Lapham Grant @ The Glencoe Club 2017 -Team Photos-4

Team USA’s Lapham Cup and Grant Trophy-winning team. (image: Jonathan Von Der Rusch)

For the first time in twenty years, Team USA won both the Lapham Cup and Grant Trophy on Canadian soil during the 2017 Lapham Grant Matches, April 20-23, at the Glencoe Club and Bow Valley Club in Calgary, Alberta. Team Canada reclaimed the Crawford Trophy and retained the Lawrence-Wilkins Trophy.

The U.S. edged Canada in the Lapham Cup men’s singles, 11-8, and in the Graham Trophy men’s doubles 17-11. After the U.S. women claimed the Americans’ only victory in the 2016 Crawford Cup, Canada reclaimed the women’s singles and doubles competition 23-12, and narrowly retained the Lawrence-Wilkins legends doubles 15-12.

“Fellow Captain Dan Dolan and I were delighted with how our team gelled over the weekend,” said U.S. captain, Peter Dunne. “We had players just out of college and cagey vets. We rooted for each other during the day and bonded at the social events in the evenings. The turning point in the competition was most certainly the doubles match of Liam Culman and Ned Lanphire Saturday morning. The U.S. had a very slight lead in the Grant competition but Liam and Ned were down 2-0. The Canadians were sensing this victory would get them back to even and give them momentum going forward. In front of a large and vocal gallery, Liam and Ned dug deep and pulled out a hard fought 3-2 victory giving the U.S. a good sized lead that we would never relinquish.”

The U.S. Crawford Cup team.

The U.S. Crawford Cup team.

The 2018 edition of the matches will take place in Chicago, Illinois, at the Onwentsia Club.

“Robert Birrell and his organizing committee did an outstanding job with the event,” Dunne said. “The scheduling was flawless, the social events were great fun and the people of Calgary couldn’t have been more accommodating. Chicago most certainly has some big shoes to fill in 2018.”

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The Lapham Cup matches date back to 1922 and are believed to be one of the oldest amateur sporting events between two countries, having been played for 90 consecutive years. The Grant Trophy matches were inaugurated in 1945, the Crawford Trophy matches in 1999, and the Lawrence-Wilkins Trophy matches in 2001. These four events, held at the same time and venue, are hosted in alternate years by Canada and the United States. Starting in 2000, all singles matches have been played with the international ball.

It is a tradition that the captains cooperate to make sure that their teams are balanced, and that matches are played in an atmosphere of camaraderie, goodwill, and sportsmanship. Matches are not refereed, therefore the highest standards of fair play are essential among participants. The matches also provide an opportunity for representatives from both sides of the border to discuss squash development initiatives. This grand social event has many unique traditions, including the Friday evening Captains’ reception, roses for every lady attending the Saturday night banquet, a LG tie (or scarf) for every player participating in the event for the first time, and the Eric R. Finkelman Award for “questionable behaviour”.

The coveted Lapham Cup is valued at over $50,000 and is similar in size to hockey’s Stanley Cup. It was donated in 1922 by Henry B. Lapham of Brookline, Massachusetts, for an international Men’s singles team competition between the U.S.A. and Canada. The Grant Trophy was donated in late 1944 by Alastair Grant of Montreal for a similar Men’s doubles competition. The Crawford Trophy was donated in 1999 by William Crawford of Vancouver in honor of his wife Richenda, for Ladies singles and doubles team competition. In 2001, Edgar A. Bracht of Toronto presented the Lawrence-Wilkins Trophy for the Men’s “Legends” (over age 65) doubles team competition. It is named in honor of the truly legendary figures of Barney Lawrence of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario and C. Howard Wilkins Sr of Wichita, Kansas, both of whom did so much for the game, as players and builders.