History of the A's

 
 

Athletics Lose In Eastern Final

 

 

A’S OUSTED IN FINAL 

CRESCENTS WIN E. C. BOX TITLE BY 10 – 3 IN 7TH GAME OVER A’S UNDER ADVERSE CONDITIONS 

The St. Catharines Standard 

Saturday October 7, 1950 

For the first time in the history of box lacrosse, Owen Sound will represent Eastern Canada in the Dominion finals. With a last half scoring punch and a generous boost from the men who guide the destiny of lacrosse in Ontario, Owen Sound Crescents handed St. Catharines Athletics a 10 – 3 defeat last night in the antiquated Fergus arena, the game being the “rubber” of the best-in-seven for the E. C. senior lacrosse crown. 

Before we get into the pros and cons, let’s state definitely right now that on the actual play, Owen Sound was the better club last night, perhaps not by the seven goal margin but definitely boasted a two or three goal advantage. For the first half, the A’s more than held their own and with any breaks whatever, could have run up a sizeable lead. Doug Gillespie opened the summary at 5:27 of the first on a pass from Yorky Jordan and immediately after the goal was scored, time was called for the rickety Fergus boards as one plank fell right out on the floor. 

Leo Teatro took a pass in front of the Owen Sound goal, spun away from two Crescent checks for a brilliant tying goal and just a little better than one minute later Don McWhirter (one of the top Sounders all night) blasted home a rebound for a 2 – 1 north lead at the quarter. 

One break, which perhaps helped to swing the eventual outcome, cropped up in the early minutes of the second quarter. While lying full length in the St. Catharines crease, Russ Slater picked up a ball practically at the goal line and while Bill Whittaker waited for an obvious call, Slater got to his feet and tossed a backhander into the top corner. Whittaker rushed up to Ref. Peart to argue the point and was just as quickly “cooled” for two minutes, Leo Teatro taking his place. As a tribute to the fine Athletic defence, not one Owen Sound found its way to the Athletic goal while Big Bill served his penance. 

Jim McNulty took a “sleeper” from Oneschuk late in the second, picked a top corner and Athletics were down 3 – 2 at the half. Harry Kazarian soloed early in the third; Doug Gillespie “bulled” his way in for the other goal of that quarter as the rival goaltenders turned in saves simply out of this world. 

The final fifteen minutes turned into a veritable nightmare for A’s and any of their supporters who succeeded in gaining admission. Forced to throw the game wide open. Athletics left veteran Bill Whittaker practically unprotected and while he turned away a good number of shots from point-blank range, five others beat him and all were labelled drives. Ken Croft got the lone Athletic goal just after the ten mark and while every Athletic player continued to go all out until the final siren, the odds for this series at least, were stacked just a little too high. 

At the risk of being considered a “poor loser” here are a few facts that should be considered before closing the books on the OLA season. First of all, the series just concluded showed once again that lacrosse has a long, long road to go before reaching the “major league” status of hockey. Where in any other branch of sport would you find a deciding game being shifted from either the swank St. Catharines bowl or Owen Sound Aud. into a broken-down barn such as is situated in Fergus and dignified by the name of “arena”? According to OLA rules, the final game for the OLA title is to played on a “neutral” floor. Toronto Maple Leafs should play their home games in the Detroit Olympia. Apart from the fact that it is inside and has a solid floor, both to the disadvantage of Athletics, four Owen Sound players (Foote, Mason, Campbell, Jordan) played most of their lacrosse for Fergus and two others (Gillespie brothers) played all their junior lacrosse under the Fergus roof. The dictionary description of neutral is…not favouring one side or the other. Doesn’t sound like it does it? 

Last but not least, is the matter of tickets. Both Owen Sound and St. Catharines were to receive 500 tickets for last night’s game, Owen Sound received theirs, St. Catharines is still waiting. When fans from this district reached Fergus last night, their section was already filled with either Fergus or Sound rooters and many, including wives of the players, didn’t gain admission until after the first quarter, then saw the game, or parts of it, from three rows back of the end screen. Other hundreds from this district went home without getting inside the doors. Lacrosse has taken enough knocks in the past few years. Let’s not have the same situation arise next season. They used to say of the Model "T" that every knock was a boost. We doubt if this is true of Canada’s National Pastime…lacrosse. 

St. Catharines Athletics: Goal, Whittaker; defence, Oneschuk, Myers; rover, McMahon; center, P. Smith; forwards, Jim McNulty, D’Amico; subs, Nelson, Wipper, Teather, Frick, Croft, Teatro, Bradshaw. 

Owen Sound Crescents: Goal, Wootton; defence, Woods, McWhirter; rover, Kazarian; centre, G. Gillespie; forwards, Campbell, Foote; subs, F. Smith, Allum, A. Smith, Mason, D. Gillespie, Slater, Burlington. 

Referees: Joe Murphy, Mimico; Max Peart, Port Colbourne.

Summary:

1st Quarter

O. S. D. Gillespie (A. Smith) - 5:27
St. C. Teatro (Nelson) (Wipper) 9:22
O. S.  McWhirter (D. Gillespie) - 13:20

 Penalties: Oneschuk, Burlington

2nd Quarter

O. S. Slater - - 3:51
St. C. McNulty (Oneschuk) - 14:17

 Penalty: Whittaker

3rd Quarter

O. S. Kazarian - - 1:40
O. S. D. Gillespie (A. Smith) - 13:15

 No Penalties

4th Quarter

O. S. A. Smith - - 3:38
O. S. McWhirter - - 6:22
O. S.  Foote (A. Smith) - 6:33
O. S.  D. Gillespie - - 8:47
St. C. Croft (Teatro) - 11:04
O. S. Mason (D. Gillespie) - 11:15

 Penalties: P. Smith, Burlington, Mason.


SPORTS DONE BROWNE 

By CLAYTON BROWNE 

The St. Catharines Standard 

Saturday October 7, 1950 

Let’s take A’s elimination in the essence of good sportsmanship and say the Crescents, in defeating your Athletics, won on their merits…under conditions such as existed. There is no doubt whatever, that St. Kitts were jobbed, not by the new E. C. champions, but by the parent boxla solons. 

Surely, it showed disparity and favouritism, when some 500 Fergus tickets were sent north for sale and not one came here, thus leaving St. Kitts to fight their way into a jam-packed arena of Sound-Fergus fans, the latter because four of the C’s are Scots native sons (Foote, Mason, Campbell, Jordan). What else can St. Kitts think, but that the OLA was all for the Sound and against the Garden City and her chances of attaining Mann Cup eligibility? 

We all know the two sides of the case. If you lose ungracefully, you’re accused of being unable “to take it” and no one wants that black mark pinned on A’s and this city. So, congratulations to Crescents, who make the cup finals for the first time in history. Actually though, the game might just as well have been played in the Sound as in Fergus as far as conditions went for them and against Joe Cheevers. 

Maybe 300 of the A’s backers went to Fergus and were more concerned with the tragic possibilities of disaster, if fire or such broke out. It shook all their enjoyment out of the game, in fact, let alone the decisive score  that elevated the north to the select spot. However, without any desire of accusation of sour grapes for losing, we’ll make this early prediction. 

If Adanacs are as fast as former coastal champs and Crescents maintain their “studied” system, the west will run them right through the floor at M. L. Gardens, commencing tomorrow afternoon. If slow-motion lacrosse wins the Mann Cup in 1950, it will assuredly make history. However, the best of luck, Crescents, in hopes of retaining eastern supremacy over the best the west has.

Related Reading: Early Season Photo of the 1950 St. Catharines Athletics

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