The top of the table showdown between Vernon Turn-Key Controls Ogopogos and Kelowna Brown Benefits ended leaving more questions than answers as the undefeated teams battled to a thrilling 1-1 draw Monday night in Vernon.
The Capri Insurance Men’s 45+ Soccer League clash featured World Cup-like pace and fancy footwork with the heavyweights having to wait an extra 15 minutes for the kickoff due to the late arrival of a head referee.
Kelly Sherman opened the scoring for Kelowna at seven minutes when he sweetly converted a penalty past a diving Mike Moorlag after being fouled in the box. Turn-Key thought the play was offside after Browns’ keeper Gord Regan smashed a goal kick over centre to a wide open Sherman at the outside of the 18 for a clear breakaway. Speedy defender Damian Adams rushed back to stop Sherman but was called for the foul as Sherman fell as he shot.
Moorlag provided a series of outstanding saves, including denying Sherman on two breakaways and an amazing fingertip save on a Tim Goward corker free kick from the left flank that was labelled for the top corner.
The game kept going back and forth into the second half and Regan made his own set of great saves but a defensive miscue gave Turn-Key a two-on-one and Ruben Cervantes fed striker John Orton, who connected from close range.
The midfield battle raged on until the final whistle with both teams having Grade A chances to score.
Cervantes enjoyed another breakaway down his wing and sent a beautiful, low cross to Bobby Zalcik, who just missed on a post to post shot along the goal line. Bryan Schenker also just missed on a couple of his attempts late in the half.
Defenders Damian Adams and Jason Beck played five-star games for Turn-Key, first at 9-0-1, one point ahead of Browns (8-0-3).
Meanwhile, Vernon Bosman Accounting finally posted their first win, shading Kelowna R&B Rented Mules 2-1 at Rutland Sportsfield.
The Accountants (1-7-1) kicked off with one man short, getting their Salmon Arm imports 10 minutes later.
Nigel Clack of the Shuswap produced the opener after winger Mike Barrajon made a great play on the right side and fed Mike Gilman, who crossed it to Clack.
Just 10 minutes later, Bosman extended the lead as forward Kerry Correia was taken down in the box and converted with a nice, clean. low shot. Another penalty kick was awarded but was stopped by the Mules’ keeper.
The Mules (1-10) answered on a breakaway after some slipping and tripping within the Bosman defence. The second half was again dominated by Bosman without any finish.
The Old Milwaukee Man of the Match for Bosman was fullback Quentin Bruns, who was creative both ways, enjoying scoring chances on rushes.