BERWICK - The Valley Thunder Lacrosse Midgets kept one of four banners up for grabs at the club-hosted 5th annual Apple Cup following an exciting 4-2 final against the provincial female team June 3.
Four Valley Thunder teams entered each of Novice, Peewee, Bantam and Midget divisions in the 17-team, three-day, two-rink, 250-plus athlete tournament. Twenty-nine games were played between the Credit Union Centre in Kingston and the Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick June 1-3.
Four teams played in the Novice division: Valley Thunder, the Sackville Wolves, Eastern Shore Breakers and the St. Margaret's Bay Storm. The final ended 9-5 for Eastern Shore over Sackville, following a wicked comeback mid-game by the Breakers.
Eight teams filled a busy Peewee draw: the Dartmouth Bandits, the Codiac Storm Lightning, the Codiac Storm Rock, the St. Margaret's Bay Storm, Valley Thunder, the Dartmouth Bandits A, the Eastern Shore Breakers and the Dartmouth Bandits Bantam Female team. The Bandits A won over the Codiac Lightening 5-3, with a real battle for 7th and 8th spot, between Valley and the Rock, earlier that morning as the nail-biter for local fans: a tie, an overtime and a series of shootouts to see Valley take the win.
In the Bantam division, Valley Thunder met the Team N.S. Bantam females twice Saturday, with the banner to the winner of the most combined periods; or, if needed, the most goals; or, if needed, the least penalties. It turned out all determinations were needed, with Team N.S. coming out with the fewest penalty minutes.
Valley Thunder, the Team N.S. Midget females and the Cape Breton Warriors met in the Midget division, with Team N.S. defeating both Valley and CB to advance directly to the final. Valley and Cape Breton met twice more Saturday to place the second team into the final - Valley. The last game of the tournament was the Sunday match between Team N.S. and Valley for the banner, with Valley winning 4-2.
A weekend highlight was a two-hour open floor session for Mini-Tykes and Tykes, the youngest lacrosse players in the province. Skills and cross-floor games were organized by Valley Thunder coaches, with the assistance of Lacrosse Nova Scotia’s technical director and drop-in N.S. female Midget team members.
The Apple Cup is the only box lacrosse tournament in Nova Scotia in 2018. Teams included two visiting Peewee teams from the Codiac Storm in Moncton, and both Lacrosse Nova Scotia’s provincial female Bantam and Midget teams, preparing for the Canadian Lacrosse Association’s nationals in Halifax in July.
Valley Thunder next hosts a Novice jamboree June 24 in Berwick, a day designed for fun games for some of the youngest lacrosse athletes. Valley will host this inaugural event, with the hopes it will travel around N.S. in years to come as a staple in the Lacrosse Nova Scotia calendar.
Valley Thunder Lacrosse plays box lacrosse in the Kingston and Berwick rinks April through June, with divisions for Mini-Tykes to Midget athletes. For more information, visit valleylacrosse.ca or Valley Thunder Lacrosse on Facebook.