Coach's Corner

Labour Day Weekend Predictions – 2007

Southern Gazette August 28. 2007

By Gord Dunphy

gorddunphy@email.com


Labour Day Weekend Predictions – 2007

With Labour Day fast approaching, it’s time for me to turn all my attention on the big show – the Provincial Senior Men’s Challenge Cup.

It’s time to get ready to rumble as St. Lawrence, Mount Pearl, Holy Cross and the Feildians compete to be crowned provincial champions and the right to represent Newfoundland and Labrador in national competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this Thanksgiving Day weekend.

Here’s Coach’s Corner, and a number of fans, predictions on what you are about to see on Labour Day.

St. Lawrence Laurentians:

St. Lawrence is the province’s ultimate soccer club this season. Currently, the Laurentians have the league’s best goaltender in John Douglas. They also have the league’s best defence, the league’s best midfield, the league’s best strikers, plus a number of the players coming off the bench are quality subs.

However, if Coach Derek Strang doesn’t play Clinton Edwards as ‘sweeper’ on this final weekend the Laurentians are leaving themselves very vulnerable. Fans, although I am predicting a St. Lawrence championship, I wouldn’t be totally shocked if Clinton plays the left wing back position that a major upset would occur in the provincial final.

Mount Pearl/That Pro Look/Molson:

It seems like Mount Pearl could compete and push the Laurentians, but somehow in 2007 this club seems to surround itself by evolving controversy.

Prior to the beginning of 2007 season it was the exit of Karl Reddy to Holy Cross. Next, came the departure of Johnny Acreman to Feildians. Now late into the season, it’s the pick up of goalkeeper Scott Edwards and what appears to be the relegation of goalie, Gerald Connolly, to the bench.

Could be a very, very interesting weekend to watch and see what unfolds with Mount Pearl. I feel Mount Pearl will lose their opening contest to St. Lawrence, win their semi final contest against Holy Cross and again they will lose to the Laurentians in the final.

Holy Cross/The Keg:

Holy Cross should win their opening match against Feildians. It wouldn’t overly shock me if Holy Cross defeated Mount Pearl in the semi-finals, but overall Holy Cross hasn’t performed very well this season.

Without a quality goalkeeper, seldom does a soccer club ever win championship titles and simply put, Holy Cross’s goaltending has been a major concern this season.

Feildians Ernst & Young Orenda:

Overall, Feildians have made substantial improvement this season, but I would be very surprised if they won their opening game Friday. Actually, I predict they will lose their opener.

On the other hand, you never know. They wouldn’t be the first underdog to steal a victory. Feildians do have quality goalkeeping.

FANS PREDICTIONS:

Below is a group of fans who were polled and here’s who they feel are going to be the Challenge Cup Provincial finalists, and then they predicted who the 2007 Challenge Cup Champions were going to be.

1. Frank Brenton, St. John’s:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

2. Harry English, Grand Bank:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

3. Joe Brenton, Burin:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Holy Cross

Winner: St. Lawrence

4. Clarence Senior, Garnish:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

5. Keith Walsh, St. Lawrence:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Holy Cross

Winner: St. Lawrence

6. Alvin Cluett, Garnish:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

7. Keith Senior, Garnish:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

8. Cliff Thorne, St. John’s:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

9. Howard Slaney, St. Lawrence:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Holy Cross

Winner: St. Lawrence

10. George (Bo) Collier, Fortune:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

11. George (Tuss) Rose, Fortune:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

12. Scott Oake, Mount Pearl:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: Mount Pearl

13. Ernie Lundrigan, St. Lawrence:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

14. Dennis O’Grady, Grand Falls/Windsor:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Holy Cross

Winner: Holy Cross

15. Marilyn Grandy, St. John’s:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Holy Cross

Winner: St.Lawrence

16. Kevin Pickett, Marystown:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

17. James Grant, Lawn:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Holy Cross

Winner: St. Lawrence

18. Jimmy Keating, Burin:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Mount Pearl

Winner: St. Lawrence

19. Mark Dunphy, St. John’s:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Holy Cross

Winner: St. Lawrence

20. Jimmy ‘Go Laurentians Go!’ Cluett, Frenchman’s Cove:

Finalists: St. Lawrence vs. Holy Cross

Winner: St. Lawrence

Dunphy Details: I just couldn’t write this article without congratulating the Burin Peninsula Under -18 All Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial ‘A’ Champions. Guys, you won in fine Burin Peninsula form.

First, you handily defeated the Western representatives by a convincing 6-1 score. Then you slaughtered the Mount Pearl representatives by an 8-1 score. Next came the sweetest victory of them all. You upset the heavily favoured St. John’s U-18 squad with a score of 1-0.

Boys, you made every soccer fan from the Burin Peninsula proud. You displayed heart and guts and thus you obtained victory for your efforts.

Congratulations boys, especially to your coaches Dwayne Evans and Albert Anstey on leading your team to victory.