Connaught Series: Montréal Canadian Nationals were best in the east
Posted on 18 August 2017 in Around the Soccer World
The 1929 Connaught Series was Montréal’s year. The first team to reach the Dominion of Canada Championship final in three successive years, the Montréal Canadian National Railways were runners up in 1928 and 1930 to Westminster Royals, but champions in 1929 over Winnipeg United Weston.
After winning their 1929 provincial playdowns, Montréal Canadian National Railways knocked off Oshawa and Fort William, then crushed Winnipeg in the final with nine goals over two matches.
Bill Finlayson was the hero of the 1929 Dominion final, scoring four goals and two assists against Winnipeg United Weston, the famous team that had won national titles in 1924 and 1926. Finlayson finished with a tournament-best seven goals, while teammate and Danish international Poul Nielsen finished tied for second with four goals. Outside right Joe Williams was the other force with three goals, all scored in the final against Winnipeg.
Montréal’s Jimmy Nelson, with the help of fullbacks Harry Barnes and Jock Duguid, became just the second goalkeeper to completely shut out his opponents in a Dominion final, joining goalkeeper Jack Smith who accomplished the feat for Toronto Scottish FC with back-to-back clean sheets in 1921.
STORY OF THE 1929 CHAMPIONSHIP
Montréal Canadian National Railways won the 1929 Dominion of Canada Football Association, one spot better than their second-place finish in 1928. Montréal eliminated both Oshawa General Motors and Fort William Canadian Legion in the playdowns before beating Winnipeg United Weston FC in the Dominion final.
Like he was in 1928, Bill Finlayson was the leader of Montréal’s 1929 attack. After being shut out against Oshawa, the Montréal hero scored three times against Fort William and four times against Winnipeg. In winning the 1929 Dominion title, the Nationals were the first team from Montréal in 10 years to capture the Championship. They were also the first team to reach the final in back-to-back years.
CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • BOB CAMPBELL
Montréal’s sturdy left half Bob Campbell scored the series-winning goal of the 1929 Dominion final. From a 5:0 win in the final match, Campbell collected the ball from a poor clearing and then promptly opened the scoring in the fifth minute.
TOP SCORER • BILL FINLAYSON
Montréal’s Scotsman Bill Finlayson scored seven goals in six matches during the 1929 playdowns, including four goals and two assists in the final two matches. The next best scorers finished with four goals.
CHALLENGE TROPHY • CAPTAIN PETER KIER
After winning the title, the Montréal club were honoured at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg. Mr. A.H. Eagan, a CNR Western Region superintendant, presented the trophy to Montréal team manager Harry Payne. On their return to Montréal, captain Peter Keir carried the trophy off the train.
In celebration of our nation's 150th anniversary, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame pays tribute to the early years of our Championship: the Connaught Series from 1913 to 1939. Every Sunday from May through September, Canada Soccer remembers the players, legends, teams, and champions from a golden era of football in the Dominion.
In Canada's 150th year, Canada Soccer will crown their 150th national champions across all adult and professional competitions since 1913. The 2017 competitive season will crown the Futsal Canadian Championship winners in April, the professional Canadian Championship winners in June, and the amateur National Championships women's Jubilee Trophy and men's Challenge Trophy winners in October.