Neil McPhie was looking down on his former Okanagan Spring Camels teammates.
The Camels and Turn-Key Control Ogopogos kicked off their 2016 Capri Insurance Okanagan Oldtimers 45+ Soccer League regular season Monday at Marshall Field with a moment of silence for McPhie, the popular ex-Camel and longtime Vernon soccer aficionado who died of cancer in March.
Shortly after the start, the Ogopogos missed a breakaway, which the Camels credited to McPhie’s influence, then rolled to a 5-3 win over their city rivals.
Steve Milne opened the scoring 11 minutes in for the brewers, poking in a rebound of a Marty Steele shot that hit the woodwork.
John Orton scored a natural hat trick for the Camels, burying his first on a rebound of a Steele shot, then deflecting a Rob Hulstein shot past ‘Pogos keeper Dan Ondzik and finishing things off with a rocket shot from 35 yards out.
Bryan Schenker got Turn-Key on the board, then took a feed from Mark Wasyluk to beat Camels keeper Dave Dutcher and cut the Okanagan Spring lead to 4-2.
Brian Williamson added one more goal for Camels before half and Wasyluk, from Schenker, finished off the scoring for the Ogopogos.
Also at Marshall Field, Vernon Bosman Accounting opened the season against a new Kelowna team, Mission Cleaners, and it was the newbies taking Bosman to the cleaners with a 3-0 road win.
The fresh and young Kelowna-based team dominated the game and scored early in the second half.
The accountants played a good first match and did not give away too much and created a few chances with strikers Paul McArdle and John Matejica firing several shots at the cleaners keeper.
It was the Mission squad that scored another two goals in the second half.
The Vernon defence with Gerry Geelkerken, Kilmer Hagen, Dan Rogers and Alex deBoersap was solid and new additions Randy Driediger, Barry MacKay and Norm Cramer did a lot of work on midfield.
The cleaners created some more good opportunities in the last minutes of the game, but Bosman keeper Yogi Kongsdorf had some excellent saves and earned the Topsport man of the match award.
Defending champions Brown Benefits opened their title defence with a comeback 3-2 win over MindSmart United.
Brandt’s Creek turned in a solid back-to-front performance in blanking Kelowna Cantinas 4-0.