Still Kickin’ - Gabriolans vs Nanaimo

Jim Bowman

Submitted Article

Tuesday, August 16 2016

The Sunday soccer pick up game on Gabriola lives on. Timely cloud cover gave respite from the recent heat as July was closed out with a July 31 visit from a group of players from Nanaimo. A hybrid team, assembled from teams on which some of our own players participate, fielded a full squad plus two substitutes. Gabriola had four on the sideline, with Ronin also available, while lending support and coaching help. George carried the whistle to keep things on the up and up.

Nanaimo opened the scoring but Gabriola tied it up late in the first half when Mike steered in a crossed ball. The home squad struck quickly in the second half. Nick saw room to the Nanaimo keepers left and put his team ahead with a booming strike from outside the eighteen yard box. Nanaimo generated chances, including banging a shot off the post, but were mostly held at bay.

With about ten minutes remaining, Peter lobbed a ball forward for Mike, who broke free to notch his second, a fortuitous insurance goal, as Nanaimo scored on their next rush forward. The locals nearly reclaimed that two goal margin, but the shot rolled wide.

Ahead 3-2, Gabriola seemed poised to win the day until a late push, culminating with a strong finish by Alex, pulled Nanaimo even just before the whistle blew. The draw was a fitting result. Many players opted for a swim before heading off for a BBQ.

The mix of players represented several generations; it included one young lady, Sabrina, of Gabriola, a lot of silver hairs, plus a wide range of ages in between. 

Such has been the nature of Gabriola’s inclusive game. 

Start time for the regular Sunday game has settled in at 3pm.