NLSA Molson Challenge Cup

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dunphy's Corner - Laurentians thump Holy Cross 4-0

Gord Dunphy


 Latest Live-stream -

 Johnny Duke watching the St. Lawrence vs Holy Cross
match on 28 May via live-stream. Randy Melloy Photo


Laurentians thump Holy Cross 4-0

I've been around the sport of soccer a long time and there is no doubt the greatest rivalry in the history of the sport is the rivalry between the St. Lawrence Laurentians and the Holy Cross Crusaders. Both teams have dominated provincially. The Laurentians have won 25 Challenge Cup Championships out of a possible 50.  Holy Cross have captured 17 Provincial Challenge Cup titles. In the Laurentians 25 appearances at the Nationals, the Laurentians have won 3 Silver & 2 Bronze. In Holy Cross's National appearances, the red and gold have captured one each of Gold, Silver and Bronze. It's only fair to say Holy Cross have dominated provincially the past eight years under the direction of Head Coach Jake Stanford , winning six Provincial Titles. 
 Holy Cross Currently Struggling
  While I wouldn't entirely write off  Holy Cross in 2017 , to say that they are struggling thus far is an understatement. So far this season, Cross are winless after three contests  0W - 1T - 2L. This is a record that this club is not exactly accustomed to plus Holy Cross's losing their opening game in 2017 to CBS shocked the soccer fraternity. I sort of feel for Holy Cross's new coach Jeremy Babstock. On the surface it somewhat appears as if several of  Cross's former players have jumped ship. Others are asking,  did Holy Cross's  loss in the 2016 playoffs in St. Lawrence on Labour Day weekend destroy this provincial powerhouse?  Holy Cross had gone to St. Lawrence needing only one win to advance to the 2016 National Championships which were being hosted in St. John's. While in the mining town the near impossible happened. Holy Cross loss their opening match to Mount Pearl in the 1 vs 2 contest. This loss was followed by a dramatic second loss in the semi-finals, this time to the Laurentians , who went on to win the Challenge Cup. Furthermore, adding insult to injury, because Holy Cross had accumulated two losses, this knocked them out of the 2016 Nationals.
             Laurentians dominated
On Sunday what was built to be another provincial soccer thriller, became anti-climatic before the game ended. The new look Holy Cross team were dominated by the Laurentians from the opening whistle. The Laurentians opened with two first half goals by Stefan Slaney and Adam Kelly and looked far superior to their arch-rivals . Holy Cross's frustration became very apparent before the first half ended, with Chris Pope and  Tyler Kirby getting ejected . The Laurentians captain, Marc Pittman was also sent off for an early shower. In the second half with the Laurentians playing 10 against nine, Laurentians scored another brace. This time it was Sean Drew and Jordi Slaney denting the twine. The Laurentians new 2017 additions, who consisted of George  Lawton, Mack Brefo and Devon Ryan all performed admirable. Patrick Slaney made an outstanding save on Sean Henderson to record the Laurtentian's shut-out. 
 Dunphy's Details
The beauty of this game was the stream-line on social media. In less than 24 hours it has over 4000 viewers , 28 shares, 200+ comments and umpteen likes. It went all over North America and even reached Phil Greene in Egypt. Folks, technology is here , it is a growing trend and if we don't adapt we will get run over.    



Friday, May 26, 2017

Sunday May 28 -2017 St. Lawrence v Holy Cross - Live-stream on Facebook

Sunday's Game at 1PM - Live-streamed 
Sunday May 28 -2017
 St. Lawrence vs Holy Cross at KGV

Saturday May 27-2017

Saturday May 27 - 2017
At 4  -- St. Lawrence at CBS  -- Topsail Field
At 4  -- Feildians at Holy Cross  -- KGV
At 7  -- Corner Brook at Mount Pearl  -- Smallwood


Sunday May 28  --2017
At 12 -- Corner Brook at CBS - Topsail Field
At 1   -- St. Lawrence at Holy Cross - KGV


