History of the A's
Athletics Lose In Eastern Final
E. C. BOX
10 – 3 IN
St. Catharines Standard
October 7, 1950
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Joe Murphy, Mimico; Max Peart, Port Colbourne.
Penalties: Oneschuk, Burlington
Penalties: P. Smith, Burlington, Mason.
St. Catharines Standard
October 7, 1950
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
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?
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.
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
Related Reading: Early Season Photo of the 1950 St. Catharines Athletics