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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

The Merchant Mess


By Fred Wallace


Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire. "

The Ontario Senior Lacrosse playoffs begin this weekend with the Owen Sound NorthStars facing the Six Nations Rivermen in a rematch of last year's final, while the 2018 regular season champion Oakville Titans go against the Brooklin Merchants.

With the playoffs on the horizon, the large buzz continues to be in the rearview mirror; last Sunday's regular season finale for the NorthStars at home to a facsimile of the Brooklin Merchants.

With 3rd place in the standings on the line, Brooklin needed to win, a tie or to lose by 1 goal to nail down 3rd.

Owen Sound had to win by at least 2 goals to grab 3rd place and do so against a team they'd lost to by 1 goal in their first meeting and tied just 7 days earlier; so the head-to-head finale was a schedulemakers delight and should have been, could have been, an excellent showcase for a solid product in Senior Lacrosse..........

Instead, in a perplexing scenario, Brooklin arrived at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre with FOUR runners and 2 goalies.

After a brief consultation between the teams, Owen Sound provided equipment so one of the Brooklin goalies could actually perform as a runner and the " game " was on.

As you might have expected, it wasn't much of game, but to the credit of the NorthStars organization and in fairness to the 6 guys who represented Brooklin, it wasn't a total farce.

But it was discouraging.

Senior Lacrosse, Ontario Lacrosse in general, needs all the positive exposure it can get and Sunday was not a proud moment.

I feel bad for the NorthStars who had every aspect in place, including the vast expenses connected with hosting a game, a significant game and then got a virtual no-show from the opposition for their efforts.

And I'm curious how the bulk of the Brooklin roster who bailed can look the 6 guys who showed in the face.

Owen Sound will be the underdogs in their playoff series with Six Nations, no question.

But I like the NorthStars chances far better than I like Brooklin's against Oakville, unless the Merchants can assemble more bodies.


I'm Fred Wallace

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