Shamrocks nab 9th Mann Cup Title!

More than 3,000 fans stood, applauded, whistled and screamed at the top of their lungs as they shared in the Victoria Shamrocks’ ninth Mann Cup championship at The Q Centre on Friday night.

The Shamrocks, under head coach Bob Heyes, defeated the Peterborough Lakers 12-6 to win the national senior lacrosse championship best-of-seven series in six games.

The momentous triumph snapped a nine-year run of Eastern champions.

The last Western representative to take home the prestigious trophy was the 2005 Shamrocks who, by coincidence or fate, defeated these same Lakers in six games in the same building.

“It’s been 10 years that they have supported the Shamrocks and it’s great that they’ve been rewarded with that. I think they’re very, very happy,” Walt Christianson, the coach of that victorious 2005 team, said of the fans.

“It’s been a while since this city has seen a winner.”

Happy was an understatement as the arena rejoiced, especially when the Mann Cup was handed over to the captains.

The victory also allowed the three-time Western Lacrosse Association champion Shamrocks to avenge back-to-back Mann Cup losses in 2013 and 2014 to the Six Nations Chiefs.

All nine Victoria Mann Cup victories have come at home, including 2003, another team coached by Christianson.

“The organization prides itself on the quality of teams it puts on the floor, and the reward for that is a Mann Cup,” said Christianson, who has been in eight Mann Cups and won four, two as a coach and two as a player.

“This rewards all the hard work they’ve put in.”

Christianson, who is also president of the Shamrocks alumni association, said it was neat to see the arena so full and loud.

“It reminds me of back in the day, playing in the Barn on Blanshard [Memorial Arena],” he said.

“There would be 6,000 people in there and Mann Cup time was so exciting.”

This was no different as fans lived and breathed the game for the last eight days as the two teams battled it out.

Garbed in their green and white, fans stood two to three rows deep in the standing room areas of the facility to witness the win Friday.

They liked what they saw.

“I was here 10 years ago and this, to me, is the most intense series I’ve ever seen,” said Victoria super fan Jody Rice.

“I have no voice. My voice is gone."

As Published in Times Colonist Sept 12 - 2015

By: [email protected]