A stud in midfield throughout the match, Mike Bertram used his long legs to his advantage late in the game.
Moving up from midfield, Bertram banged in a rebound after Kelowna Mission Cleaners Sandro Costa dove to his left to make a great save in the 70th minute, giving Vernon Kal Tire a 2-1 win over the Cleaners in the A Division final of the CapriCMW Okanagan Oldtimers 45+ Soccer League Sunday afternoon at Beasley Park in Lake Country.
It’s the second straight title for the Vernon side, who played last year as the Turn-Key Control Ogopogos.
Veteran striker John Orton gave the tiremen a 1-0 lead late in the first half when his in-close shot beat Costa.
After the re-start, Kelowna tied the game off a corner. The kick struck a few bodies in front of Kal Tire keeper Mike Moorlag before landing on the head of Manny Almeida, who flicked the ball over the outstretched arms of Moorlag and into the top of the net for the equalizer.
Kal Tire veteran Ruben Cervantes nearly got the winner minutes before Bertram’s goal, blasting a left-footed shot inches over the crossbar.
Orton had a chance to make it 3-1 Vernon off a great feed from Ian Bos, but his shot from the right side was stopped by Costa.
The Cleaners had one last chance late to force overtime when a corner kick got past Moorlag, only to have defender Graeme Magee calmly clear the ball off the line.
Vernon had a chance to sweep both division finals Sunday, but Kelowna Mind Smart had other plans, scoring the game’s lone goal late in the first half for a 1-0 win over Bosman Accounting in the league’s B Division championship.
Wade MacPherson took a pass at the top of the 18-yard box from Neil Barrowdale and fired a right-footed laser into the lower corner that Bosman keeper Yogi Kongsdorf had no chance to stop.
The accountants had a great chance to equalize in the second half when forward Mike Barrajon was taken down in the box. Mike Daly stepped up to the spot and put the ball wide of the left goal post after being stared down by Mind Smart keeper Dave Cavezza.
All four division finalists scored semifinal upsets the week prior.
Kal Tire, which finished third in the division, scored in the seventh round of a shootout to beat second-place Brown Benefits of Kelowna 1-0, while Mission Cleaners knocked off the regular season champions, Penticton.
Bosman finished fourth and upset the first-place Kelowna Real JVL while Mind Smart United downed the second-place Kelowna Soccer United.