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    Slashing and bashing lacrosse, Canada’s national game

    Sports fans 90 years ago were “proud of the fact that lacrosse is Canada’s national game,” and occasional violence on the field did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm. One game, which drew 4,000 spectators, was described in this item from the Ottawa Free Press, July 3, 1905.

    In a game that possessed almost every variety of lacrosse, the Shamrocks were again humbled by the capitals on Saturday…

    Incidentally, some of the long green [betting money] that was brought along remained in Ottawa. Three tallies were made in two minutes and a half, and brought the total up to 9-4.

    When the last one was scored, big Kavanaugh got so far up in the air he tried to mix it up and a glorious free fight followed — one of those occurrences deplored by thousands and welcomed as an interesting diversion by as many others. With the exception of Johnny Brennan, all the Shamrocks were in it. Murphy, Starrs, Pringle and Bowery Robertson were in the thick of it. Other players tried to stop the fight and got slugged for the trouble they took. Referee Bramley got between a couple of combatants and somebody landed him. Umpire Reynolds fared no better.

    Half a dozen cops jumped the garden wall, but they were easy for the Shamrocks. The portly guardians of the peace could not make good at the rough and tumble. Finally order was restored, a couple of the Irishmen tavelled to the rooms to get sewn up, Murphy and Kavanaugh were given a rest, and the game went on.


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    TAGS: Sports, Lacrosse, Violence, Fighting

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