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Rebels 2 leapfrog idle Hawks into top spot
A pair of close games and one that was tightly contested at least for the first quarter highlighted Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association play Sunday.
The day started with a well-played recreational contest. Rebels 2, boosted by the addition of former longtime women’s national teamer Ali Lee in the backline, recovered from an early 1-0 deficit to down the Marauders 2-1 and take over top spot in the division.
Marauders (1-5-1) came in looking to tighten up the standings and tallied first on a nice setup finished off by Shawn Wuth in the opening half.
But the determined Rebels (4-2-1) kept their opponents’ offensive pushes mostly to the wings while skilfully pushing the ball through the middle of the field on counterattacks.
Their persistence paid off in the third quarter following a short corner when Lee, playing the ball just inside the 23-metre line, spotted a gap in the defensive coverage and calmly pushed a shot into the wide-open lower corner to make it 1-1.
The teams battled back and forth through the third quarter, but in the fourth, Rebels’ Bevan Van de Burg jumped on a loose ball in the D and beat keeper Kelvin Kum with a crisp shot.
The win allowed Rebels to inch past Hawks (3-1-2) into first place, with the latter on a bye week in the schedule.
In competitive division play, Tigers received offence from across the lineup in an 8-1 win over Rebels 1. The final score did not reflect the opening quarter, during which both teams enjoyed decent scoring chances but the only goal came from a Devin Virk tap-in for Tigers.
The still undefeated squad extended the lead to 4-0 by the half and rolled to an 11th victory of the season. Tigers had clinched first in the regular season with their win last week.
Josh Brown led the team with a pair of goals, while singles came from T.J. Parhar, John Sharp, Dylan Tucker, Ashley Fernandes and Shawn Kalar. Rec team callup Chris Dahl tallied for the Rebels.
The final game of the day saw Mutineers close the gap between third and fourth place with a 2-1 win over the shorthanded UVic Vikes.
Stuart Wylie and Dylan Roskin-Edrins scored for the winners, while Finley O’Callaghan notched the lone Vikes goal.
The league has this coming Sunday off for the Family Day weekend, and returns to action Feb. 26, with the rec teams playing their second-last jamboree of the season starting at 10:30 a.m., followed at noon by Tigers vs. Mutineers, and at 1:30 p.m. by Rebels vs. Vikes.
Johnston goal outburst paces continued Mutineers turnaround
Hat tricks aren’t seen frequently in Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association play, but the Mutineers’ Gordie Johnston recorded the league’s second in two weeks on Sunday at UVic.
The national team member’s three-goal outburst carried Mutineers to a 4-2 victory over Rebels 1, marking the team’s second win of the new year. The men in green, who failed to score a point in the first half of the season, improved to 3-3-1 in 2023, but still sit five points back of the UVic Vikes for the season total in the competitive division.
Rec division callup Tom Vincent scored the insurance goal for the Mutineers in the fourth quarter, banging home a crossing pass into the D from Andrew MacKinnon.
Rohan Bandecha and Ethan Picard tallied for Rebels (6-6-1).
The Vikes continue to suffer from manpower shortages and on Sunday were forced to absorb a second straight forfeit loss, this time to the league-leading Tigers. The latter loaned some bodies to Vikes and the squads made good use of the turf time by playing a friendly match.
The day’s earlier recreational division contest saw a 3-3 split between Hawks and Rebels 2.
Scoring for the Hawks (3-1-2) were Amit Dillon, Devin Virk and Javier Virk, who notched a hat trick for Tigers the week before. Replying for the Rebels (3-2-1) were Simon Lightbody, Bevan Van de Burg and Tom Wilson.
Coming up next weekend (Feb. 12), the Marauders and Rebels 2 kick things off with a rec game at 10:30 a.m., followed by a pair of competitive division games; Tigers vs. Rebels 1 at noon and Vikes vs. Mutineers at 1:30 p.m.
Energetic VIFHA exhibition game features Tigers hat trick
Tigers and Rebels 1 already had points in the bank by the time they faced off in a Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association exhibition game Sunday at UVic’s field 1 turf.
With both the Vikes and Mutineers suffering from extreme player shortages this weekend – forcing both to forfeit their Jan. 29 games against Rebels and Tigers, respectively – the latter chose to take advantage of the turf time to keep their players in game shape.
Rebels scored first in the entertaining exhibition match, but gave up the next four goals to Tigers, who ultimately scored a 4-2 victory. Javier Virk tallied the hat trick for the winners, while Derrick Norton added a single. Gavin O’Halloran scored both goals for Rebels, who lost 6-2 in last week’s scheduled game against Tigers.
