The Rec fields in Qualicum Beach played host to six teams and over 100 master’s soccer players from across the upper Island this past Sunday.
According to Shady Rest Eagles F.C. rep Ravi Mohabeer, in what was the first Master’s soccer tournament in Oceanside in recent memory, the local Men’s Over 35 team played host to all four upper Island squads from Courtenay, Campbell River and Powell River for an opening day tourney, while the Over 60s (a joint team with Campbell River), played Comox in their regular season home opener.
For the first weekend on the pitch, “the action was fast and furious.”
At the Over 35 level no one team was the clear winner with all four sides coming away with at least one win and all the games ending with close scores, including a 1-0 victory by the home team against Powell River, who came in second in the Tony Grover Cup and made it to the second round of the provincials last season.
“It was a tough season for the Over 35s last year,” said Mohabeer, who also manages the O35 Eagles, pointing out the locals were “playing alongside three legitimate provincial contenders in a tight four team division.”
Over the summer though “it was clear that all of the squads stayed fit and brought their ‘A game’ to opening day. We were in close for every game, and by the end we pulled away with a victory against the toughest competitors in the league.”
The opening day tournament “was a great success with members of the community, families, and people of all ages coming out to enjoy a great day of soccer.”
THE OVER 60s game was a close contest in the opening half with the teams tied 2-2 at the break, but the Eagles pulled away with a decisive 6-3 win in what Ian Miller called “a solid team effort.”
Bob Jacques paced the Shadies with two goals, and Jim Mitchell, Keith Watson, Dietmar Baumeister, and Hank Nelson (who believe it or not, came down from Alert Bay to play), all struck for singles.
One of the oldest continuously operating soccer clubs on the Island dating back to the mid-80s, Shady Rest Eagles F.C. men’s masters’ soccer club “is always looking for new players,” said Mohabeer, “and this was a great way for us to showcase the exciting level of play that our leagues have to offer.
“It’s truly a great game, and a great club to play in.”
For more information go to shadyresteaglesfc.com.
GAME ON: The O48 Eagles home at QB Rec Fields Sunday for noon start against Port Alberni. The O48s opened their season on the road with a tough loss to Courtenay last Sunday.