Stingy defence and timely scoring secured a spot in the Provincial B Cup for the Nelson Selects U16 Boys.
In the first game of the Kootenay playdowns at Lakeside pitch, the Selects locked horns with Columbia Valley.
The visitors came out strong and had Nelson ehir heels for a good part of the first half and utilized the wind at their backs to provide added pressure. The game remained scoreless at the half.
In the second half Nelson picked up their game and pressured the Columbia Valley back line, generating several chances. In the 63ed minute Nelson finally converted when Dylan Bennett played in a corner kick that went to Spencer Szabo, who in turn tapped it back to Micah May who hit home a one-timer.
Selects’ keeper Liam Guenther was solid in goal for the remainder of the contest and Nelson hung on for the 1-0 victory.
Columbia Valley was again the competition in the Sunday afternoon game and this time Nelson built on the confidence received in the first game.
The Selects scored 14 minutes into the game when Bryce Twible converted. Twible then made a nice feed to James Miller two minutes later to double the lead. At the 26 minute mark, May completed the first half scoring for Nelson.
Nelson didn’t take their foot of the gas in the second half. Twible added his second of the game at the 69 minute mark and one minute later Jake Anderson lofted a ball from well outside the 18-yard box to give the Selects the comfortable 5-0 lead. Nelson’s final game of the contest came when Bennett sent a free kick towards Szabo who drilled it top corner.
“Columbia Valley has always been a challenging team for us,” said coach Chuck Bennett. “That was more than evident in the first match. However, we have always felt we were the stronger side and the second match really showed that. The boys moved the ball brilliantly and really dominated possession.
“I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the tremendous job our backline of Nick Wethal, Theo Bakas and Amit Bharbra did in not letting anything get past them. Their efforts really set the table for us to get the two wins and the spot at provincials. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the effort the whole team put in.”
Nelson travels to Cranbrook this weekend for the Sam Steele Days tournament, then start preparing for the Provincial B Cup in Prince George during the first week of July.