Blue Goose grounded in Massacre |

Blue Goose grounded in Massacre

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE – The pitch, or rather, the patch of snow on the Kingdom Park baseball field was potholed, soft and loose by the time the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre rugby tournament wrapped up in Breckenridge on Saturday.

It wasn’t quite the surface needed to stand up to the punishment of two dozen matches. Players were slipping, tripping, sliding and falling. There were almost as many knock-ons as there were knock downs.

And it was all just part of the 37th annual edition of one of the most unique rugby tourneys around.

“It was a lot of fun, a good time,” said Andrew Noll of the local Gentlemen of the Blue Goose Rugby Team.

Tents were set up, (many) kegs were tapped, pizza was dished – Really, for those milling around the area, the scene actually more resembled a neighborhood block party. Well, a block party with a lot of hitting.

Eleven teams – six men’s and five women’s – played through snow flurries all day for a shot at the coveted Tommy Gun Trophy, named simply because it looks like a Tommy Gun.

And for the first time in seven years, the Goose weren’t the ones carrying it home.

The home team tied its first match of the day but lost 1-0 (tries counted as a single point) to Glenwood to be eliminated before the finals.

Some players called it a “valiant effort” from the Goose; others were political enough to simply thank their sponsor – Napper Tandy’s Irish Pub.

Noll, well, not so much.

“Yeah, that was awful,” he said with a laugh of his team’s performance. “I’m actually trying to avoid the subject.”

Although, the Goose still had a hand in the final outcome of the tournament.

With many teams short on players due to the congestion of I-70, the many local ruggers divided up to lend a hand to those teams that needed it.

Two Goose players donned Fort Collins jerseys for the final and helped the team take home the trophy with a 2-1 overtime win over the Gunnison Goats.

“It was sweet that the environment (of the tournament) is such a way that everyone can rotate through. It was good times,” Goose player and Fort Collins fill-in Brandon Schreiber said.

Glendale took the women’ crown, topping the Boulder Babes in the championship round.

Sure, the Goose ended their streak of dominance in their home tourney, but still, the day was more a celebration of the sport than a celebration of victories, right?

“It was awesome,” Noll said, before changing his mind slightly. “Well, for what it was … it wasn’t bad.”

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