Another year, another Brown Benefits-Penticton TC United final in the Capri Insurance Men’s 45+ Soccer League.
The regular-season champion Browns (17-0-2) grounded the Mission Cleaners 3-1 Monday night at Beasley Park in Lake Country, while runner-up Penticton (17-1-1) ambushed visiting Vernon Turn-Key Controls Ogopogos 7-0 at Kings Park.
Penticton came out in major playoff mode and registered two early goals. Mauricio Cepeda scored four goals for the second straight game in the post-season, while Chad Henderson had a deuce and Mike Beliveau delivered a single in front of Norm Peters.
United caught third-place Turn-Key (11-4-4) flatfooted most of the night and after making it 3-0 on what the Pogos felt was an offside goal, pretty much dominated everywhere on the pitch. It was 4-0 at the half.
Defender Jason Beck, forwards Volker Otto, Mark Wasylyk, and wingers Bobby Zalcik and Jeff Nice played their hearts out for Turn-Key, who had a few near-misses across the post and a free kick from just outside the 18.
“We will wait for another chance next year and feel pretty good about finishing third, our best placing since joining the league,” said Ogopogo veteran Kerry Zubot.
Brown Benefits punched their ticket to the final by brushing back the fourth-place Cleaners (11-6-2).
Mission applied the early pressure but the Browns caught them on the counterattack when Kelly Sherman sent Tony Gonzales in on a breakaway and he rounded the keeper to hit the empty net.
A loose ball from a Browns corner somehow found its way to Don Brown, who used his hip to make it 2-0.
Mission kept pressuring back and Browns’ keeper Gord Regan made several key saves to hold off the Cleaners. In the second half, Mission was awarded a penalty shot after a hand ball and Gigi Moldovan converted. Steve Austen went top corner for Browns at 80 minutes.
Penticton and Brown Benefits will play on Oct. 1 in Kelowna at 2 p.m.