NLSA Molson Challenge Cup

Friday, May 27, 2016

"Coach's Corner" : May Report Card by Gord Dunphy

                                                                    Coach's Corner
                                                                     Gord Dunphy

May Report Card

From  all perspective the 1st month of Challenge Cup soccer has been very satisfying with the level of competition which I have witnessed and this is backed by the current standings. Here's my take on May.
Holy Cross
Holy Cross are by far the most superior team in the Molson Challenge Cup League. They are 18 players deep. They are currently out in first place with nine points and their new additions of Thomas Kamara and Thomas Kargo are dynamite. I love their skill level. Their 1 -0 lost to Feildians, while shocking to them, will only help them in the big picture.
Coach's Corner Comment's : Biggest issue with this team is the coach trying to keep all their quality players happy. There's just no room on this team to carry minors.
St. Lawrence
I've really like what I've seen with the Laurentians so far. Generally, the team appears to be in much better  shape  than the past number of years. Their winter training sessions under the professional eye of Rob Kelland  has paid huge dividends. The Laurentians currently have a 2 win - 2 loss road record which is good for 6 points and ties them for second overall with Mount Pearl. What I personally found intriguing was the effort the Laurentians put up against Holy Cross. It was one of the best effort I've seen the Laurentians play against Holy Cross in years. That's the way the game should be played.
Coach's Corner Comment's : The Laurentians need to keep their early season momentum going and get back to the hard work which earned the Determination & Dedication logo that was is so proudly displayed by St. Lawrence Soccer.  
Mount Pearl
This club is comprised of good solid experienced players and several veteran players. But somehow, I question this team's overall leadership with regards to their desire to win and play at a consistent level. This club always seem to give Holy Cross a good competitive game but they seem to struggle against the lower seed. The addition of Tyler Forsey should help but only if Pickford and him work as a unit.  
Coach's Corner Comment's: Basically, Mount Pearl play needs to be more consistent game in and game out. They need to practise and play with a desire in wanting be the best in the league. Their 2 -0 lost to the Games team may eventually hurt their overall placing.
This club is very young but do have some good quality players on the team. However, Feildians didn't look to impressive in their opening two matches, two embarrassing losses to Holy Cross and St. Lawrence by scores of 4-0 and 3-0 respectively. However, their 2-1 rebound victory over Holy Cross has to be very satisfying and something the team needs to grow on. The Feildians will struggle to hold on to their 4th place finish which they achieved in 2015.
Coach's Corner Comment's: While the Feildians may lack overall offense there is one thing the club must learn to do in order to gain respect and obtain wins, and that is to show a greater desire to compete. If losing doesn't hurt you, you are bound to lose.
Corner Brook
Corner Brook are off to a so so start. Their 5points in four games puts them in 4th place They picked up four points at home in their opening weekend against CBS. In their first game  they beat CBS 4-1. CBS then bounced back and tied the boys from the milling town 0-0. The following weekend on a road trip to the Avalon, Corner Brook lost their first game to Mount Pearl by a 2-0 score and in their second match they again held CBS to a scoreless draw.  After watching Corner Brook they have  a few veterans , Pat Fewer and Chris Bulger who can provide solid leadership. But this teams lacks overall defense that can be very costly at the Challenge Cup level. However, the team does work the ball well and compete with a great attitude.
 Coach's Corner Comment's: This is Corner Brook's second consecutive year back into the Challenge Cup League and you can bet that Coach Vince Picket has every intention of being on the Burin Peninsula on Labour Day Weekend. At this point, I wouldn't bet against Vince. He very well could be in St. Lawrence on Labor Day. 
 Gary Forsyth has his club in respectable shape. Already, CBS has two scoreless ties on the season  and this gives them one more tie and one more point than CBS had in all of 2015. CBS  played Corner Brook to a scoreless tie both at home and away. Goal-scoring, may end up being the teams Achilles - heel.  I like what young Josh Hanrahan brings to this team. He is a gamer who displays great heart and tremendous character. The return of Trevor Ivany and Ryan Sheppard from St. Lawrence to CBS gives this club a couple of more quality players.
 Coach's Corner Comment's:  Everything I've seen about CBS thus far this season is showing an improvement over 2015. Let the improvement continue. 

