Isn’t it nice when we’re all sharing? No one has more than the other?

That was the case when it came to the AA banners in the 2019 edition of Senior Super Soccer as both Sir John Franklin and St. Pat’s shared the spoils in the upper division. The Falcons won both of the girls AA banners in the U15 and U19 divisions while the Irish took the boys AA banners in the U15 and U19 divisions.

Markus Cluff of Sir John Franklin manages to keep the ball away from a Hay River attacker during Senior Super Soccer U19 boys playoff action at the Fieldhouse on Sunday.
James McCarthy/NNSL photo

Sir John Franklin’s U19 AA girls champs were certainly pushed to the limit by St. Pat’s in the championship game but managed to hold on to the rarest of results in Super Soccer – a 1-0 win.

Falcons coach Wendy Malkin, who was a winner the weekend before in Junior Super Soccer with William McDonald, said she never could have imagined one goal would stand up for the entire game.

“Everyone was playing really hard but we just had our girls playing a bit harder,” she said. “I was hoping we would have at least two or three goals but I’m thankful we managed to have one.”

Even though the Falcons did have the lead, Malkin said there was no sitting back and protecting the nest, so to speak.

“It was full-on for 46 minutes,” she said. “Our girls were coming off and they could hardly breathe. They ran when they were out on their shift, took a few breaths and were right back out there. They played strong the whole game.”

The reason one goal stood up was down to the play of Falcons goalkeeper Ali Hillier, she added.

“She played solid all weekend for us,” she said. “She was taking shots, she got hurt, she stuck in there like a trooper.”

The U15 AA girls final was no contest as Sir John Franklin took down St. Pat’s by a score of 8-1.

On the boys side, St. Pat’s and Sir John Franklin met for both of the AA finals with St. Pat’s winning both of them – 2-1 in the U15 contest and 3-0 in the U19 decider.

Gerard Landry coached the U19 Irish to victory – and he dug deep for a classic saying to describe how his boys did it.

“The best defence is a good offence,” he said with a chuckle. “But we were able to control the ball well and I think that was the big reason we won.”

St. Pat’s opened the scoring in the first two minutes of the final and went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, which was doubled early in the second half.

Landry said that helped shift the momentum to their side.

“That early goal gave us a boost, I think,” he said. “We got off to a fast start and when you get up a couple of goals, you’re able to set the pace and establish a flow.”

St. Pat’s had a near-perfect weekend save for a 4-4 draw with Coral Harbour from Nunavut in their opening game.

Landry said it was a battle of ball control in that contest as Coral Harbour did their best to hang on to the ball for as long as they could.

“I think we outplayed them but they capitalized on their chances when they came,” he said.

Landry also gave plenty of credit to a trio of players who stepped up to provide a leadership role during the weekend.

“Austin Daniels, Austin Sleno and Emanuel Lamvu took the reigns and led us,” he said. “They were level-headed and knew how to best prepare for each game. The Austins had a calming effect as well on the team if things got a bit heated.”

In terms of banners won, it was Diamond Jenness of Hay River which came out on top as they took three banners back down the highway in the A division while East Three Secondary won a banner of their own in the A division.

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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