P.E.I. is golden

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Churchill Arms wins national senior men's soccer championship

Jon Vos of Prince Edward Island's Churchill Arms carries the winning trophy to his jubilant teammates after the presentations at the BMO National Senior Championships on Monday in Charlottetown. Churchill Arms defeated B.C. 2-0 in the final.

Soccer on P.E.I. enjoyed its finest-ever day Monday.

The Churchill Arms team from the Charlottetown Abbies club captured the men’s Challenge Trophy at the BMO national senior championships before a huge crowd at UPEI.

The first-ever gold-medal victory by an Island team at a national soccer championship was achieved in dramatic fashion — a 2-0 overtime decision over Gorge FC of British Columbia.

It was fitting the goals were scored by two of the finest players ever produced by the province — Brett Norton and Ryan Anstey.

Norton scored on a first-time shot into the corner of the net after a slide-rule pass by Graham Ashworth in the 108th minute. 

Anstey sealed the deal two minutes before the end, placing the ball into an empty net after Gorge had been caught on the break trying to net the tying goal.

“I ran to where I knew Graham was going to play it, caught it well and in it went,” said Norton. “It’s just amazing.

“The whole team and the fans were tremendous. You can’t describe the feeling.”

The game was an epic encounter, with both teams trying to attack while keepers Matt Lally of Churchill Arms and Dan Kilpatrick of Gorge showed sure hands and fine agility.

Kilpatrick made the save of the game in the 11th minute, turning a fierce Norton strike away while at full stretch. 

Lally had to be constantly alert as the B.C. champions put together some fine approach play, most notably by player-of-the-game Will Moore.

Defences began to dominate as the game wore on, and it looked like penalty shots would decide a winner.

First, Michel Daoust-Wheatley made a brilliant goal-line clearance to deny a B.C. header destined for the corner, and then Norton sent the P.E.I. fans into a frenzy as his fine shot got by the outstretched Kilpatrick. 

With the Gorge squad committed to attack for the equalizer in the final minutes, Anstey capitalized with a fine solo goal from a Churchill Arms breakaway.

The whole team and the fans were tremendous. You can’t describe the feeling. Brett Norton, member of the Churchill Arms team.

Delighted Churchill Arms head coach John Diamond was almost lost for words at the final whistle, acknowledging B.C. and praising the effort of his own players.

“Nobody deserves this more than John” said Churchill Arms assistant coach Dave Snowie. “To do it in Charlottetown, after the great week we’ve had, is just tremendous.

“A lot of effort has gone into making this event a real success, and the committee is to be congratulated.” 

The second Island men’s representative, Hunter’s Ale House, went down 5-2 to Saskatchewan to finish in eighth place. 

Jimmy Mayaleh and Robbie Diamond scored P.E.I.’s goals.

On the women’s side, the P.E.I.-champion Pilot House lost 4-0 to B.C.’s Surrey United in the bronze-medal game in Cornwall. 

National team player Randee Hermus opened the scoring in the first minute, and her Canadian teammate Katie Thorlakson added a second just before the interval. 

Hermus, with her second goal, and Chanelle Bradshaw added two quality strikes in the second half to leave P.E.I. a credible fourth place.

Nova Scotia’s Halifax Dunbrack won the women’s Jubilee Trophy, defeating Alberta’s Edmonton Victoria 2-1. 

Islander Mel Clarke is a key member of the Dunbrack team, but she was forced to miss the final due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Leanne Huck and Kate MacDonald scored for Dunbrack. 

Halifax Dunbrack defeated AEK London of Ontario 3-2 in the men’s bronze-medal game.

More tournament results at www.canadasoccer.com/nationals


Organizations: BMO, Hunter Ale House Selects

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, British Columbia Nova Scotia Fair Play Manitoba Newfoundland Canada

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Recent comments

  • Off Islander
    October 13, 2010 - 09:46

    Congratulations to the Churchill Arms team - we're so proud of you guys!! And well done to the PEI girls who also put in a very respectable finish :) You should all be proud of yourselves.

  • Ashley Marie
    October 12, 2010 - 17:31

    It was a great showing for PEI, but it's sad to know of some of the rule bending that went on with this team. It would've been much more of a feeling for a win had the team stuck to the proper rules. With the addition of players at the last moment to better the team followed by cutting some of the men who brought Churchill into the championship in the first place in favour of some Fredericton players instead. I feel that is quite sad. I congratulate PEI 2 on their Sportsmanship award, they certainly deserved it with their fair play.

    • Give your head a shake
      October 13, 2010 - 08:10

      Anybody brought on this team had been with the team for a large part of the summer. 25 guys were selected on July 31st. 5 more guys knew they were not going to dress. Anybody that wasn't currently living on the island throughout the summer made various visits to come gel with the team in games throughout the summer. Get the facts straight first A.M.

    • Ryan Schmitt
      October 13, 2010 - 08:12

      I agree with you in a way Ashley, but at the same time New Brunswick Soccer Association would not allow the senior men to place a team in the tournament. From what i understand these players were contacted back in July and asked if they would like to participate. Any player in the right mind would obviously take up this offer to play for PEI..The team was quality, but at the same time i think it was to their disadvantage to have these new players come in and have to automatically pick up the other peoples playing style. I was happy to see a quality pei team win Nationals on home turf, even if a couple of outside players were brought in

  • sick from the drink
    October 12, 2010 - 09:02

    Great game, great tournament. Lots of fantastic footie for people to see. Your loss if you missed it. Way to go PEI - well played all tournament long.

  • Emma
    October 12, 2010 - 07:54

    Great game, very exciting! Congrats to all the Church Hill Arms team, PEI is very proud!

  • A M
    October 12, 2010 - 07:51

    Congratulations, Boys! You played hard all weekend long and yesterday was no exception. This team has worked long and hard to be at the top. PEI is proud to call you our own.