The Nelson Selects U15 boys team earned the Kootenay spot in the Provincial B Cup after a hard fought weekend in Cranbrook.
The provincial playdowns at Moir Park in Cranbrook started on Saturday with Nelson taking on Columbia Valley.
The Selects were the stronger team when it came to possession, but Columbia Valley a strong defensive team. Most of Columbia Valley’s chances came as the result of free kicks, but there were a few tense moments when they came close to scoring. Nelson had a number of chances but couldn’t convert. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.
On Saturday afternoon the Nelson side found their scoring ways against Creston. Nolan Percival opened the scoring six minutes into the match and three minutes later Creston would put the ball into their own net as Nelson applied more pressure. James Miller added a third Nelson goal late in the first half to give the Selects the 3-0 lead.
In the second half, Kaden Foy scored Nelson’s fourth goal on a fine individual effort one minute into the frame. Minutes later Creston would find the back of the Nelson goal on a well placed free kick. After that, Nelson poured it in the final eight minutes as Creston faded. Three more goals from James Miller (for a total of four) and one from Micah May left the final result 8-1 for Nelson.
Needing a win to have a shot at the Kootenay berth, on Sunday Nelson matched up against a tough East Kootenay squad.
The Selects would get the lone marker in first half as May got in behind the defence.
With Columbia Valley also doing their best to score enough goals on the adjacent pitch against Creston, Nelson pressed for the ever-important second goal in the second half. The Selects got a break when an East Kootenay hand ball in the 18 yard box led to a Nelson penalty kick. Dunavan Morris-Janzen converted it in the bottom right corner with three minutes to go for the 2-0 lead.
After the tense last few moments Nelson would hang on for the 2-0 win and the berth to the provincial tournament. Columbia Valley would settle for second place with a 4-0 win against Creston.
The BC Soccer Provincial B Cup takes place in Aldergrove in early July.
Other local teams that also earned provincial berths over the weekend include the U13 girls, U14 girls, U15 girls, U16 boys and the U18 boys. The U17 girls will play for their chance later this week.