Regala wins Knobloch tourney
Fort McMurray team beats Lakeland United in men's final
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 06:00 am
A team representing the Fort McMurray Senior Men’s Soccer Association was the big winner at the second annual Dieter Knobloch Memorial Adult Tournament.
In Sunday’s final at Riel Park, Kyle Branscombe opened and closed the scoring in the 4-1 victory by Regala FC against Lakeland United of Lloydminster.
It was the third win by Regala in the six-team draw after posting identical 2-0 scores in its pool against the Rummies from the St. Albert Men’s Soccer League and Whitecourt FC.
“We played pretty well considering we put this team together within the last couple of weeks,” Branscombe said. “Hopefully we’ll participate in some tournaments in the near future this summer and be as successful as we were today.”
Regala picked up some players to fill out its roster for the trip to St. Albert.
“Availability is the key,” Branscombe said. “Because of the shift work in Fort McMurray, we called some guys and came up with this team. Everybody that’s here had the time off work to play this weekend.”
Regala is the top team in the nine-team Fort McMurray league at 9-0-2.
“Fort McMurray has people that come from all over the world so the skill level is fairly high,” said Branscombe.
The lanky striker/right winger filled the net in the third minute and sealed the deal in the 81st minute with his fourth goal in two days.
“It’s a team sport so I can’t take all the credit. I was just in the right place at the right time,” he said. “On the first goal we got the ball down in their end and it just so happened to come to my feet. I hit it on target and it bounced off one of their players and went in. You have to shoot to score and that’s what I did.”
“On the last goal it was the same thing.”
Three minutes after Regala added its second goal in the 20th minute, Jules Ohelo snapped his ankle and play was halted for the ambulance to arrive to take the Regala sweeper to hospital.
When play resumed after the 30-minute delay, Regala maintained its territorial advantage and ball possession.
“When a teammate goes down like that it’s tough. You’re in a groove and it throws off the pace of the game a little bit. You just lose momentum and it just changes the whole game. It can either work out in your favour or not and today it did,” Branscombe said.
Lakeland made things interesting with a slow roller that eluded goalkeeper Luis Fossi in the 64th minute, but Regala rebounded with goal off a free kick and Branscombe’s insurance marker during a three minute span.
“This was definitely the hardest game of the tournament. They have a good, young team with lots of legs. We’re a little bit older and we struggled a little bit in terms of how running goes and fitness. I know I need to work on my fitness, that’s for sure,” said Branscombe, 26.
The tournament honours the memory of Dieter Knobloch, a life member and one of the initial founders of the St. Albert Soccer Association. It replaced the Big Rock Adult Tournament, held in August in previous years.
Knobloch died in the summer of 2010 after a 10-year battle with cancer. He held a variety of positions in the St. Albert association, ranging from president to facilities director, and also served as a referee. He was the founder of the St. Albert Rangers Soccer Club and coached the team for several years.
“We’re honoured to be a part of this tournament,” Branscombe said. “The competition was great. We had a blast. The weather was a little nasty yesterday, which wasn’t great, but today was a beautiful day for a tournament win.”
CORNER KICKS: In the third-place game the Rangers defeated the Rummies 5-4 in penalty kicks after the teams settled for a 2-2 draw in regulation time. Rangers goalkeeper Tom Wolansky was unbeatable in the shootout. In net for the Rummies was Ivan Filo.
Norbert Filo and Mark Noskovic score for the Rummies, the top team in the St. Albert circuit at 11-0-1. Sal Camminitore and Marc Tetreau replied for the Rangers, the last-place premier men’s team at 1-9-2 in the Edmonton District Soccer Association.
The Rangers also defeated Red Hill FC 3-0 and lost 2-0 to Lakeland.
The only win for the Rummies was 9-2 against Whitecourt.
The women’s side of the tournament consisted of 12 teams split into two divisions. The Sturgeon Ladies and Rio Terrace FC were victorious in their respective finals.