History of the A's
Athletics Host Visiting Irish Team
repeated invitations from both Canada and the United States, the Irish
Lacrosse Union sent a team to tour North America in August of 1886. John
Sinclair of Belfast, one of the best players in Great Britain, and Hugh
Kelly, Deputy Sheriff of County Down and another pioneer of the game in
Ireland, put a team together and landed in New York in early August. Their
first match came very next day against the "All America team."
They traveled on to Montreal where they played the Shamrocks (the Irish
team's only tour victory) and the Caughnawaga Indians, before moving on to
play games in Ottawa, Brockville, Toronto, Richmond Hill, Niagara Falls
and St. Catharines.
Reports suggest the visiting team encountered great hospitality throughout its tour (with one exception) and were able to cover all the expenses of the trip.
IRISH LACROSSE TEAM
AUGUST 20, 1886
Wednesday the Irish lacrosse team visited St. Catharines to play with the
Athletics. A large number went down from Thorold. The visitors were met
at Port Dalhousie by a delegation from the Athletic club, the mayor and
several aldermen, and escorted to St. Catharines, where carriages were
waiting, and they were taken for a drive through to Thorold, visiting
several of the different manufacturing industries on their way. They
returned along the line of the new Welland canal, and were much surprised
at this magnificent piece of work. After returning to the city and being
driven through streets, they put up at the Welland house. About 3
o’clock they were driven to the lacrosse grounds, where over two
thousand five hundred people had gathered to witness the match. The
appearance of the Irishmen on the field was the signal for hearty cheers,
which the visitors acknowledged. The different stores in the city had all
agreed to close at noon, thus giving their employees an opportunity to
attend the game.
starting of the game was somewhat delayed owing to two of the Irish team
having missed the boat at Toronto in the morning, and having to come by
rail. Arriving on the grounds about 3:30 p.m., the men were immediately
called out on the field. W.K. McNaught, of Toronto, was appointed referee,
and Mayor King and ex-Ald. McIntyre umpires, and the teams took their
positions as follows:
gentlemen – M. McDonald, A. W. Childs, A. H. Dill, H. Seaver,
J. L. Gibb, J. Nelson, W. A. Wheeler, D. J. Ross, J. McLeish, J. Blow, R.
Montgomery and J. Sinclair. H. C. Kelly, field captain.
– H. M. Rogers, A. W. Marquis, F. Williams, J. D. Chaplin, W. Yielding,
A. H. Fralick, W. Kales, J. Downey, B. Fairfield, T. Young, J. Notman, and
A. E. Collins. J. S. Carlisle, field captain.
Irish team, in many cases, made some fine catches and team play. The
Athletics, however, proved too much for them, and won the game by five
goals to one, the Irishmen taking the second game in ten minutes, and the
Athletics the first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth in seven, ten,
thirteen, one and four minutes. The seventh game had been in progress
about five minutes, when time was called.
In the evening the mayor and city aldermen entertained the two teams at a banquet in the Welland house, which proved to be a very fine affair. About 125 sat down to supper, after which toasts, songs and speeches followed one another in rapid succession until a late hour. The Belfast men express themselves as well pleased with their reception.