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Max Kettle - RIP

Max Kettle : RIP 

St. Lawrence Laurentians - 70"s
My Sincere Condolences  

On behalf of the entire soccer fraternity in Newfoundland and Labrador, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Max Kettle. Maybe the best know Kettle in soccer is Max's younger brother Dion but I can attest that Max Kettle was a great player too. The problem was in the 60's  & 70"s there were just so many great players in St. Lawrence.  Max played when the game when it was played with a 5 -3-2 format. Max played outside left, had great speed and booming left foot shot. He played most of his career with the 2nd Division Laurentians but was a regular call-up to the 1st Division Laurentian's. 
Sharing With You .... One Of My Secrets !
 In the 70's when I was fairly young.. 17... 18, I was called up to the  2nd Division Laurentian's to play a BPSA 2nd Division g=Game in Fortune. In those days you would drive, in your own vehicle,  and the players would share the cost between them.  On this given day, I went to Fortune with Jackie Walsh,  Max Kettle and Mookie Turpin Sr. It was in this particular game that a linesman chased me all over the field because I told him to go back to the Legion and call it an evening..... he then chased me around the field, trying to catch me, if he had caught me I'm sure he would have laid a solid pounding on me. In this case, the official got thrown out of the game for his actions.... Lol !  After the game, the team headed for the Legion to have a few cold ones and on this particular night we had a few more & a few more cold ones. Once we left the Legion it didn't stop there, we stopped at a local store and picked up a few more. Then, on the way back from Fortune this is where it all happened?  Getting half ways going the Marystown route... we were being followed by the RCMP and eventually got hauled over to check us out. There our driver took off into the woods .....  he presumably got scared ... LOL ! The other three players stayed in the car and when questioned by the police,  "Told the cops we were hitch-hiking and had gotten picked up and coincidentally the players told the police they didn't know who the driver was. The police never did find the driver while one player stayed behind looking for the driver and the others were brought to Marystown to find a way home.  
RIP Max Kettle    


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dunphy's Corner : Grand Bank Gee Bees win Corner Brook 2017 Invitational


Gord Dunphy


2017 - Grand Bank - Gee Bees 

Gee Bees win  Corner Brook Invitational

Through thick or thin - rain or snow - the Western Cup was a go. This was the case again in Corner Brook in 2017 despite some adverse weather conditions.  This invitational tournament is guided by the Western Region - Corner Brook Senior Men's League and I must add they are doing it right .... this tournament continues to flourish and grow annually. No, it may not be your Challenge Cup but don't tell that to the competing clubs. Grand Bank has entered this tournament for a number of years and there's no doubt in my mind their goal is to win.  This year the Gee Bees went undefeated, defeating the Monarchs 4-1 in the championship contest. In the semi-final they defeated Gander by a 7 -0 score.  In round robin play Grand Bank defeated the Corner Brook Masters by a 5-0 score and the Corner Brook Monarchs by a 4-1 score. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dunphy's Corner : St. Lawrence Laurentians are the team to beat in 2017.


Gord Dunphy

 St. Lawrence Laurentians have won 25 Championships 
in the 50 year history of NLSA Challenge Cup


 Laurentians again are the favorite in 2017

If early goings of the 2017 season are any indication of what 2017 Molson Challenge Cup season are all about, I predict the St. Lawrence Laurentian's are the team to beat this season. I realize they lost their opening game to Mount Pearl by a 1-0 score but sometimes upsets occur where a team may have a dominating performance and still lose the contest. If early goings are a further indication, it appears Holy Cross maybe still a good team but their loss of coach Jake Stanford and some key players will definitely stop their dominance in league play.   
 Laurentian - Coaching Staff
St. Lawrence are currently led by the best coaching staff in the league with Derek Strang and Paul Slaney at the helm. Derek at times may be very shrewd coach, while Paul only appears to be a mellow dude, he too can add an arm of shrewdness.  However or whatever,  put both of these different personalities together and the Laurentians have proven winners behind their bench.  
                                                                        Laurentians key players
The Laurentians are strong down the middle. They have John Douglas , the best goalie in the league . They have captain Marc Pittman, top defender in the league and Jordi Slaney, who in my estimate is the best midfielder in the Challenge Cup League.  Besides this, the Laurentian have Stefan Slaney who can be their "ACE IN THE HOLE"  if he is physically fit. Personally, I  like Sean Drew. I feel he is the most under-rated player in the league. The Laurentians are very keen in their development process, they continue to develop players such as Adam Kelly , Shane Perrott , Mike Gregory,  Patrick Slaney Jordan Caines, Daniel Carew, Parker Doyle and Brent Hennebury and make them appreciate every minute of playing time they get. 
 2017 - Loses vs Additions
This year the Laurentians may have lost the regular services of future HOF'er Clinton Edwards and journeyman Darren Pike  but they have added some quality players; George Lawton - Former UNB Captain, Mark Breto - Ghana, and  Devon Ryan - former CBS Strikers player . It's really a little early yet for me to give a good assessment of these players who have the honor of wearing one of the most respected amateur soccer jersey in all of Canada. However,  I did like like my first look at George Lawton but only time will tell. These new players will really need to go to St. Lawrence and play on St. Lawrence Day to get a real feel for the Laurentian tradition and what it means to play for this prestigious club.  I also understand that Corey Mullett - former Holy Cross player  is again back wearing the blue and white this year.  Corey can add some debt to the 2017 Laurentians team. 