Gerry O'Brien Financial NL Canada Games Team 
This young team will play twelve exhibition games in the Molson Challenge Cup League in 2016. Their whole purpose of this youth entry is for their development. To-date, the team has played only the one game which was a 2-0 victory over Mount Pearl. This shocking victory over Mount Pearl should help the kids prepare for the rest of the season. 
Coach's Corner Comment's: Teams coaching staff : Head Coach : Andrew Murphy, Assistant Coach : Shane Dunphy, Goalie Coach : John Douglas , Team Manager : Gonzo Bennett. 

Coach's Details: I would like to express deepest sympathy, from the soccer world, to the families of the late Ray Warren of Burin and Hugh Tarrant of St. Lawrence. Both were great soccer players in their day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

NLSA Molson Challenge Cup - Wednesday May 25, 2016

Game 12. NL Canada Games: 2 vs Mount Pearl : 0

Goal scorers (NLCG): Harry Carter 3’, Parker Doyle 87 ‘

Shutout : (NLCG): : Sam Hawco


Action Shot

Harry Carter (1Goal) - Sam Hawco (shut-out) - Parker Doyle (1 goal)

 Big Win for the NLSA Canada Games
Well what's got to be a huge moral victory for the NLSA Canada Games team has to be a demoralizing lost for the Mount Pearl Challenge Cup team.The NLSA Canada Games were playing their first of twelve exhibition games this season in the Molson Challenge Cup League. This Games team is made up of 16 & 17 year old kids.  Mount Pearl opened the season, showing lot's of promise, with a  1 -0 shut-out victory over a very good St. Lawrence Laurentians squad. Although, early in the season Mount Pearl entered the game tied for second place with the Laurentians with 6 points and the general consensus among the soccer populace was both Mount Pearl and St. Lawrence will battle right to the bitter end this year for 2nd place. This could certainly change, now, after their early season lost to NL Canada Games team. Mount Pearl started the game, much like the weather on Wednesday evening and the weather was terrible. Before the game was 5 minutes old the kids went up 1-0 on a goal by Harry Carter.  For the remainder of the first half both teams exchanged several good scoring opportunities  but failed to dent the twine. Mount Pearl looked much better in the second but their lack of cohesiveness and determination stopped them from getting the all important equalizer.  With time pressing at the end of the match,  it was Mount Pearl's keeper, Brandon Noseworthy, and his entire back-line were caught drifting in no man's land.  This free roaming and lack of defense allowed Games player,  St. Lawrence native, Parker Doyle to out run the entire Mount Pearl team to score on an empty net for a 2-0 victory for the NL Games Team.   

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gee Bees lose in Western Finals on PK'S

Grand Bank Gee Bees - 2016

Gee Bees lose on PK's

For the past number of years the Grand Bank Gee Bees have mustered up a team comprised of former Grand Bank players, who live through out Newfoundland and Labrador, and participate to a recreation tournament hosted annually by Corner Brook. The Gee Bees take this tournament pretty serious and have done extremely well in the past. This year , nothing changed , Grand Bank opening the tournament with a 1-1 tie against the Corner Brook Monarks.  This was followed by  the Gee Bees reeling of two straight victories. They blanked Springdale 4-0  and thumped Gander 3 -0.  This record was good enough to put the Gee Bees right back into the championship game. This time they were  to play the Corner Brook Under - 18's.  The final was a barn burner. The scored ended up 1-1 at the end of regulation. Next came overtime, this solved nothing, and then it came down to PK's. Many feel PK's , is the almighty curse of soccer , especially the PK Shootout. The shootout again in this tournament came back to haunt Grand Bank and sent the boys from the Booth to have  an identical result as last season....... that's losing on PK's in the championship match. Oh , the hurt !

Congratulations fellows !  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Zack Wade : NLSA`s Top Midfielder by Gord Dunphy

