Challenge Trophy: Gloucester Celtic takes the honours
Posted on 14 October 2013 in Challenge Trophy
Gloucester Celtic Ryne Gulliver 59’ 67’, Alex Walker 62’,
Going into today’s final, Surrey United Firefighters could be seen as the favourites, having knocked-off both the 2012 and 2011 champions, Royal-Sélect Beauport and HUSA Alumni, en route to the final. History was also in their favour, considering teams from British Columbia have won the Challenge Trophy 39 times out of 90 competitions. That’s a win ratio of over 40 per cent.
In comparison their opponents, Ontario’s Gloucester Celtic, were making their first appearance in the final, let alone the tournament.
But none of this mattered on the pitch. What did matter was that Surrey’s captain, Vince Stewart, received a straight red card in the 33rd minute, for stepping on a Gloucester player. Suddenly, the team in black was down a man and struggling to find their rhythm.
But even though Gloucester, dressed in green and white, had the majority of possession, both teams went into the half without challenging the other’s keeper.
This would change after the break, when Gloucester’s Justin Dasah held-up the ball in Surrey’s box, steadying it for teammate Ryne Gulliver, who after fending of his marker struck the ball into the top right corner.
Gloucester now begun to find space, and unlike Surrey were rotating their squad to keep their legs fresh. This was evident on the pitch when substitute Alex De Couvreur intercepted a poorly weighed back pass, sending the ball into space for teammate Alex Walker to give Gloucester a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes later, Gloucester struck again as Ryne Gulliver got his second of the day. After running onto the ball Gulliver used a good first touch, with his right, to avoid his marker, creating space to finish with his left.
Although down by three, Surrey kept pressing and nearly got one back in the 83rd, after Liam Miller collected his own rebound, but his follow-up struck the post.
Gloucester’s 3:0 victory makes them the second team from Ottawa, after St Anthony Italia Soccer Club, to claim the Canadian Soccer Association Sport Chek National Club Championship Challenge Trophy.
Gold Medal: Gloucester Celtic, ON 3:0 Surrey United Firefighters, BC
Bronze Medal: FC Winnipeg Lions, MB 2:1 HUSA Alumni, SK
For full standings and results visit canadasoccer.com/nationals.