Big second half sees Tigers outlast Selects for VIFHA title

Posted by Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association (Men) on Mar 24 2024 at 10:55PM PDT

Faced with adversity, the Tigers again found a way to win.
The Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association competitive division final saw the defending playoff champions go from being on their heels for much of the first half to take control and expose the weaknesses of the Victoria League Select to score five goals in the second half and record a come-from-behind 5-2 victory.
Sunday’s championship on the Lynn “Buzz” Beecroft Field at UVic was indeed a tale of two games.
With the Selects clinging to a hard-fought 1-0 halftime lead on a blistering Sonny Kahlon shot on a second-quarter penalty corner, the run of the play began to shift in the Tigers favour in the third.
Parm Sahota, who scored twice on the day, was left unmarked near the Selects goal and made no mistake tapping in a perfectly placed Josh Brown pass for the 1-1 goal about five minutes in.
Brown’s speed and skill were on display later in the period. He stripped a defender of the ball just inside the 23-metre line, crossed to his left and drilled a reverse past Selects keeper Felix Randall to make it 2-1.
Before the Selects had much chance to recover, Ashley Fernandes pounced on a loose ball deep and drove home a reverse from the opposite side to give his team a two-goal lead heading into the final quarter.
With conditioning becoming a factor for Selects, the Tigers kept up the intensity, continuing to push and attack.
On a penalty corner, outside midfielder Vadym Kirshe, whose fitness level fuelled multiple deep rushes, drilled a low, hard shot into the net to make it 4-1 Tigers at the 10:20 mark of the fourth.
After Sahota had a narrow miss, clanking a shot off the goalpost with about four minutes to go, he made his next attempt count, finishing off some nifty work at the goalmouth for the 5-1 goal.
Full of energy and out to dethrone the champs, the Selects appeared to score in the first minute, but the shot was blown down for a back stick.
After absorbing a pair of late first-quarter chances by Tigers, Selects got on the board first 5:40 into the second when Kahlon ripped a direct shot past Tigers’ keeper Tom Pennells.
It might have been 2-0 a few minutes later, but a goalmouth pass to a diving Sanjiv Galhon wasn’t quite square enough to give him a good deflection angle.
Kahlon, always a steadying influence in the back when he’s in the Selects lineup, cleared a number of dangerous balls out of his end with either aerials or hard passes to teammates on the flanks.
In the end, both he and Josh Brown became non-factors when they were both issued 10-minute yellow cards for a late-game altercation when the game was out of reach.
With no time remaining, Galhon scored on a penalty corner to make the final score 5-2.
The third-place game saw Rebels 1 spread the ball around well against the UVic Vikes in scoring a 5-1 victory.
The winners dominated the second half after opening up a 4-1 lead by the break.
Getting on the scoresheet for Rebels were Dale Kirk, Ethan Picard, Bevan van de Berg, Clive Wheatley and Chris Dahl, while Julian Alonso tallied for the Vikes.
The recreation jamboree scheduled to start the day was reworked to better accommodate a full Hawks side, and saw a collection of Rebels and Marauders players take on the rec division leaders.
The setup worked well in yielding a closely matched game, with the Hawks taking a 1-0 decision.
An album of photos from the day’s action will soon be available at the VIFHA Facebook page at:


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