It will be an all-Vernon affair when the North Okanagan Soccer League championship game kicks off 6 p.m. Sunday at Marshall Field #2.
Both North Enderby Timber and Turn-Key Controls advanced through Wednesday night’s semifinals, with NET blanking Nation of Domination Eagle Homes 3-0 on Marshall #4, and Turn-Key outlasting host Salmon Arm Courvas 2-1 at Little Mountain Field #1.
After splitting the season series with Courvas, and ending the regular season tied in points, Turn-Key opened the scoring in just the third minute when Taylor Horsting headed home an Evan Moore corner.
Courvas, starting the game with just 10 men, battled hard and eventually evened the score off a corner kick in the 21st minute. The ball just squeaked past Nolan’s Pharmasave Man of the Match Nathan Tucker, who stood in admirably for regular goaltender Jeremy Kler, who was attending UBC Okanagan Heat soccer tryouts.
Tucker made two more huge saves before the half to keep the score even going into the break.
The second half turned into a midfield battle, with Moore, Preston Tucker and Brendan Love controlling the ball against the Courvas squad. The Turn-Key defence of Carson Haywood-Farmer, Sam Nolan, Kyle Goodgrove, Alex Nolan and Sean Bonnett were steady in shutting down the potent Courvas counterattack.
Andrew Pool continued his hot goal-scoring streak when, after some great pressure by Greg Niemantsverdriet and Chris Jahnig, the Controls stripped a Courvas defender in the 77th minute, allowing Pool to convert on a partial breakaway.
Turn-Key hung on the rest of the way, taking advantage of some tired Courvas legs to keep the play in the offensive zone.
Meanwhile, NET keeper Danny Stein made a couple world-class saves early saves to keep things scoreless in the first eight minutes against Eagle Homes.
About 15 minutes in, golden boot winner Brent Poulsen opened NET’s account on a great through ball from Graham Ross, who calmly beat an NOD midfielder before chipping over to Poulsen.
Dexter James unleashed a left-footed howitzer for the Timber’s second goal. Ross sent a ball up to Poulsen, who sucked in two defenders before finding a streaking James.
Poulsen orchestrated the final goal from the right side, delivering a cross to TRU Wolfpack member Cori Wallis, who volleyed the offering with great composure.
Turn-Key and NET also split their season series.