Hunters rugby Mudmen battle for Caledonia Cup, Maritime rugby crown
Local sports fans get a chance to watch championship rugby today as the Hunter’s Corner Mudmen RFC meet Fredericton Loyalists at 4 p.m. at MacAdam Field on the UPEI campus for the Caledonia Cup, the Maritime rugby championship.
It’s a big day on campus with a triple-header starting at noon with the Mudmen’s Division 2 club meeting Moncton Black Tide for the Wheaton Cup, followed by a 2 p.m. contest between the UPEI Panthers and Saint Mary’s in Atlantic University Sport women’s action.
In the 4 p.m. clash, the Island club will be attempting to bring the Caledonia Cup back to Charlottetown for first time since 1955. The sport of rugby is enjoying a huge popularity growth worldwide and especially so on P.E.I., bolstered by graduates from the Island high school ranks.
The Mudmen Division 1 crew is a veteran team with guys like Phil Gallant, Charlie Waddell, Alex Forrest, Liam Carter, Phil Lanthier, Kyle Robertson, Mike Deighan and Brodie MacDonald, plus a great supporting cast. Marcus Dunphy is doubtful with a broken thumb. One of the key players for Fredericton is hard-running eight-man Austin Comeau.
The Maritime Senior Rugby Championship was first contested in 1923 with Dalhousie University winning the first trophy, which was later re-named Caledonia Cup in honour of Caledonia RFC from Cape Breton which captured the trophy from1932-40. In recent years, Halifax Tars and the Loyalists have won the cup numerous times, but P.E.I. has not captured this Cup in more than 60 years. Charlottetown’s Saint Dunstan’s University first won the Caledonia Cup in 1952 and again in 1954 and some of those players joined the Charlottetown Nomads, which won the title in 1955.
Now that my New York Yankees have been sidelined by archrival Boston Red Sox, my interest in the World Series has faded a little bit as I’ll be pulling for Houston in the American League Championship Series.
The last series with Boston was a roller-coaster ride. After splitting two games at Fenway Park, the Yankees headed back to Yankee Stadium confident they could sideline the BoSox. I always feared that crafty right-handed pitchers would eventually give the right-handed hitting Yankees lineup fits, but I didn’t think that Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi were capable. They made New York hitters look pathetic, especially slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who is a mistake hitter, but an easy out against quality pitchers, especially righties.
In addition, Yankees manager Aaron Boone played right into the Red Sox plans by starting seven consecutive right-handed hitters in the key Game 3. Furthermore, he waited until the damage was done before pulling his Game 3 and 4 starters Luis Severino and C.C. Sabathia. Boone’s tenure in New York will likely be a short one.
The bugle called for Richard Bradley last Saturday morning and it was painful indeed when I heard of his passing in Ohio.
You may not have known Richard Bradley, but you can take it from me that he was one of harness racing’s most knowledgeable players, and one of the greatest and most meticulous caretakers.
Growing up in Charlottetown, he played on the top junior hockey clubs of the mid1950s with guys like Vince and Billy Mulligan, but his first love was harness racing. He worked locally for James (Roach) MacGregor when Roach campaigned the likes of Jim Fashion, one of the fastest horses in the Maritimes in 1963, against the best invitational pacers from Blue Bonnets and New England tracks.
Richard is best remembered for his work with the great horseman Stanley Dancer with whom he worked for 30 years. Richard was so highly regarded that when Super Nice captured New York sire laurels, dancer and owner Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, the first lady of international trotting, took Richard along to the trophy presentations.
Richard knew everybody worth knowing in the harness racing game and when he retired from active caretaking, he and his partner Peggy Bishop looked after the Little Brown Jug paddock at Delaware, Ohio. He helped propel Ohio driver David Miller into the grand circuit ranks and pushed Ohio-based Jason Settlemoir into moving to The Meadowlands where he is now GM. Goodbye old friend.
Live harness racing continues today at 12:30 p.m. at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park with a 13-dash card.
The $2,600 feature has attracted the likes of Rose Run Quest, Euchred, Czar Seelster, Machinthesand, Keep Coming and Three Truths. The Truths horse is co-owned by Jason Rice and Darren Doyle and has been razor sharp of late sporting a new lifetime best of 1:55.
Marc and Tasha Campbell are starting their own fractional ownership group and purchased Hip 14 Streakazana (by Western Paradise) at the recent Crapaud sale. For details contact Tasha at email@example.com or call Marc at 902-218-5391.
A big card at Mohawk tonight with the Ontario Sire Stakes Super finals each worth $225,000. The two-year-old colts has Sydney, N.S.,-owned-and-trained Bronx Seelster in against a tough field including Stag Party (Dave Miller), Harry Poulton’s Sunshine Finest (James MacDonald) and seven others. James has a number of live shots on the rich card. Percy Bluechip is listed at 5-2 in the sophomore mares final.
The international trot headlines a big card at Yonkers as well where Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) carries Canada’s hopes in the $1 million race. Lazarus N and McWicked meet again in the $250,000 Dan Rooney. Also, Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald), who was second beaten by a nose last start, has the eight-hole in the $44,000 open. Reg MacPherson’s two-year-old Shadow Play colt Carlisimo scored easily at Mohawk on Thursday night in 1:55.2 for trainer James Friday Dean and driver James MacDonald.
The Charlottetown Nomads lost the 1954 New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island senior rugby championship. Many of these players were on the 1955-winning Caledonia Cup squad. Front row, from left, are Noel Wilson, Ebbie Devine, captain Ronnie McIvor and Gerard Burge. Second row, Fred Driscoll, Gordon Tweedy, Bill Ledwell, Charlie Ready and Jack Ready. Third row, Cliff Gillis, George Kelly, David Nicholson, David MacLeod, Joe Coyle, Gerry MacDonald and Jim MacNeil. Missing were coaches Elmer Blanchard and Dr. Frank Jelks and manager George Scantlebury.