2017 - St. Lawrence Coaching Duo


New Faces 

Laurentian Newcomers - (L) George Lawton - (R) Mark Breto


Jordi Slaney -  All - Star Midfielder



Mark Pittman - All Star Center Back



John Douglas - All Star Goalie 



Leagues Most Under-rated Player



Laurentians "ACE" Player

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dunphy's Corner - Lets Meet the 2017 CBS Strikers

Gord Dunphy


Challenge Cup - Lets Meet the 2017 Strikers

2017 CBS Strikers - Team Photo 

 Gary Forsyt - Head coach 

Let's Meet Gary Forsyth
Gary Forsyth has been around the block a little to say the least. This is Gary's second stint at being the Head Coach of the CBS Strikers. He definitely brings a lot of enthusiasm to the job and at times may even a little to much - lol !. After bringing the CBS team back into the fold in 2015 after the club was absent from Challenge Cup in 2014 the team is off to a tremendous start in 2017. Last year CBS only managed two draws on the year. This year CBS has 2 wins and 1 tie after three matches. Gary is convinced his team are ready to compete for a play-off position in 2017. He said we are ready to roll some heads and make a little noise this year.  Hopefully, what Forsyt said comes true because the league will only get better with teams competing for the final four. 

Erick Mathiasen : He is a newcomer to CBS and Challenge Cup.
                               Erick came to NL as a foreign student who played at MUN. 
                                He is the man who scored two goals against Holy Cross and 
                                led them to  a 2-1 unset victory in their first game 
                                        of the season in 2017 .


D'Arcy Bennett : CBS's goalkeeper. Hey , two shut-outs
in his first three games of the season and a 2-1 victory
over Holy Cross, what more can I say than,  "Bennett
is off to a great start after only allowing one goal 
in three starts" .  Keep it up !


(L-R) : #16- Fouad Matar  ----- #6 -Daniel Quinn
 New Faces in CBS 
CBS definitely has a lot of new faces in 2017. Throughout the season we will meet some  more of them on my Blog.  Pictured here are (L-R) : #16- Fouad Matar  ----- #6 -Daniel Quinn. They were the two players who scored for the Strikers in their 2-0 shutout victory over the NL Canada Games team .


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2017 Season Outlook by GD

Season Outlook 
Gord Dunphy 

1. CBS will be a different team in 2017 They are very much improved, should compete for 4th.

2. Holy Cross have lost some key players and as a result they will struggle to maintain regular season supremacy.

3. St. Lawrence should finish 1st or 2nd but they lack scoring punch.

4. Feildians are a team who could surprise this year but if they want to gain respect, they must learn to show up on Labour Day Weekend.

5. Mount Pearl will fight for the 1 v 2 position but if I were a betting man , I would give them a 3rd place finish. Offensively and defensive, I like their team, but they need to be more gritty in the middle.

6. Corner Brook loss two games at homes against Feildians in the opening weekend, this tells me that we are looking at 5 - 6 place finish.

7. Canada Games . I will make a bold prediction here and say out of their 18 game exhibition schedule, they will play .500 ball.

Good luck to all!

1st Challenge Cup Weekend Wrap-up : 2017

1st Weekend wrap-up

* Feildians defeat Corner Brook 4 -1 on Saturday and 1-0 on Sunday.

* Corner Brook lose a pair at home to Feildians

* Mount Pearl defeated St. Lawrence on Saturday 1-0 and tied CBS on Sunday 0-0.

* St. Lawrence blanked in their opener by Mount Pearl by a 1-0 score

* CBS defeated Holy Cross by a 1-0 score on Saturday and tied Mount Pearl on Sunday 0 -0.

* Holy Cross shocked by a home opener 2-1 loss to CBS