The sun came out for the annual Kwalikum Kondors and Ballenas Whalers derby at the Qualicum Beach Rec Field, with the two teams battling hard in a game that the Kondors took 2-1.
Surprising everyone, including themselves, the Whalers jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a miscue by the Kondors at the back end, allowing Simon Morrison to move in and put one past Kondor keeper Nolin Fong.
With their backs against the wall, KSS came back to tie the game on a Tony Trozzo header, beating Whalers keeper Aaron Paetkau to make it 1-1.
The Kondors would make it 2-1 on a goal from Daniel Doukakis, who made a run down field and fired one in to the back of the net, putting the Kondors up on their way to the win.
“It was a really close game,” Paetkau said following the game. “I thought our team played well. Everybody was counting us out from the beginning and I think that we surprised ourselves quite a bit with this game, especially when we took the early lead. It was a good team effort all around and it’s definitely one of those games that we can build on going forward.”
The Kondors, caught off guard from being down 1-0 early on, were able to keep it together and bring home another victory, their third in a row in league play.
“It was frustrating for us out there,” Kondor Tony Trozzo said. “Luckily for us, we were able to stick together and find a way to come back and win it. It was a close game though, which we were a little surprised with but then again, these games with Ballenas are always tough no matter what and they played a real tough game against us.”
Coming off a first place finish at the Carihi Invitational tournament, the Kondors were feeling good heading in to action on Tuesday afternoon against the Whalers, perhaps a little too much.
“I think we were feeling a little over- confident for sure,” Trozzo said. “Anytime you can win a tournament, that’s a big boost to your confidence as individuals and as a team.”
“We knew it was going to be a battle against Ballenas but we also were feeling pretty good about how we’ve been playing as of late too, so I think this was a game that we needed to have, one that had us down and made us dig deep to see what we are made of as a team. They put us to the test and I’m happy we came away with the win.”
Next up for the Kondors is a game against Dover Bay, this afternoon at the Qualicum Beach Rec. Field, 3:30 p.m. kickoff. They will look to make it four straight league wins in a row but it won’t come easy.
“Dover is going to be tough too,” Trozzo said. “We know what it takes to play in a tough, close game after this one against Ballenas, so hopefully we’ll be able to learn from that and come in to this one looking a little better.”