The BHA Memorial CupThe Memorial Cup (pictured) was first contested in 1950. It was then played as a knock-out competition over three Saturdays prior to the commencement of the normal playing season. This inaugural Memorial Cup knockout competition was won by newcomers to A1 Grade, Hamilton.
The Memorial Cup is contested in memory of those Hockey Players who lost their lives during the Second World War. The BHA 1950 Annual Report, "Report on 1950 Season" reads:
The First Final
The Sunday Mail, on the 23 April 1950 published the following on page 23:
Hamilton surprised in hockey
Promoted second divsion hockey premiers, Hamilton, provided the season's first big shock yesterday, when they beat Y.M.C.A., 1 - nil, and won the first division knock-out competition.
The goal was scored by Birtles, who beat Wooton from a penalty bully.
Y.M.C.A. also was awarded a penalty bully, but Rendle [sic] saved.
The Hamilton halves led by Barnes played a major part in the side's success.
Note: The penalty bully was a one-on-one, usually the goalkeeper versus a forward, later superceded by the penalty stroke. Goalkeepers of the day practised and were very good bully takers. In the above article the Hamilton goalkeeper's name should read "Rendell" not "Rendle".
You can also find some photos from the 2017 BHL1 Memorial Cup match here.
Following its first year the Memorial Cup was then contested in other Senior Divisions. Many years later the pre-season "Knockout Competition" was abandoned and the Memorial Cup was then contested by the two leading teams in each Division after the completion of the first series of the playing season. This match was usually held on a Sunday. Fixtures were mostly only played on Saturdays back then. There would be a gate on the match and there would be write-ups in the newspapers.
In more recent years however, and due mainly to a lack of suitable turf time, the 'special match' was abandoned and either of the following two scenarios have been adopted by successive BHA Boards:
- When next the two eligible teams meet in the fixture rounds then the result of that match is used to determine the Cup winner; or
- The leading team at the end of the first series is simply awarded the Cup.
2018 - Special Days & Night!
Following renewed interest in the Memorial Cup and what it represents in 2017, special dates and times have since been programmed into the fixture draws whereby the Memorial Cup can be contested in each Senior Division. The dates are as follows:
- BHL1 - 3, Saturday 16 June 2018;
- BHL4 - 6, Sunday 17 June 2018;
- MHL1 - 4, Tuesday 19 June 2018.
View the 2018 Flyer as a PDF here for all the details!
These matches are expected to draw larger than usual numbers of spectators. The Association has invited special guests, including its Life Members, and has arranged for a ceremony to be observed. The BHL1 Memorial Cup has recently had some restoration work carried out.
In the News
The following article appeared in the Westside News (Quest Newspapers) of 13 June 2017.
More photos from 2017 - here!