The string of good-weather games finally came to an end on Saturday at the Cambridge Highland Games, but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants nor the spectators as a large crowd witnessed the 78th Frasers continue their 2014 winning streak in the Grade 1 MSR contest. Under cloudy skies, the heavy rain held off for much of the day, however it could not be denied forever, with the Grade 1 contest taking the brunt of it. Peel Regional Police leveraged a strong ensemble performance to take second place, while the Toronto Police were third, taking best pipes in the process. You can be sure that all three of these bands will be working hard to ensure they are at their best for the upcoming Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ontario in two weeks time. Ottawa Police continued their run as the hardest working band in Ontario, challenging up to the Grade 1 contest, as well as competing on their own in the Grade 2 medley contest.
Speaking of winning streaks, Paris/Port Dover continued their Ontario steam-roller act by again taking the Grade 3 contest, followed by Toronto Police in second and Hamilton Police in third. With a number of U.S. bands making the trip north to Maxville this year, grade 3 is shaping up to perhaps be THE contest to watch this year at the North American Championships.
Rob Roy Pipe Band from Kingston, Ontario remained in their fine form on this weekend, taking the Grade 4 Medley contest, followed by Grand Celtic in second and Guelph in third. Hamilton Police took the Grade 5 March Medley event, followed by Paris/Port Dover in second and the Pipes & Drums of Lindsay in third place. Many have commented on the strength of both Grade 4 and Grade 5 in Ontario this year, which certainly bodes well for the future of pipe bands in Ontario in the coming years.
Professional piper of the day was again Ian K. MacDonald, with Elizabeth Shaw taking the same honours in drumming. In amateur piping, Tyler Johnson won this week’s “battle of the Tylers”, while Kyle Wardell continued his impressive season in drumming.