Tigers take title, hold off Vikes in tight VIFHA final
No penalty shootout was required this time, but the Tigers needed all hands on deck defensively to repeat as Vancouver Island Field Hockey Association champions Sunday on the UVic turf.
The runaway regular season champions held off a determined fourth-quarter charge from the UVic Vikes and won a nailbiter 3-2.
After the game was scoreless through one half, Tigers opened up a 3-0 lead by the end of the third quarter. Josh Brown scored first off a broken penalty corner play, Javier Virk made it 2-0 by drilling a shot to the far post, and Hamraj Sidhu scored the eventual winner on an open tap-in.
But the Vikes weren’t about to give up.
Having struggled to get enough players out in recent weeks, the student squad had a full complement out Sunday to face the vaunted Tigers. After the Vikes’ Grant Simpson scored to cut the margin to two goals with just over six minutes to play, teammate Finley O’Callaghan made it a one-goal game by beating Tigers’ keeper Tom Pennells with a reverse-stick goal a minute or so later.
Despite the late charge, time was not on Vikes’ side, as Tigers tightened up on D and absorbed two yellow cards late to preserve the victory.
The competitive final followed the season-ending recreational division seven-a-side jamboree, during which the three teams split into four sides to play three half-field games.
Visit the Vancouver Island Men’s Field Hockey — VIFHA on Facebook for more photos from the competitive final.
— Photo by Jim Knight