NLSA Molson Challenge Cup

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A New Era of Soccer Begins In Corner Brook - Double click photo's for enlargements

St.Lawrence 4 Corner Brook 0

A New Era of Soccer Begins in Corner Brook
by Gord Dunphy

Corner Brook's opening match was more than just a regular season opening game. It was a game that had opening ceremonies. I was very honored to be in attendance as NLSA representative. It was a date that the history books will record as the first Challenge Cup match played at the new Wellington Complex. This game illustrated that the NLSA has a plan to grow the sport of soccer in Newfoundland and Labrador. NLSA has full intentions of making Challenge Cup a province wide Provincial League. This game and date will also go in the history books as the first ever game played in the history of Provincial Challenge Cup in Newfoundland that a contest was worth a total value of 6 points.
The Dramatics were in place
Boosted by the fact that it was a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 20's and the St.Lawrence Laurentians were in town for the opening match, I've witnessed a large attendance of fans. For those who showed up, they saw soccer showcased at it's best. I'm sure Sharon Langer, Doug Sweetapple and Garland Oram, organizers of West Coast Soccer, must feel very proud today.
The match
The match itself had all the dramatics of a Provincial Challenge Cup Final. Put the "Big Blue Machine" on artificial turf and they will show you what to do with a soccer ball. But in the opening half Corner Brook really didn't care about the Laurentians history. They surprised the Laurentians, they ran rather well, they were very physical with the Laurentians. The Laurentians had two good scoring chances. Corner Brook had two great scoring opportunities of their own. Basically the first half was a see saw affair which ended in a 0-0 score.

Now the second half was another story. Soccer matches are 90 minutes and St.Lawrence are around long enough to know that. With just five minutes gone in the second half, Rudy Norman who was a standout, sent Peter Greene in and Greene hit it to the left of the keeper, scoring the games first goal. Then 8 minutes later, it was Paul Slaney striking from about 25 yards on another beautiful goal. From that point on the Laurentians used the artificial turf and the width of the field to perform the basic skills of the game. Marc Pittman and Clinton Edwards looked good. Veteran Rudy Norman scored at the 78 minute mark. When Rudy scored, a little kid that was standing by the side of me looked up and said, "Sir, he is awesome" . With full control of the game, Coach Edwards constantly subbed in and out players for the duration of the second half. At the 88 minute mark Mike Douglas scored the Laurentian's final goal. Corner Brook's player of the game was #21 Greg Keats.
A classy ending
When the final whistle blew, the fans clapped and applauded the efforts of both teams . Simply put, it was a great day for Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer. Our next goal now must be to get more teams from the west entered into Provincial Challenge Cup Soccer.


Photo's from Corner Brooks opening Game

Teams line up for opening ceremonies

Game Officials - Referee ; Shannon Tobin Asistants: Shelly Drover, Craig Fitzpatrick

NlSA Represenative - Gord Dunphy
bring greeting on behalf
Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association

A huge number of Fans were in Attendance

Laurentians goalkeeper - John Douglas

The hand shakes

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