It was all Eagles Sunday as the Shady Rest Soccer Club clinched its fifth straight Manly Cup with a decisive 3-1 win over the Oak Bay Old Boys.
“It was a terrific day — best day weather-wise we’ve had in a long time, so it made it perfect,” Shadies’ manager/coach Jim Cameron said after the latest installment of the long-running two-game set between the two Island sides.
This marks the fifth straight year the Eagles have won the annual showdown and coveted Manly Cup, and Sunday marked the 25th anniversary and the 50th game — the two sides of players aged 55 and over have played a home and home each year since 1986. The Manly Cup was started by Oceanside’s Gunter Beyer.
“They really enjoy it. The game’s always played in the spirit of the game,” Cameron confirmed when asked about the effort of the elder statesman Sunday, adding after the match the two teams had a great lunch and a few brews at the Shady Rest and Eagles’ captain Jim Wilson and his mates hoisted the hardware.
All the scoring came in the first half, and in said spirit of the game the Eagles’ starting keeper Jim Miller and standout defender Jimmy Wilson played for the Old Boys in the second half to level the playing field.
Eagle stalwart Dietmar Baumeister opened the scoring eight minutes in when he got one to go in close to cap off a play started by Jim Mitchell, who picked up a loose ball at midfield and sent Rod Morrison down the left side of the penalty area, who crossed it over to Baumeister.
Baumeister struck again 10 minutes later off a similar goal off a play started by Mitchell and Peter Roland.
Pete Watson put the Eagles up 3-zip late in the opening half when he broke in and scored on a low screamer from the top of the box, thanks to some hard work on the part of midfielder, Gary Richardson and fullback Roger Jinks.
Oak Bay got one to go just before the break to cut it to 3-1, “but it didn’t reflect the flow of the play.”
The teams played to a 2-2 draw down in Victoria in November in game one of the home and home, and the Eagles retained the cup because of Sunday’s decisive win.
“I thought we probably played our best game of the season — we certainly had our strongest lineup, and our midfield was expectational today,” said Cameron, adding Eagle middies Jimmy Wilson, Gary Richardson, Jim Mitchell and Keith Watson “were outstanding — they shielded the back-line well and dominated the play.”
Oldest Eagle, 71-year-old Chris Wood, has been having a good season but was sidelined for Sunday’s match with a hamstring injury.
Cameron has been with the club since 1988 as a player and coach and just all around supporter.
“We were all in our 30s when this started,” he chuckled, adding, “it was great today. I thought we were particularly good at moving the ball and keeping possession and using our wingers to great effect. We dominated for long periods, particularly in the first half.”
GAME STILL ON
The Eagles are off for the summer but local footballers are ramping up for the long-running six-aside league which begins in early July.
The popular league, which regularly attracts over a hundred players, men and women aged 16-60, provides a fun and supportive environment in a league setting, is put together by Rod Morrison.
Players can register through the RDN office at Oceanside Place.