Montreal contractor William Stewart changed lacrosse in the nineties.
The Capital manager brought about a merger with Ottawa L.C. which
instantly made the Capitals contenders. Stewart made two other key
moves. He switched Tommy Crown to goal and he signed defender Barney
Quinn. The latter change cost Ottawa two victories because Quinn had
started the year with Orillia Intermediates, then joined Capitals
without waiting the necessary 30 days. Both wins, over Cornwall, had
to be replayed.
The Winged Wheels returned and the Montreal rivalry was as heated as
ever. The final meeting was so violent that the city's mayor rushed
from his seat down to the Shamrock bench. Mayor McShane shouted: "For
God sake Mr. Polan, control your men!" To which the irish captain
replied: "I know Mr. Mayor, but what can I do?"
It was a record setting year. Montreal's Hugh Adams began the season
by throwing a lacrosse ball 449 feet 5 1/2 inches. In September,
Barney Quinn broke that record. During a pre-game warm up the 23 year
old tossed a ball 497 feet 7 1/2 inches!
The two returnees had a rough time. M.A.A.A. managed only two
victories, both over Toronto. The Queen City crew went 0-8 and scored
only 10 goals.
In the Factory Town it was the farewell season for Alex Black. He led
the league in goal scoring for the third consecutive year as he
averaged two per game. The defending champs were only able to split
eight contests. They lost all their meetings with Ottawa and
The championship race was a two horse affair. Head to head Shamrocks
and Capitals split their two meetings. On June 11th the irish
prevailed 4-1 as Joe O'Meara scored three and Nick Neville had a trio
of assists. Ottawa responded on July 23rd by doubling the green shirts
4-2. James Murphy's pair of goals were the difference. The Montreal
squad completed its schedule on September 17th, leaving Ottawa with two
must win games to tie. The first was the final Cornwall replay, in the
Factory Town. It began disasterously as Capitals fell behind 3-1 in
the opening half. The contenders elevated their play during the final
40 minutes. With George Carson's two goals, Ottawa rallied for a 4-3
win. A week later they easily defeated a short staffed Toronto team.
Prior to the contest the Torontos asked to see Barney Quinn. They gave
the new record holder three cheers.
The tie break for the pennant created unprecedented interest. The
Govenor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, insisted that the results of
each quarter be telegraphed to him. He was not the only interested
sports fan. A crowd of 14,000 gathered in Montreal for the title
match. The cold October weather did nothing to dampen their
enthusiasm. Shamrocks entered the contest at a disadvantage because
their regular goalie, James McKenna, was injured. William Duggan
replaced him and performed admirably. He was under siege early as
Ottawa came out fast and stormed to a 2-1 lead. Harry Carleton scored
first, from Frank Bissonette, then combined with George Carson to set
up Harry Ketchum for the second. In between Joe O'Meara answered with
a solo effort. O'Meara tied it again, in the second half, with help
from John Tucker and James McVey. It was McVey who counted the winner,
late in the affair. The irish then defended furiously as Capitals
threw every man forward. With the final whistle the green shirts had