Kondors find the net through the fog

KSS team takes a big 6-2 win in QB while Ballenas loses close one to Dover

Kwalikum’s Blair Stewart breaks up a play during the Kondor’s foggy win over the Golden Eagles.

It may have been foggy but the Kondors still fed the net.

Kwalikum Secondary School’s senior boys soccer team ran the table on its regular season last Thursday, beating the Woodlands Golden Eagles 6-2 in a hard-fought match played out in a real pea-souper.

In action at a socked-in Qualicum Beach Rec Fields, the Kondors came out charging and opened the scoring 10 minutes in when junior call-up Blair Stewart parked one top shelf. Woodlands drew even shortly after on a defensive giveaway, but KSS countered with two quick goals from Luiz Lima and Austin Phye for a 3-1 Kondors lead at the half.

Lima clicked again early in the second half to up Kwalikum’s lead to 4-1, Woodlands countered to pull to within two, but that would be as close as they’d get, as Lima potted his third of the game and Bryce Wilson rounded out the scoring.

“It was a little disorientating,” Kondors’ coach Butch Gayton said of the fog. “We moved the ball well, but any direct play, any long balls, were tough to fully see, and I noticed the kids were running out of bounds every once in a while.

“They were gritty. It was a rough game — some bad blood carried over from last year,” Gayton said

“That’s probably the worst fog I’ve ever officiated in,” said the game’s head ref, Darren Gaudreault, a familiar face on local pitches who has been calling matches for some 20 years.

‘It was definitely unusual, it was difficult to see because we had a bit of sun poking through the clouds too, so turning towards the north it was difficult to see a lot of the play. It was just a weird combination of weather (and) it made for a more challenging game to officiate for sure, plus they both had dark coloured jerseys on, which made it even worse.”

Kwalikum’s new keeper Daniel Grant wasn’t tested often but he came up with some clutch saves when called upon.

The win put the Kondors at 4-0-1 on the season and secures them the top seed heading into the eight-team North Island championships slated for Oct. 29-30, being hosted by KSS at Merle Logan Turf Fields in Nanaimo. The top five advance to the Island finals Nov. 5-6 at the University of Victoria.

This is the second straight year the Kondors have finished top of the table in their nine-team AA North Island league, but the local side is hoping to amend last season when the Kondors finished a disappointing fourth in the Islands and failed to advance to the B.C. championships for the first time in years.

“The two most important tournaments are coming up (the North Islands and Islands),” said Gayton. “It’s  going to be tough to get to the B.C.s — there are five or six very strong teams on the Island.”

MEANWHILE DOWN THE ROAD that same afternoon, Ballenas’ senior boys soccer team was handed a tough 4-3 loss by the Dolphins from Dover in their final regular season game.

Tied 1-1 at half, Dover scored the winning goal with about 15 minutes left.

Ian Whibley scored all three Whalers’ goals.

“We had a few really great chances in the last few minutes, they had to clear it off the goal line (and) their goalie made a great save one of Ian’s breakaways,” said BSS coach Alli Bach, adding the Whalers “played great and had a lot of pressure in the first half. Some mistakes defending set pieces cost us a couple goals.”

The loss puts the Whalers at 3-2 in league play (one of those wins by default) with a home game Thursday against Brentwood College to determine seeding (third/fourth) for the North Island’s.

IN OTHER ACTION, Kwalikum’s Jr Boys team capped off its perfect regular season with a 3-nil win over their counterparts from Dover.

Luke Walker, Miguel Gil Oliva and Stewart scored for KSS, which went 5-0 in league play, and now turns its attention to the eight-team North Island playdowns in Courtenay this Wednesday and Thursday.

The top three teams advance to the Island championships in Mill Bay Oct. 30-31.

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