Lally Trophy

International lacrosse was on the upswing.

Canada, England and the United States had. just tied for gold in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. This was followed by a 24-day, 15-game tour of U.S. colleges by an English team, the prize being the Flannery Cup — the English, incidently, won 13 of the 15 contests.

Why not, then, establish an annual series between Canada and the U.S. under the auspices of the Canadian Lacrosse Association and the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association?

CLA president Joe Lally (1363 – 1956), a true-blue lacrosse nut from Cornwall and brother of Lally stick factory founder Frank Lally, donated a trophy of an.original bronze base-relief of lacrosse players in action, mounted upon an ebony background.

It was stipulated the trophy would be open for competition among teams from Canada and the U.S., as well as England and Australia.

Oh, it was a wonderful idea but, unfortunately, ill-timed, for the field. version of the sport was in transition in Canada to the box game.

The first series for the Lally Trophy in June, 1930, matched the defending Mann Cup champion Oshawa team against an American college all-star squad. It was exciting lacrosse, leaving the fans wishing for more. U.S. won the first meeting 7-5 but dropped the second game 6-3 — Canada winning the two-game, total-goal series 11-10.

In 1931, the U.S. reversed the tables by capturing the first game 5-2 and, although dropped Game Two 1-0, won the two-game, total-goal series 5-3.

The Los Angeles Olympics provided the venue for the Lally Trophy in 1932, the Americans capturing the three-game, total-goal series 16-11 — U.S. winning 5-3 and 7-4 and Canada taking the third match 5-4.

By now, box lacrosse had taken over Canada.

The Lally Trophy was shelved until 1935 when an American rep team journeyed to New Westminster for a three-game box lacrosse meeting, losing to the B.C. All-Stars 13-7, 14-9 and 14-9.

The following year, B.C. smothered the hapless U.S. contingent 23-13, 27-13 and 27-17.

Enough, already:

The Lally Trophy hibernated until 1967 when it was resurrected to represent the winner of the Canadian Centennial Field Lacrosse World Championship May 17-22 in Peterborough, St. Catharines and East York.

The Americans showcased the superior team, taking all six matches, while Australia won four, Canada two and England none.

Since then, lacrosse has slowly, but surely, gained popularity throughout the world; but the poor old Lally Trophy was mothballed in favour of the World Cup.

Now Lally justs sits quietly in retirement behind a glass cage in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

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