Morning Star Staff
Three Capri Insurance Men’s 45+ Soccer League favourites won opening quarterfinal games, while another game was postponed when the lights went out Monday night.
Vernon had two teams involved with the Big O Tire-Turn-Key Controls Ogopogos falling 3-1 to the North Country Appraisals Kickers at Mission Sports Field #9.
The Okanagan Spring Brewery Camels were taking the play to the host Lake Country Lakers under the lights when a transformer blew late in the second half. The match will be replayed Thursday at Mission Sports Field #9 (8 p.m.).
Third-place North Country grabbed the lead on the Ogos early in the second half when Matt Cherrille intercepted a clearing pass and sent Sergio Santori in on a semi breakaway, and he slotted the ball into the far corner of the net past Nolan Clark, filling in for injured regular keeper Bryan Cope.
Both Clark and North Country keeper David Gadd recorded several spectacular saves in the opening half.
North Country continued to put pressure on Big O and were rewarded with a penalty shot after Steve Frost was brought down just inside the box. Frost blasted a high shot past Clark.
Big O battled hard and just missed or were denied by Gadd until a rebound came to Duane Dennis, who nailed the bouncing ball top corner. John Garner hit Gadd on a breakaway and shot wide on the rebound.
The sixth-place Ogos pushed for the equalizer but Steve Fagan and Floyd Ryan combined on a nifty play off a short corner and Ryan buried a low, hard shot.
“It was a disheartening loss for the Ogopogos,” said veteran Kerry Zubot. “We had a great second half of the season and were playing very good soccer as a team.”
North Country moves on to play second-place Brown Beneifts in a semifinal Monday night at Beasley Park.
Browns stopped stubborn seventh-place RPM Automotive 4-1 in the Mission.
After a cagey start by both teams, the Browns opened the scoring when Lionel Hoffman’s powerful shot found the bottom corner.
Don Brown doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after Hoffman was tripped in the box.
The Browns went up 3-0 just before halftime when Tony Gonzales struck a sweet shot just inside the far post. RPM came out very strong after the break and were rewarded when Wayne Clark’s long range effort found the top corner.
But the Browns replied a minute later when Steve Nader’s shot from just outside the box found the top shelf to complete the scoring.
First-place Penticton Dental Centre Clinic shaded visiting eighth-place Brandt’s Creek Pub 1-0 at Kings Park.
Despite Penticton maintaining possession for the majority of the game, the Kelowna defence was solid and thwarted many scoring opportunities.
Mike Beliveau converted on a free kick from just outside the box, bending it around the wall of defenders and inside the post, eluding Kelowna keeper Pat Arneri, who otherwise had a strong game.
After losing Vincent Jones to a red card for a second caution midway through the second half, Brandt’s kept pressing but were stymied by a bold Penticton back line.
Brandt’s had four solid scoring chances, the best on a wide open header with two minutes to play.
In Lake Country, the fourth-place Lakers dominated play in the opening 10 minutes, but from then on, it was all fourth-place Camels until the lights went out.
Unmarked Camel Gord Howard just missed on a low shot from seven yards after a superb cross by Rob Hulstein, while birthday boy Mike Daly sent a header wide off a corker free kick by Rick Raber.
Humpback keeper Dave Dutcher made a few solid stops early on as the Lakers came out hard.