Kyle Halvorson recorded the winner as North Enderby Timber earned a 3-2 comeback win over the Revelstoke Stallions in Gibson Cup men’s soccer semifinal action Sunday at Vernon’s MacDonald Park.
NET faces Salmon Arm Courvas tonight (6 p.m.) at Marshall Field for the Gibson Cup.
NET netminder Danny Stein was stellar early, punching a ball out of harm’s way after the Stallions had a pair of shots go off the crossbar in a goalmouth scramble.
Minutes later, Stein sprung Brent Poulsen with a drop kick at the centre line, over the head of the defender. Poulsen showed poise to calmly tuck the ball past the Revelstoke keeper.
The first half ended with both teams having multiple quality chances, but both keepers were solid.
In the second half, Revelstoke striker Mike Kozec was taken down in the box which resulted in a penalty kick at the 10-minute mark. Kozec stepped up and beat Stein top right to tie the game.
Minutes later, an awful backpass from sweeper Andy Stein back to his brother Danny resulted in a converted Revelstoke breakaway by Matt Robinson.
“Worst pass of my life,” chuckled Andy.
The timbermen refused to give up, and Corey Wallis carried the ball up the left wing, beating multiple players before driving a cross through the 18 yard box to Harminder Sandhu, who used his speed and spider-like agility to blast past the defender to get to the ball for the well-earned tap in.
Roughly five minutes later, the Timber took the lead when Halvorson made a great solo run through several midfielders and defenders to find himself just outside the right post. He took one final touch before ripping a blast off a Stallion d-man and into the goal.
“Our guys showed grit and determination to pull ourselves out of a hole. We had one sub to their five but the guys used their skill and simple game-play to pull ahead and get the win we deserved,” said player-turned-coach Graham Ross.
Courvas shaded Nation of Domination Eagle Homes 2-1 in the other Sunday semi, leaving the Stallions to meet Eagle Homes in the third-place game, also at Marshall.
Camels swallow Spring
Rick Raber recorded the hat trick as Vernon Hi-Pro Sportswear Camels clobbered Okanagan Spring 5-0 in Okangan Oldtimers 45+ Soccer League action Monday night at MacDonald Park.
Mike Daly, on a terrific solo run, and Gord Howard chipped in with singles for the second-place Humpbacks (15-3-2), who led 3-0 at halftime.
Dave Dutcher cruised to the shutout as Spring dipped to 8-10-2.
Mark Wasylyk and Rob Ross collected two goals apiece as the Big O Tire Ogopogos spooked Rutland Spirit 5-1 in at Marshall Field #2.
Playing under a cool breeze and decent field conditions, Ruben Cerventez started off the scoring on a nice low cross from Wasylyk, who came close to making it a hat trick.
Mark Rothery scored for Rutland (5-14-1) on a slow, low kick towards the post which hit a rut and fooled Big O keeper Yogi Kongsdorf.
The Ogopogos (8-11-1) got solid defence from Rich Zecchel, Mike Adams, Jen Hubert and Kerry Zubot. Leo Nadeau earned the Calvin Klein Man of the Match playing great in front of his fiancee and fans.
The Vernon Silver Stars improved to 9-7-4 with a convincing 6-1 win over Salmon Arm at Marshall #3.
The game had some significance as it moves the Stars to within a point of Salmon Arm (10-8-2) in the standings with two games remaining.
The Stars’ Rob Bauml opened the scoring at the 12-minute mark when he took a pass from new English recruit Gary Saunders and slid a ball low to the right side.
Five minutes later, Art Renaud continued his hot streak by pouncing on a weak back-pass to the Salmon Arm keeper.
Brian Eso converted from 18 yards out on a beautiful set up by Steve Coombs and Steve Fitzpatrick. Bauml closed out the first-half scoring by finishing off a nice chance by Ken Rath.
In the second half, Renaud scored his second goal after a great through ball by Mark de Volder. Kenny Barker finished the Stars’ scoring, collecting a great through ball by Dennis Berg and beating the keeper far side.
Wolfgang Bopp scored Salmon Arm’s lone goal with seven minutes left on a penalty kick.
Stand-in coach Bill Graham dedicated the win to coach Tim Penaluna, who was unable to attend due to a family matter.
“This was one of our best games so far this year. We worked hard and used quick 10-yard passes to take the wind out of the Salmon Arm midfield. Our back line was strong, and when everything else is clicking, the offense just falls into place.”
Peoples surge in second half
In 35+ soccer action Monday, the Vernon Square Liquor Store Celtics fell 7-2 to Kelowna’s undefeated Peoples Insulation Monday night at Mission Sport Fields.
In a dead-even first half, Peoples (15-0-2) started strong and produced two well-constructed goals from their speedy forwards.
The Celtics (7-8-2) battled back with Bryan Schenker burying a shot from distance.
With the Celtics dominating possession for long spells later in the first half, Kriss Yargeau scored the well-deserved equalizer just before halftime after he pressured the Peoples’ tender and forced a turn over.
The second half remained well-balanced until the insulation crew found the net twice in two minutes. The demoralized Celtics collapsed, and conceded three more goals in the dying minutes.