Mariners fifth at U18 soccer nationals

In the wake of his team's fifth-place finish at the national championships, it was tempting for Magnuson Ford Mariners FC under-18 boys coach Alan Errington to ponder what might have been.

In the wake of his team’s fifth-place finish at the national championships, it was tempting for Magnuson Ford Mariners FC under-18 boys coach Alan Errington to ponder what might have been.

The Mariners bench boss is convinced his side had the talent to win gold at the national tourney, held in Fredricton, N.B.

But a pair of disappointing results during pool play – a 3-1 loss to Manitoba on Friday and a 1-1 draw against Quebec on Saturday – relegated the Abby side to the fifth-sixth placing game on Monday. They won that match in emphatic fashion, 6-0 over Mount Pearl, the representatives from Newfoundland.

“It was a difficult one to get up for, that one,” Errington noted. “I think the players were really disappointed in themselves.

“But in fairness, they were very professional in the way they turned up. They punched the time clock and went to work, and did a terrific job.”

The final score might have actually flattered the Newfoundlanders. The Mariners didn’t allow a shot on goal, and Trent Mayer led the offensive charge with two goals. Simi Singh, Anthony Urbano, Andy Phillips and Sahib Phagura added singles.

Errington singled out right back Colton O’Neill, who played every minute of every game, and centre back Phagura as his team’s top players throughout the tourney.

“I still think we were probably the best team there, technically and organized, and we did very well,” Errington summarized. “However, we didn’t show up for one game (the loss to Manitoba), and the other game (against Quebec) was a draw we should have won. That’s the disappointing part.”