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Meredith Cup tournament will decide junior C champion this weekend in Cornwall

August 16, 2013

Play begins in Cornwall today in the third annual Meredith Cup tournament, the championship weekend for the Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League.

Four teams will be seeking the title, including three-time defending champion Clarington Shamrox, who will be joined by the East division champion Cornwall Celtics, West division champion Halton Hills Bulldogs and West division finalist Hamilton Bengals.

Clarington, who defeated Halton Hills 8-6 in the 2012 Meredith Cup final, ended the regular year on a skid, losing its last four games, ending a 34-game winning regular-season winning streak. The Shamrox then eliminated both Gloucester and Peterborough in three straight games before being swept by Cornwall in the division final.

The Celtics, already assured of a berth in the tournament by virtue of being the host team, showed they truly belonged by winning the East division title for the third year in a row, despite the addition of three strong clubs from the former Central division in Whitby, Peterborough and Clarington.

Cornwall posted a 13-3 record in the regular season and has been undefeated in the playoffs, sweeping best-of-five series from both Whitby and Clarington. Though 1-5 in the last two Meredith Cup tournaments, the Celtics are 4-1 overall this year versus the Shamrox.

Halton Hills has never won the junior C championship but the Bulldogs go into the tournament with the best regular-season record in the league, 14-1-1, riding a 10-game winning streak that includes eight straight wins in the post-season.

Hamilton, second-place team in the West division (10-4-2, with a season-ending five-game winning streak) has had a tougher row to hoe in the playoffs, playing 11 games in 27 days. The Bengals beat Shelburne 3-1 in the first round and Caledon 3-2 in the division semifinal. Then came a two-game sweep by Halton Hills in the best-of-three West final, including a 12-1 defeat in the deciding game.

Play in the round-robin begins Friday morning when Cornwall meets Clarington at 11 o’clock. Halton Hills then plays Hamilton at 2 p.m. and Cornwall at 8 p.m.

Saturday, the tournament resumes when Clarington and Hamilton meet at 11 a.m. Clarington then will play Halton Hills at 5 p.m. and Cornwall and Hamilton will close the preliminary round at 8.

The top two teams will advance to the final Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Meredith Cup is named for Jim Meredith, a 2006 inductee into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame from Huntsville who played for a Mann Cup winner in Victoria, coached a Founder’s Cup champion from his hometown and played or coached eight different Canadian championship teams in a distinguished career.

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