Zack Wade

Top Mid-fielder - Zack Wade
by Gord Dunphy

When it comes down to who`s the best, that`s when you can get some good soccer arguments on the go. For most part, most soccer enthusiasts, can only relate to their own club and that`s not a bad thing. No doubt it`s the players who play the game but without the fans, you have nothing. 
This summer, I will do a few blogs on naming who I feel are the best players are in each position on the game starting with , `Top Mid-fielder `
Mid-field position
Many games are won by the strength of a teams mid-field. For most part the strength of the mid-field demands cohesiveness between the three or four man unit. This will be determined by whether a coach is using a 4-2-4 or a 4-3-3 system. However, one still must admit that despite soccer being a team sport you still need some great individual players playing the game. After watching the first match of the season between St. Lawrence vs Holy Cross , a game which St. Lawrence dominated the first half and scored the opening goal for a 1-0 half time lead. It was during the first half it was Laurentians mid-fielder, Jon Grant who very well may have been the dominant Laurentian . He was constantly on the ball and in the face of  Holy Cross`s, Zack Wade. The Laurentians knew prior to the opening whistle, that to stand any chance in winning this game, they would have to stop Holy Cross in the mid-field and they did this to perfection in the first half. However, despite being shadowed and banged around, true stars still find a way to shine and this is exactly what happened in the second half. Holy Cross led by their ace mid-fielder Zack Wade regrouped, and it all started in the mid-field position, were they won most of the battles.  Not only did Wade lead  Holy Cross in the mid-field he lead Holy Cross`s attack scoring a brace. He scored a dandy at the 50 minute mark, scoring from a direct shot from about 24 yards. He again hit the back again at the 74 minute mark breaking through the Laurentian defense while leaving Laurentian goalie, John Douglas, looking at his team-mates as if an intruder had broken into his home.

Zack`s Four S`s
Zack Wade, is now into the prime of his career. He brings size, strength, speed and skill to the game and above all he brings a high level of consistency to his game.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Two Proud Soccer Dads:Shane Dunphy & Noel Doyle by Gord Dunphy

Shane Dunphy & Noel Doyle

Parker Doyle & Ryan Dunphy

Kids First Game as a Laurentian
Gord Dunphy

Victoria Day Weekend is generally know throughout Canada as the first day of the summer for fishing and camping. But this wasn't the case with Noel Doyle and his son Parker nor was it the case with my brother Shane and his family.  This year I was forced to schedule the Molson Challenge Cup on the "Long Weekend" because of field restrictions the following weekend at KGV.  But who really cares, it's Victoria Day Weekend and you`re originally from St.Lawrence and you get that call that the Senior Laurentians want your boy to dress with them for the weekend. When you get that call and your blood is tainted blue you avail of the opportunity and hope for the best. This weekend the Laurentians performed very well defeating CBS 4-0 and giving their long time rivals the Holy Cross Crusaders all they could handle while coming up on the short end of a 3-1 score. But this loss was a very respectable loss. It was one of the best games the Laurentians played against Cross in the past five years. The Laurentians played with guts and determination, an old trademark of Laurentian teams of the past.In both games, both Parker and Ryan received fair playing time while looking a little shallow. In the mean time, while the kids were learning how to play the game, both of their dads were sitting there, enjoying the moment while beaming with BLUE PRIDE.        

CBS Soccer Association Welcomes Kids On the Field at half-time

 Kids Kicking
 My hat goes off to the CBS Soccer Association for welcoming kids at their Challenge Cup matches and allows them on the field to play at half time. I remember growing up in St. Lawrence and going to the games on the old field in by the hospital. Then during half time we would all go on the field , about 100 of us, and all chase around the ball. Most of the time you never came near the ball but that's where it all starts. Again, this was a great gesture by CBS to have the kids on the field.
I love it !

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Victoria Day Weekend Soccer Scores : May 21 - 22

Saturday May 21, 2016

Game 7.  Feildians: 2 vs Holy Cross : 1

Goal scorers (Feildians): Bobby Gamba – 65 “ , Zack Hynes – 90 ‘

Goal scorers (HC): Tyler Kirby – 41 ‘


 Saturday May 21, 2016

Game 8. St. Lawrence: 4 vs CBS: 0

Goal scorers (SL): Stefan Slaney (3): 65’, 69’76’) , Rudy Norman ( 1– 86’ )

Shutout (SL):Patrick Slaney

L-R : Patrick Slaney - Stefan Slaney - Rudy Norman


Saturday May 21, 2016

Game 9. Mount Pearl : 2 vs Corner Brook : 0

Goal scorers (MP): Ronaldo Morris (21’), Kevin Oram (90’)

Shutout (MP) : Nick Power

 L -R : Ronaldo Morris - Nick Power - Kevin Oram

Sunday May 22, 2016

Game 10. CBS:0 vs Corner Brook:0

Shutout (CBS): Brandan Sheppard

Shutout (CB): Tyler Kelloway


Sunday May 22, 2016

Game 11. Holy Cross :3  vs St. Lawrence :1

Goal scorers (HC): Zack Wade (2) 50’,74’, Thomas Kargbo 60’

Goal scorers (SL): Stefan Slaney 2’

L -R : Thomas Kargo - Zack Wade