1936-37 English Rugby Team

…captured the Maritime Intercollegiate crown in an historic marathon contest.

The ’36-’37 English Rugby Squad has often been described as one of the most successful teams during Acadia’s first century of existence. Following a very exciting ’35-’36 campaign in which they captured Provincial Intercollegiate honours with a 6-3 triumph over St. F.X. and barely missed gaining tri-province laurels with a 3-0 loss to Mt. Allison, they were destined for glory.

On November 4, 1936, the Axemen won their first tri-province crown of the post World War I era as they upset the previously undefeated Mt. Allison team, 3-0, to capture the Maritime crown and the coveted Referee’s Trophy. The contest, played on the A.A.A.C. Grounds in Truro, was one of the closest battles in the history of Maritime Rugby as the battle ended after one hundred and twelve minutes when Ted Ellsworth scored for the Blue and Garnet.

Reports of that historic encounter included these comments:

“Supported by two of the largest cheering sections ever to accompany these teams, the two aggregations appeared on the field amid tremendous applause. The referee, Gerald Davis, blew his whistle and the game was on. Acadia kicked to the Mountie captain, Stan Gascoigne, who drove a punt into the arms of Demmings.”

“Cameron, Acadia’s shifty flying-half, perhaps the most marked man in the game, took a lot of bumps from the fast Mountie tail-ups, but the tricky star was always dangerous.  …”

The teams battled furiously during regulation play, but the score remained deadlocked. At one point in the second half, Runnells, “Acadia’s and Intercollegiate one hundred yard sprint champion” got the ball in the clear, but was deterred by horrible field conditions.

In the third overtime period, the exhausted teams struggled valiantly in the midst of pouring rain. The final and dramatic moment was described in this way:

” After kicking the greasy ball for three minutes trying to get the pigskin into scoring position, the two teams

changed their tactics to a dribbling game. This led to Mt. Allison’s downfall as Cameron got an easy chance to kick the touch when the ball went out of bounds near the Mt. Allison line. The Acadia scrum took a signal and with the most concentrated attack of the day, swept the Allisonians before them. The ball crossed the line with Ellsworth falling on it for a try that ended the closest battle in the history of Maritime rugby.”

It is indeed a pleasure to welcome back members of that historic squad for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame.