NOTE : WIFU and IRFU suspended operations for the duration of the War.
EASTERN FINAL (Saturday, November 20): Hamilton Flying Wildcats 7, LACHINE RCAF 6
1943 GREY CUP GAME (Saturday, November 27 at Toronto - 16,423)
HAMILTON FLYING WILDCATS (9-1-1) 23, WINNIPEG RCAF (6-0) 14 - After losing the annual Canadian football classic a year earlier, the Winnipeg R.C.A.F. Bombers were expected to win the Grey Cup over a supposedly weaker Hamilton Flying Wildcats squad. But Hamilton proved to be the better team in 1943, returning the coveted trophy to Steeltown for the first time since 1932. It was a wild first quarter, as Hamilton jumped to an 18-7 lead after 15 minutes. The Wildcats drew first blood three minutes into the contest as Joe Krol sidestepped three Bombers to throw a 30-yard pass into the arms of Doug Smith, who only had to fall across the goal line for the major. Winnipeg’s Brian Quinn scored the Bombers’ initial point on a mammoth kickoff. Garney Smith then gave Winnipeg a brief one-point lead as he darted around the end and ran 17 yards for a touchdown. The Wildcats went on to score two touchdowns before the end of the quarter. As Quinn attempted to punt from his own end zone, Jimmy Fumio rushed in to block the kick. As the ball hung up in the air, Fumio leaped up to make a touchdown grab. An error in judgment cost the Bombers another six points. Winnipeg’s Dave Greenberg, rather than give up a rouge, decided to punt the ball out of his end zone. The kick was short, which Abe Zvonkin recovered on the 10-yard line. Paul Peterson plunged nine yards before Mel Lawson scored on a goal line run. After an uneventful second quarter, Krol kicked a field goal to increase Hamilton’s lead to 21-7. Winnipeg’s offence finally got going at the end of the third quarter, as Quinn completed a pass to Jim Berry for a 42-yard touchdown play. Early in the final quarter, the Bombers had three cracks at the end zone from the Hamilton one-yard line. Three successive running plays were unsuccessful, as the Wildcats’ defence held firm. Quinn would eventually gain a single point for the Bombers. Hamilton soon relieved the pressure with a couple of rouges of their own, first on a 75-yard wind-assisted punt by Krol, and another off the foot of Doug Smith. The Bombers earned 11 first downs compared to Hamilton’s five in the loss. Brian Timmis, who coached the Wildcats to victory, was a member of the 1932 Grey Cup champion Hamilton Tigers team.