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.