Gaelic football teams, and 4 hurling teams. The visiting teams came from Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Regina, Calgary, and Red Deer to compete for top honours on August 1 and 2 at the Nor’Westers Rugby club.
On the Saturday morning, some rain showers softened up the field, but didn’t hold up the matches in any way. The sun came out that afternoon while the teams competed in round robin play. On Sunday, the morning saw the playoffs in the men’s and women’s football division. The scorching day provided an additional hurdle for teams that were hoping to drink from a cup later that night.
The ladies’ final saw the Chieftain ladies take on defending champs, the Vancouver Harps. The Harps were victorious and extended their winning streak to four consecutive years. The men’s junior final saw both teams of Gaels go head-to-head, with the Regina Gaels playing the Fraser Valley Gaels, with Regina coming out on top. It won’t be long before the two newest teams in the division start claiming senior titles. In the men’s senior final, two-time champion and home team Edmonton fought their way through several gruelling matches to face rival Vancouver again in the finals. Ultimately, Vancouver came out on top and took the Tom Butler Cup back with them to the West Coast. Finally, the Western Canada Hurling Cup was awarded for the first time to the Calgary Chieftains after playing Edmonton in the final.
Ulster Council supported the championships by sending out referee Kieron Trainor to officiate matches throughout the weekend. A referee from outside the division indispensable in making hard calls. The Western Division thanks Ulster Council and the Canadian County Board for providing an official for the weekend. The Western Division would also like to recognize the hard work of the Wolfe Tones committee in planning and running the tournament, ensuring that everything ran smoothly for another championship year.
Kim Budd - WDB Chair
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