The Vernon Turn-Key Controls Ogopogos head into the Canada Day Weekend feeling ultimate pride as serious contenders in the Capri Insurance Men’s 45+ Soccer League.
The second-place Ogopogos shut down fourth-place Penticton United 4-0 Monday night at Parkinson Field #9 in Kelowna. The Pogos moved to 8-0, one point back of Brown Benefits of Kelowna (8-0-1) and five points ahead of Penticton (6-2-1).
Bryan Schenker celebrated his youngest son Leon’s high school graduation with two goals, while Jeff Nice and Duane Dennis supplied singles. Mike Moorlag earned the clean sheet.
Turn-Key applied pressure on the surprised Penticton squad and enjoyed numerous chances without finish until midway through the half when Nice recorded his first goal of the season by finishing off a nice feed from Johnny Orton breaking in past the defenders.
Schenker connected on a sweetly placed shot from just inside the 18 to end the half.
Turn-Key came out strong in the opening minutes of the final 45 but were frustrated on numerous offside calls and the momentum turned as Penticton poured it on for a good solid 10 minutes.
The Pogo defenders sent the ball up to Schenker, who sped in alone on a break when the Penticton keeper came charging out, past the 18-yard box and levelled Schenker as he was deking past him. Both players remained injured on the ground for a spell and as they recovered and got up, the keeper was awarded a red card.
Schenker sailed the PK to the top corner, however, the replacement Pentiction keeper stretched and deflected it over the net. Schenker made good on another through ball, deking the keeper and finishing in the open net.
Dennis completed the attack on an entertaining breakaway, juking and jiving the keeper numerous times before finding the net.
Moorlag definitely earned the shutout, dived across to deflect a low corker wide at the last second. The Pogos’ dynamite defence of Damien Adam, Graeme McGee, Iain Butler, Rick Danyluk and Jason Beck kept Penticton forwards frustrated most of the night.
Brown Benefits scored five goals in the first half and cruised to a 7-0 victory over Mind Smart Health United at Parkinson #16.
Keeper-turned-striker Steven Heiss, who is pulling for Germany in the World Cup, had a career night and opened the scoring from close range in the early minutes. Lionel Hoffman added insurance with a header shortly after, while Tim Austen made it three with a stellar shot and Larry Kinakin pounced on a loose ball to extend the lead.
Heiss then got his second of the half by nodding in an Austen cross. Heiss’ dreams of a hat-trick were put on hold when keeper Gord Regan tweaked a back muscle and Heiss had to don the gloves for the second half.
Kelly Sherman converted in the opening minutes of the final 45 on a great run and Austen bagged his brace with another terrific shot to the bottom corner. The Browns’ stingy back four of Brad Heuser, Grant Campbell, Darryl Hazell and Devon Reekie kept Mind Smart (5-3-1) at bay with Heiss only called into action a couple of times to preserve the shutout.
The Mission Cleaners leapfrogged past Penticton into third place by grounding the R&B Rented Mules 3-0 at City Park in Kelowna.
Kristian Sorensen, Rene Trozzo and Chris Messent counted goals for the Cleaners (7-2-1). The Mules dipped to 1-9.
Mabui Sushi and Real JVL ran to a 1-1 draw in a battle of bottom feeders at Mission Sportsfields #10.
The wind turned out to be the 12th man with Mabui having it in their favour for the first half and JVL spending most of the time in their own end dealing with the relentless Mabui pressing. Even keeper Jay Christensen’s normally powerful kicks left the ball well short of half.
With about five minutes to go, Mabui played a short corner that resulted in a mad scramble in the box, and sometimes reliable centre-back Randy Schmidt whiffed on his clearance and Claudio Dibiase tapped it in. There was much weeping and lamentation.
JVL came out hard in the second half and now it was Mabui struggling to deal with the wind. JVL kept them penned in and though they had many shots, too few were on target. The breakthrough came with about 15 minutes to go, with the defence leading the charge.
Centre back Randy Schmidt collected a Mabui goal kick and drove down the left flank where his through ball found fullback Bryan Akerstream. Akerstream dribbled around a defender, and then from the byline, managed a curling shot that eluded the keeper. There was cheering and much happiness in the JVL world.
Mabui is 2-7-1, while JVL is 1-6-2.