It will be an all-Kelowna final in the Okanagan Men’s 45+ Soccer League.
The third-place North Country Appraisals Kickers clipped the runner-up Vernon Hi-Pro Sportswear Camels 3-2 in penalty kicks Monday night at Marshall Field #2.
The Kickers will meet regular-season undefeated champion IGA in Saturday’s championship game at Kings Park in Penticton. IGA slammed fifth-place Salmon Arm 7-1 in the other semifinal.
Mike Daly and Dan Zieske converted shootout kicks for the Humpbacks, while Rick Raber, Al Betton and Gord Howard were stopped by Kickers’ keeper Marty Vince.
Mike Francis, Randy Bohem and Ken Mulleny beat Camels’ keeper Dave Dutcher, who stopped Matt Cherrille’s low shot left corner.
The Camels held the majority of scoring chances with Raber striking the crossbar with a 25-yard laser early in the second half.
Howard took a through ball from Al Murphy, went around Vince and then slipped on the wet turf before releasing a slow-rolling left footer which was just cleared off the line.
Daly’s rocket on a breakaway with two minutes left was stopped by Vince.
“We outplayed them,” said Camels’ veteran Ron Krause. “They had one shot in the first half. Our back line neutralized Fritz (Beryni) and Wil (Kruiper) all game.”
In consolation side play at Marshall, the Silver Stars grounded Okanagan Spring Brewery 4-2 in penalty kicks after the teams tied 1-1 in regulation, in a card-filled tilt.
Art Renaud ran miles forcing balls and putting pressure on the Spring defenders and missed several good chances early. He also hit the crossbar on a free kick over the wall from 19 yards out.
He was finally rewarded in the 20th minute when John Burns sent him in alone from half.
He beat Spring keeper Pete (The Heat) Richter to the far side.
The Stars had numerous other chances to score, but Richter was strong in knocking down shots and covering up rebounds.
Mike Lloyd missed an open net and a chance to equalize late in the half after a misplay on the wet grass by Stars’ keeper Ted Lurkins.
The second half saw the intensity increase as three yellow cards were handed out to the Stars and five to Spring for physical play and poor sportsmanship.
Spring’s fresh subs and Silver Star fatigue turned the tide of the game and the game shifted into the Stars end.
Several good chances were taken, but none made it past Lurkins in the Stars net. Spring lost Hans Edblad to a red card with 25 minutes remaining but the Spring players ramped up their offence even more.
Burns and Brian Eso were up to the task of marking Chris Reeves and Lloyd until Lloyd drew a disputed sliding penalty in the 18-yard box.
Frosty Man of the Match Jeff Vest stepped up and put the ball into the low left side of the net to even up the score with 16 minutes remaining.
The game went to penalties and Burns, Renaud, Rob Bauml and Rick Danyluk all scored for the Stars, while Lloyd and Reeves scored for the Spring. Lurkins then made a key save on Bob Fleming and the last Spring shooter, Jim (Mr. Funtastic) McEwan, put one five feet over the bar to seal the win for the Stars.
Steve Fitzpatrick, who played sick, was voted the Imodium Man of the Match by his Silver Star team mates.
The Kelowna Rented Mules brushed back the Big O Tire Ogopogos 1-0 in a consolation game which featured stellar sportsmanship by both sides.
In 35+ league action Saturday, the Vernon Square Liquor Store Celtics saw their playoff run come to an end after losing 5-2 against host Penticton FC Pinnacles at Kings Park.
The Celtics travelled south with several players missing, including key defender Jason Beck.
Matters got worse when both Ryan Leibel and Bryan Schenker got injured early in the game.
With a make-shift lineup, the Celtics were able to hold off the Pinnacles for the first 30 minutes.
A corner led to Penticton’s first goal after a deflected header surprised keeper Chris Bader. Just two minutes later, the hosts scored again with a precise shot from distance.
The Celtics had to take more risks and paid the price when Penticton added a third from a breakaway.
The Celtics battled back in the second half but were unfortunate when Penticton where awarded two penalty kicks in a row after clumsy collisions in the box.
The Celtics refused to be shut out in their final game of the year and their hard work paid off when Roland Riedstra beat his opponent to set up veteran Brad Conlin, who cleverly scored his first goal of the season.
In the dying minutes, hitman Kriss Yargeau put the exclamation mark on his successful season with a precise long shot.
The Celtics celebrated the end of their first season with a nightly visit to downtown Vernon where coach Kai Tolpinreed once again led the way.