11 p.m., Feb. 24)
90-year-old challenge cup revived for a great cause
By Fred Sherwin
Bradley Country Convenience Store owner John
Bradley holds up the Bradley Cup that will
be contested at the Navan Arena on Good Friday.
east end hockey teams will soon be lacing up their skates
to compete for a trophy that dates back to the mid-1920s
and raise a few dollars for a Navan resident battling
leukemia in the process.
Bradley Cup was established in 1926 by John Thomas Bradley
and put up as a challenge thrown out by the Navan Hockey
Club to a rival club in Vars.
star player at the time was Wally Kilrea who would go
on to play nine seasons in the NHL with the Philadelphia
Quakers, New York Americans, Ottawa Senators, Montreal
Maroons and Detroit Red Wings.
member of that team was Nelson Kennedy who passed away
in 2010 at the age of 101.
he died, Kennedy conducted an interview with OrleansOnline.ca
during which he spoke about his recollections of that
very first challenge cup which was a two game, home-and-home
teams put up $100 before the series started, winner take
all. The first game was played on an outdoor rink on Trim
Road across from where The New Oak Tree furniture store
the 1920s, most teams still played with seven members
a side, including a rover and there were no substitutes.
If a player got injured, the team simply played a man
first game in the 1926 Bradley Cup challenge ended in
a 0-0 tie. When neither team was able to score in regulation
during the second game in Vars, they game went into overtime.
scored the winning goal in double overtime, Kennedy
recalled during the interview. The game took 90
minutes to play. Everyone was dog tired."
players ended up splitting the $100 seven ways.
Cup originator John Thomas Bradley holds up
the trophy (circa 1926). File photo
was good money back then. I dont remember what I
did with my share, said Kennedy.
Bradley Cup was offered up twice more before the start
of WWII. In 1929 it was won by a team from Cumberland
Village. It was recaptured by Navan four years later and
sat in the J.T. Bradley and Sons store until 1948 when
it was dusted off for a rematch between Navan and Cumberland.
top line on the Navan team was made up of Eric Smith,
Harold Poaps and Shawn Nelson. The second line featured
brothers Basil, Bill and Ken McFadden. The third line
included Lorne Bradley and Syd Smith, while Mervin Dagg
and Lloyd Morrison played on defence. The coach was Eldon
Huneault had to play in net for Navan while their regular
goaltender Garret Rivington recovered from Rheumatic fever.
Smith ended up on the team entirely by accident. After
returning home from the war, he enrolled at Queens
University in September 1946. He was barely there a month
when he decided to pack it in and return to
Navan where he was immediately recruited to play on the
recalls the Navan team hardly lost any games at all before
taking on Cumber-land for the Bradley Cup.
first game was played on the old outdoor rink on Trim
Road which would end up getting replaced by the towns
first indoor arena a year later.
to Smith, a couple of hundred people came out to watch
the game which Navan ended up winning 8-0 thanks to a
five goal effort by Smith himself.
were some ticked off I tell ya. I know that, because it
took us forever to play the second game in Cumberland,
second game in the home-and-home series was eventually
played in mid-March in the old Cumberland Arena. To give
you an idea of the ice conditions, Smith was given a penalty
for splashing an opposing player.
was terrible, there was water all over the place. One
of their players was trying to get the puck and I thought,
If youre going to get the puck then youre
going to get wet, says Smith.
Smith poses with Ross Bradley and the Bradley
Cup which he won as a member of the Navan
team in 1948. Fred Sherwin/Photo
ended up winning the game 1-0, but Navan won the Cup based
on the aggregate score of 8-1.
last Bradley Cup was won by the French Hill Hockey Club
in 1959. Since then its sat in J.T. Bradleys
Country Convenience Store as a reminder of days gone by...
celebrate the 90th anniversary of the very first Bradley
Cup and the 60th anniversary of the last time it was contested,
Navan resident Frank Boyer and his son Charles are organizing
a one day, five team tournament with the blessing of J.T.
Bradley Country Convenience Store owner and great-grandson
of John Thomas Bradley, John Bradley.
five teams, which will be made up of existing senior mens
teams representing Navan, Vars, Sarsfield, Cumberland
Village, and Orléans, will play three games each
and then the top two teams will play for the privilege
of having their name added to the Cup.
tournament will be played at the Navan Memorial Arena
on Good Saturday, Sept. 23.
will be asked to pay a nominal admission fee that will
go to help pay for the medical fees of Navan resident
Gerry Lalonde who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
talked to John and we both wanted to use the tournament
to help raise money for a good cause, and what better
cause than to help out a local resident, says Boyer
who is hoping to turn the tournament into an annual event.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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