Not much breathing room in middle of Challenge Cup standings

Just four points separate second-place Feildians and sixth-place C.B.S.

Published on July 17, 2017

Steers Insurance Corner Brook United FC’s Berk Warren takes to the air in a ball battle with Holy Cross’s Owen McAleese during Challenge Cup provincial soccer action Sunday at Wellington Street Sports Complex. Holy Cross cruised to a 10-0 win.

©Dave Kearsey/SaltWire Network/The Western Star

Like the belt of a big man at a buffet table, things have become very tight in the middle of the Molson Challenge Cup provincial soccer standings.

After six weekend results, the defending champion St. Lawrence Laurentians sit in first place with a seven-point lead, but the next five teams are separated by just four points.

Feildians Ernst and Young are second, two points up on suddenly hot Holy Cross Kirby Group, but Cross has two games in hand on the Double Blues.

Like the Crusaders, the Gerry O’Brien Financial Canada Games team has 21 points, one more than Mount Pearl First Choice Haircutters and two more than the C.B.S. That Pro Look Strikers.

Even taking into account that the Games team is not playoff eligible — and assuming the Laurentians are playoff bound — one of the other four teams will be left out of the league’s championship tournament on the Labour Day weekend.

Holy Cross has won five straight games, its latest two coming Saturday and Sunday on the west coast as they downed hapless and injury-riddled Corner Brook Steers Insurance United by 4-0 and 10-0 scores.

Tyler Kirby scored three goals for Holy Cross in each game and Thomas Pieroway posted both shutouts.

St. Lawrence came with a tie and a win in weekend play in the metro area, settling for a scoreless draw with the Games team at King George V Park Saturday, then blanking Mount Pearl 1-0 at the Gushue Complex Sunday.

Veteran ‘keeper John Douglas had both clean sheets for the Laurentians. Despite limited action this summer, Douglas has five shutouts, the same as teammate Patrick Slaney.

It was the second-one goal loss of the weekend for Mount Pearl, which fell 2-1 to Feildians on Saturday. 

Feildians were on the wrong side of the same score Sunday as they fell to the Games team in a second game at the Gushue Complex.