It was a game of two completely different halves with the Vernon Liquor Store Stars rallying for a 6-4 win over Brandt’s Creek Monday night at Parkinson 16 Field in Kelowna.
The Stars got two goals each from Dave Hawes and Phil McNally as they improved to 7-6-2, moving one point back of sixth-place Rutland Spirit in the Capri Insurance Men’s 45+ Soccer League.
Brandt’s Creek (2-10-3) went up 4-0 in the opening 20 minutes with Blair Gautschi scoring a pair, and singles coming from Kelvin Brown and Dave Hughes.
Following a red card to Vinnie Jones of Brandt’s for a dangerous high kick to Dennis Berg’s face at 35 minutes, the Stars began their comeback.
Brandt’s enjoyed a 4-2 lead at the break, but the Stars erased the deficit with 15 minutes to play. Barry McKay and John Matejka supplied singles for the Stars, who gave the Sleeman’s Man of the Match to Hawes at central midfield. Hawes buried a 25-yard corker top cheese for his first goal.
Big O Tire/Turn-Key Ogopogos brushed back the RPM Automotive Rutland Spirit 4-2 at Marshall Field #1.
Roland Reidstra buried a beautiful pass from Ruben Cerventes for the Ogopogos’ opening goal in the first half.
Big O (5-8) controlled the majority of play with short passes and got their second goal from Cerventes after a feed from Volker Otto. Cerventes beat several defenders before converting from 10 yards.
Otto registered the third goal, a 25-yarder that was punched into the top corner, while John Garner capped the scoring by nut-megging the keeper late in the game. Rutland dipped to 7-5-3.
Dave Short scored with 30 seconds remaining as the Pushor Mitchell Advocates gained a 4-4 tie with winless Bosman Accounting at Marshall #3.
Defender Greg Thalheimer, the Harries Construction Man of the Match, Laurent Dansereau, Kerry Correia and Gerry Geelkerken scored for Bosman, who led 4-2 with 14 minutes remaining.
Thalheimer raced upfield and outhustled a defender for Bosman’s first goal. Dansereau rushed in and belted in the rebound of a Gerson Betman penalty shot which was stopped by a diving Advocate keeper Paul Hart.
Correia took a nifty feed from Ian Murphy and deked Hart with some great speed to make it 3-2 Bosman, while Geelkerken went top shelf with a 25-yarder for a two-goal spread.
Andy Macdonnell bagged a deuce and John Pratch also tallied for the Advocates (1-9-5).
In a high-intensity clash between the league’s heavyweights, Brown Benefits bounced the North Country Appraisals Kickers 3-1 at Parkinson 9.
Brown’s forward Tony Gonzales was in top form as he converted two breakaway chances in the first 25 minutes, turning the North Country defence inside out and slotting the ball coolly into alternate corners on each shot. North Country keeper David Gadd was left grasping at thin air on both occasions.
Just before the intermission, North Country clawed one back as Will Kruiper rose to meet a Matt Cherrille corner and put a bullet header past a helpless Brown’s keeper Steven Heiss.
After the break, both teams took turns pouring on the pressure with North Country’s Greg Bevandick coming close with a header off the post, and Gadd then keeping out numerous shots.
North Country kept pushing hard to get back into the game, forcing a number of good saves from Heiss.
Brown’s added the clincher at 75 minutes when left fullback Cam Bakala sent over a precision cross that was met by Steve Nader with a crafty tap in. North Country fought hard to get back into it but Brown’s defence of Dante Zanatta, Grant Campbell, Rich Woodhouse, Bakala and Colin Burton closed the door and limited North Country (10-3-1) to long-range efforts in the last 10 minutes.
Brown’s engine room of Jim Kruiper and Donny Brown both played key roles in the centre of the park as 14-0 Brown’s faced their toughest opponent of the year, adding North Country have really gelled as a team.
Penticton United took sole possession of third place with a 1-0 default win over the Leko Precast Camels.
Kelowna Cantinas grounded the Rented Mules 3-1 for their second straight win, at Mission 71 Sports Field.
It was a physical game with the Mules (2-11-1) going down to 10 men in the second half after a player received his second yellow card. Cantinas improved to 5-9-1.
Vernon Kal Tire bounced the Calgary Kickers 7-2 and 5-4 in a pair of friendlies at Marshall #5.
John Burns and Ben Vos each netted a pair in Saturday’s opener, singles going to Volker Otto, Stan Pavlov and Felix Heinrichs.
Young dynamo Domenic Spadafova and his fasther Tony, a 59-year-old roadrunner, responded for the Kickers.
Burns pulled the hat trick in Sunday’s win, one coming off an all-planet, one-time volley which went top shelf, after a cross by Randy Eyford.
Otto and Kevin Mitchell, with the winner on a rocket header in the final minute, after a cross by Steve Coombs, finished the Vernon scoring.
Tony Spadafova, with three breakaway goals on first-half Vernon keeper Mitchell, and George Corall, on a gorgeous header, countered for Calgary, who attended a barbecue Saturday night at the home of former Kicker Heinrichs.