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Newfoundland Challenge Cup final: The sky was blue, but once again, the winners wore red and gold

Sunday in St. Lawrence, the Holy Cross did as they have done the last two provincial Challenge Cup seasons and in nine of the past 11 years, lifting the championship trophy in triumph. The Crusaders won the 2019 provincial senior men's soccer crown with a 1-0 win over Feildians in a game decided by a penalty-kick shootout. — Submitted/NLSA
Sunday in St. Lawrence, the Holy Cross did as they have done the last two provincial Challenge Cup seasons and in nine of the past 11 years, lifting the championship trophy in triumph. The Crusaders won the 2019 provincial senior men's soccer crown with a 1-0 win over Feildians in a game decided by a penalty-kick shootout. — Submitted/NLSA

Shootout win gives Holy Cross another title, serves up an extra-tough result for Feildians

Updated

The game finished the same way it started, with an exciting penalty-shootout between capital-city sides.

But the result was different.

The Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders captured their third straight Johnson Insurance Challenge Cup Sunday, defeating their St. John’s rival, Feildians Stavanger Dental, 1-0 in the provincial men’s soccer championship final at Centennial Field in St. Lawrence.

After the game went scoreless through the 90-plus-minute regular session and 30 minutes of overtime play, the game went to penalty kicks, where Holy Cross held a 4-2 edge.

The championship tournament had started Friday with the 1-2 Page playoff game between Holy Cross, which topped the regular-season standings and second-place Feildians, That one had also gone past overtime, with the Double Blues downing the Crusaders 3-2 after fashioning a 3-1 victory in the penalty-kick shootout.

Sam Hawco
Sam Hawco

In Sunday’s final, goalkeepers Sam Hawco of Holy Cross and Braeden Sheppard of Feildians put in shutout performances for more than two hours of play. Hawco, who stopped two of four Feildians in the shootout, was named the playoff MVP.

Besides the outcome, the other noticeable difference between the Holy Cross-Feildians matches was the weather. Wind and rain had been the order of the day Friday, but conditions were much more pleasant Sunday, with a game played under clear skies.

But while blue prevailed in the heavens, it wasn’t that way on the pitch Sunday as the Red and Gold of Holy Cross pulled out the win.

It is the 20th provincial Challenge Cup for Holy Cross since Newfoundland began participating in the national Challenge Cup competition in 1967, with nine of the titles coming in the last 11 years. The Crusaders also won a Newfoundland crown in 1950.

Sunday’s result also means that the provincial Challenge Cup champion since 1992 has been either Holy Cross or St. Lawrence, with two exceptions, in 2003 (Mount Pearl) and 2004 (Marystown).

Feildians is left with just one N.L. Challenge Cup title, that one coming 50 years ago.

Provincial soccer Hall of Famer Ed Moyst, who had been part of that championship team in 1969, was on hand in St. Lawrence over the weekend, and he watched the Double Blues come oh, so close to repeating the feat a half-century later.

Their win Friday had sent Feildians directly to Sunday’s final. Holy Cross, meanwhile, cashed in its double life and headed to a semifinal game Saturday, where it defeated the host St. Lawrence Laurentians 2-0. The Laurentians had won Friday’s 3-4 Page playoff, eliminating the C.B.S. That Pro Look Strikers in a 2-1 decision.

Holy Cross’s latest victory means it will represent Newfoundland and Labrador when metro St. John's hosts the 2019 Toyota national championships Oct. 9-14.

The Newfoundland representatives will be in a pool with British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

Holy Cross has won three national medals, including gold in 1988, and the Crusaders came close to a podium finish last year, when they were fourth.

The Canadian men’s championship is being held in conjunction with the national women’s Jubilee Trophy competition, where this province will have two entries, local champion Holy Cross Avalon Ford and runner-up Feildians Greensleeves.

But while the local second-place finisher has a place in this year’s Canadian women’s tournament, there is just one Newfoundland team on the men’s side. That’s because the Northwest Territories is sending an entry, making for an even 10 provincial and territorial teams in the male event.


All-stars/award winners

Over the Challenge Cup championship weekend, the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association handed out its senior male, awards for the 2019 season.

Challenge Cup finalists Holy Cross and Feildians dominated the selections, earning nine of 11 all-star selections and taking home all the individual awards.

All-star team

Goalie: Sam Hawco. Holy Cross

Felly Elonda — 2019 Challenge Cup regular-season MVP
Felly Elonda — 2019 Challenge Cup regular-season MVP

Defender: Jonus Lunde, Feildians

Defender: Greg Reid, Feildians

Defender: Alex Pretty, Holy Cross

Midfielder: Felly Elonda, Feildians

Midfielder: Emmanuel Dolo Feildians

Midfielder: Jordi Slaney, St. Lawrence

Midfielder: Owen McAleese, Holy Cross

Striker: Tyler Forsey, Feildians

Striker: Jacob Grant, Holy Cross

Striker: Stefan Slaney, St. Lawrence

Awards

First place regular season: Holy Cross

Coach of the year: Jake Stanford, Holy Cross

Golden Boot (top scorer): Tyler Forsey, Feildians

Top defender: Alex Pretty, Holy Cross

Most spirited: Simon Pope, Feildians

Top goalie: Sam Hawco, Holy Cross

Rookie of the year: Jonus Lunde, Feildians

Top midfielder: Felly Elonda, Feildians

Regular-season MVP: Felly Elonda, Feildians

———

Challenge Cup champions

Provincial senior men’s soccer winners since 1950:

1950 - Holy Cross

1951 - St. Lawrence

1952 - St. Lawrence

1953 - St. John's

1954 - Corner Brook

1955 - St. Lawrence

1956 - Corner Brook

1957 - Guards

1958 - Guards

1959 - Guards

1960 - Grand Bank

1961 - Corner Brook

1962 - Grand Bank

1963 - St. Pat's

1964 - Feildians

1965 - Guards

1966 - St. Lawrence

1967 - St. Lawrence

1968 - St. Lawrence

1969 - Feildians

1970 - Grand Bank*

1971 - St. Lawrence

1972 - St. Lawrence

1973 - Holy Cross

1974 - Grand Bank

1975 - St. Lawrence

1976 - St. Lawrence

1977 - St. Lawrence

1978 - St. Lawrence

1979 - Holy Cross

1980 - St. Lawrence

1981 - Holy Cross

1982 - St. Lawrence

1983 - Holy Cross

1984 - Holy Cross

1985 - Holy Cross

1986 - Holy Cross

1987 - Lawn

1988 - Holy Cross**

1989 - Holy Cross

1990 - Burin

1991 - Burin

1992 - Holy Cross

1993 - St. Lawrence

1994 - Holy Cross

1995 - St. Lawrence

1996 - St. Lawrence

1997 - St. Lawrence

1998 - St. Lawrence

1999 - St. Lawrence

2000 - St. Lawrence

2001 - St. Lawrence

2002 - St. Lawrence

2003 - Mount Pearl

2004 - Marystown

2005 - St. Lawrence

2006 - St. Lawrence

2007 - St. Lawrence

2008 - St. Lawrence

2009 - Holy Cross

2010 - Holy Cross

2011 - Holy Cross

2012 - Holy Cross

2013 - St. Lawrence

2014 - Holy Cross

2015 – Holy Cross

2016 – St. Lawrence

2017 – Holy Cross

2018 – Holy Cross

2019 – Holy Cross

* Grand Bank won provincial championship, but an all-star team represented Newfoundland in national play

** Holy Cross won the national Challenge Cup championship


brendan.mccarthy@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @telybrendan

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