VIFHA comp. division tightens with Tigers win
A heavy mist hung over the Buzz Beecroft turf at UVic on Sunday as the Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association got back into gear with a full slate of men’s games.
The foggy conditions were a welcome change from the snowy and otherwise chilly conditions that prompted the suspension of play the past two weekends.
The day’s recreational division opener saw Rebels 2 decide to borrow a few Hawks to play a friendly rather than play shorthanded against the division leaders. The move proved a positive way to kick off the 2024 portion of the season.
The Tigers were full value for their lineup with just one spare on the sideline for the first competitive division game of the new year, outlasting Rebels 1 in a 5-3 victory. The head-to-head win pulled the resurgent Tigers – now 6-5-0 after losing three of their first four games – to within two points of the first-place Rebels (6-4-2).
Backfielder Rajiv Dillon, making the most of short corner opportunities, scored three goals for the second time this season to lead the Tigers attack, while* Josh Brown* and Parm Sahota added singles.
Rebels, who trailed 3-1 after a fast-paced first half, got their goals from Alex Moore, Ethan Picard and Bevan van de Berg.
In the late game, T.J. Parhar scored four times and Tom Pennells picked up a shutout in his second game in goal Sunday as the Victoria League Selects downed UVic Vikes 6-0.
Parhar scored from almost everywhere, bagging two goals off short corners, one on a rare penalty stroke and another from the field. Jesse Kaloti added the rest of the scoring, netting a pair of goals.
The win drew the Selects (4-4-2) level on the season and keep them in the hunt for the division title with games in hand on the Rebels and Tigers.
The Vikes, after setting the pace in the fall then suffering through player shortages, have fallen back to fourth. That said, the team is not so far back to make a second-half run should their hoped-for player returns materialize.
Next Sunday’s schedule sees Hawks meet Marauders in the 10:30 a.m. rec game, followed by Rebels vs. Selects at noon and Vikes vs. Tigers at 1:30 p.m.