Total votes cast = 177
Final results :
Mike Howlett - 93 votes = 53%
Justin Pickford - 48 votes = 27 %
John Hawco - 36 votes = 20 %
St. John's Under 18's tie again
For the third straight contest the St. John's U 18 have managed a tie against their one of the NL Challenge Cup Senior Team's. This time it was a 1-1 score against Holy Cross. The points that Mount Pearl, Feildians and Holy Cross have relinquished to this young squad is obviously going to hurt two of these clubs before the regular season concludes. I'ts very apparent at this point that St.Lawrence will win the "Bobby Breen Memorial Trophy" and thus this leads second place wide open. But sure refusal of the other senior club's to demonstrate any form of desire to win could send them packing early once the play-offs arrive on Labour Day Weekend. With the present play-off format that the NLSA has adopted which gives the top two teams a second life, the chances of the third or fourth place team winning the Provincial Challenge Cup is long shot at best.
In the opening half , Holy Cross came out all full of business and certainly carried the game to the U-18's but neither one of Holy Cross strikers, John Hawco or Patrick Fewer were causing any kind of stir in the offensive zone. These players must start digging with a more aggressive style of play and get more movement in their game in order to be a offensive weapon . At the 21 minute mark a superb header by Zack Wade, originating from a Holy Cross corner kick, opened the scoring for Holy Cross. This was followed up at the 24 minute mark with the U 18's scoring on their first real opportunity of the half. The U-18's, # 18 Chad Seymour, was the guy that set up the play. He out worked Holy Cross and took possession of the ball in midfield and then hit the ball deep into the Holy Cross box. Scott Edwards who, was the Cross keeper in this game, hesitated for a fraction of a second and Aaron Anstey took full advantage of this hesitation. He beat Edwards to the ball, heading the ball into a wide open net. This goal gave Anstey 7 on the season and puts him into the top position of the scoring race. Holy Cross shook of this goal and kept attacking the U-18's. But two glorious opportunities went down the drain as both Jeremy Babstock and Patrick Fewer failed to put the ball into U'18's goal. These two guys were well inside the 6 yard box virtually unmolested, when they failed to capitalize. It was these missed chances that eventually would come back to haunt Holy Cross.
The second half saw a very see saw battle but not a lot of emotion. Both Hawco and Fewer were sent to the sidelines for their efforts and Chad Moore and JB Delirizo were brought into the game to try their magic.Young Jake Warren, who was a U-18's standout, was patrolling the left side of the field caused all kinds of head aches for Karl Reddy. Warren had the best chance for the U-18's in the second half but in this instance it was Scott Edwards and the defensive play of Holy Cross fullbacks which stopped the young squad from taking the lead. Holy Cross's Mike Dawe eventually was brought in replace Jeremy Babstock in midfield and he did bring a little of emotion with him to the game. However it was the U-18's keeper, Michael Bartellas, who is a very good keeper in his own rights,came up big on a couple of occasions as he preserved the 1-1 tie.
Someone must have forgotten to inform the St. John's Under 18's that they are only playing in the NL Challenge Cup on a exhibitional basis. For the second consecutive day this weekend the U-18's managed a tie against two squads that are basically competing for second place in the overall Provincial Challenge Cup League. On Saturday the U-18's took Mount Pearl to a scoreless draw. On Sunday the U- 18's held the Feildians to a 1-1 score. What amazes me is why this team won't back down from their opponents. Is it a fact that the senior teams don't play physical against these younger kids or the senior teams can't run for the entire 90 minutes with the younger legs of the U-18's? Maybe, it's simply that our senior teams of today are a lot weaker than in years when the Canada Games would compete in the senior league and wouldn't get a look in. To be quite honest, I'm not so sure that by the Challenge Cup League allowing all four teams to make the play-offs, that this format is any good for regular league games. Personally, if I had my way with a four team provincial league,it would be set up so you would have a 24 game schedule. After the completion of 12 games, the fourth place team would be relegated to the intermediate league. This would be followed with three teams playing the remaining 12 game schedule vying for the top two positions. Then finally on Labour Day weekend you would have the top two teams play off in a one game Provincial Championship Showdown. This schedule would generate interest. Every game would be very meaningfull and it wouldn't be the calibre of what I'm witnessing this season.
In today's contest there were two beautiful goals. Both were set up by their respective midfield's .Zack Hynes opened the scoring at the 7 minute mark for the Feildians. Then at the 14 minute it was Aarron Anstey knotting it up at 1-1 . Anstey's goal gives him six on the season, and it ties him for the league scoring with the Feildians, David Webb and Mount Pearl's, Justin Pickford. Both teams played fairly even. Both goalkeepers made a couple of great saves but during the last 10 minutes of the contest, it was the Feildians who pushed hard. But it was a little to late to get motivated as when the final whistle blew both teams were awarded 1 point for their effort.