The day’s other game saw the Hawks halt a second-half Marauders comeback to win 5-3 in recreational division play.
Hawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the end of the first half, but gave up three straight goals to Marauders in the third quarter. Taking advantage of a couple of late opportunities, the Hawks rebounded with two more goals to seal the deal.
Amit Dillon led the Hawks’ attack with a pair of goals, while Devin Virk, Vardeep Gill and Rajiv Dillon scored once each. Tom Vincent scored twice for Marauders, while Jay Flye tallied his first goal of the season.
The February schedule begins next Sunday (Feb. 5) with Hawks taking on Rebels 2 at 10:30 a.m., followed by Tigers vs. Vikes at noon and Rebels 1 vs. Mutineers at 1:30 p.m.
Mutineers crack the VIFHA win column, Tigers remain unbeaten
Boosted by the addition of several of the club’s recreational players, including goalkeeper Kelvin Kum, the Mutineers recorded their first win of the season in Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association play Sunday on the turf at UVic.
With Kum coming up huge and fearlessly turning aside multiple quality chances by the Vikes, the men in green shut out UVic 2-0. Neil Barr, with a nifty first-half tip-in, and Chase Stiles, with an insurance goal later on, scored for the winners.
The Mutineers have gone 1-1-1 to start 2023, after losing their first seven games in the fall.
The Vikes, who competed two players short in the game, were unable to recreate the magic from the week before, when they tied the undefeated Tigers with just six players and a goalie.
The day’s other competitive division game saw Tigers jump out to a 3-0 lead early and roll to a 6-2 win over Rebels 1 to improve to 8-0-3 on the season.
Derrick Norton scored twice in the win, while Josh Brown, Rajiv Dillon, Lukas Grbic and Parm Sahota added singles. Ethan Picard and Gavin O’Halloran scored for Rebels (5-5-1).
The three rec division teams divided into four sides for their monthly jamboree play Sunday, featuring seven-a-side games on half fields.
Next weekend kicks off with Hawks playing Marauders in recreational action at 10:30 a.m., followed by Mutineers vs. Tigers at noon and Rebels 1 vs. Vikes at 1:30 p.m.
– Photo courtesy Chris Wilson of Island Wave Photography, find more photos from the Mutineers vs. Vikes game in a gallery at * https://www.islandwavephotography.com/Field-Hockey/Uvic-v-Mutineers-Jan-22-2023/ *
Short-staffed Vikes hold league leaders to another draw
When it comes to playing the UVic Vikes men, the Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association competitive division-leading Tigers are fit to be tied.
Sunday (Jan. 15) on the turf at UVic, a significantly outnumbered Vikes team held the powerful Tigers to a second straight tie, this time 3-3.
Choosing to play with just six players and a goalkeeper rather than forfeit a win to Tigers and play a friendly match, the Vikes held their own and even shocked their opponent by jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first quarter.
Jesse Kaloti scored twice to lead the Tigers’ attack, while Harbir Sidhu, a national teamer and former Tiger back home for the weekend, added a single. Finley O’Callaghan, Caelan Ostrosser and Simon Johns scored for Vikes.
Despite earning a single point and preventing Tigers (7-0-3) from widening the gap in the standings, the Vikes (3-3-3) were unable to gain ground on Rebels 1 (5-4-1), who edged Mutineers 4-3 in Sunday’s other competitive division match.
Michael Bryan and Gavin O’Halloran each scored twice in the win, which increased the Rebels’ margin in second to four points over UVic.
Stuart Wylie, Neil Barr and Iosvani Marrero found the net for Mutineers, who had recorded their first point of the season the week before in a 3-3 tie against Rebels.
The day began with Rebels 2 defeating Marauders 3-0, marking a return to recreational division action after the winter break.
Simon Lightbody bagged a pair of goals for the winners while Scotty Carnes added a single. Owen Dahl, not tested often by the Marauders’ attack, picked up the shutout in net.
While possession appeared fairly even between the teams, Rebels (3-2-0) capitalized on their opportunities better. The result left them atop the standings, while third-place Marauders fell to 1-3-1 heading into this month’s jamboree seven-a-side games on Jan. 22 starting at 10:30 a.m.
Later games this coming weekend see Mutineers take on Vikes at noon, followed by Tigers vs. Rebels 1 at 1:30 p.m.