Morning Star Staff
The Penticton Dental Center United pulled the double by grounding Kelowna’s North Country Appraisals 3-1 in the Capri Insurance Men’s 45+ Soccer League final Saturday at sun-kissed Mission Sports Field #14.
United also took the regular-season title at 15-0-3, 13 points in front of the third-place Kickers (11-5-2), who upset Brown Benefits in last week’s semifinals.
Penticton (15-0-3) capitalized at 10 minutes when Zeke Pescada’s free kick just outside the box found the feet of an unmarked Mike Beliveau, who fired a hard one timer past Kicker keeper David Gadd.
Penticton missed several other scoring chances and had the run of the play until the latter part of the half when Kelowna found their legs and began exerting pressure.
Steve Fagan equalized in the 30th minute on a hard, high blast that Penticton keeper Mike Killick couldn’t handle. The ball bounced to Fagan after a scramble on a corner. Kelowna kept pushing for the go-ahead goal but the game remained tied at the half.
Penticton again regained control early in the second half and Chad Henderson made it 2-1 when he stripped a defender of the ball and then beat Gadd with a solid shot to the low corner.
North Country fought back and had an opportunity to tie the game but defender Rob Kroeker came out of nowhere and prevented the ball from crossing the goal line after Steve Frost deked Killick and hit the ball toward the empty net.
With a few minutes to play, North Country moved a defender up to try and level the score and and Penticton took advantage at 75 minutes when defender Joe Jacoe carried the ball from Penticton’s end and after a give-and-go with Pescada, finished the play by beating a defender and passing to a waiting Rob Jackson, who found open striker Kevin Kolthlow for a tap in.
It was all Penticton after the insurance goal and by retaining possession of the ball for the balance of the game, they denied the determined Kickers any chance of a comeback.
“It was a good game and Penticton are worthy champions,” said Kicker veteran midfielder Matt Cherrille.