Kinsmen heads into soccer league final

Kinsmen comes out on top with a 4-0 win over the Sullivan Pub in semifinal action on Wednesday.

Referee Kim Eaton responds to an offside call from his linesman against Nate Hickerson

Referee Kim Eaton responds to an offside call from his linesman against Nate Hickerson

The East Kootenay Soccer League has a final set up, following the conclusion of the second semifinal on Wednesday night at the Mount Baker field.

Cranbrook-based Kinsmen and Kimberley’s Sullivan Pub clashed for the second berth into the final, with the redshirts coming out on top with a 4-0 win.

Jake Walmsley scored twice, while Joey Brons and Chris Franklin also notched goals to lead the Kinsmen squad to victory.

Kimberley put up a good fight in the first half, and had the edge in terms of possession and generating quality chances, however, the Kinsmen squad was able to capitalize on a few mistakes in the second half, and found the back of the net four times.

In fact, Kinsmen scored six goals in total, however, two of them were whistled offside.

The Sullivan Pub started strong and forced the attack against Kinsmen, generating some quality chances that were deftly turned away by Kinsmen keeper Gary Elliot.

A dangerous cross into Kinsmen’s 18-yard box was volleyed in midair towards the net, which Elliot punched away—right to the head of another Sully player, who pitched it right back towards the goal.

However, Elliot made the catch and moved the ball upfield.

At the other end of the pitch, Walmsley nearly got his first at the top of the 18-yard box, sending a shot just wide of the left post with a left-foot shot.

It looked like Nate Hickerson had scored the game’s first goal, beating goaltender Rob Balcom, however, the play was whistled offside.

Scoreless after the first half, the two teams regrouped. Kinsmen only had one sub, while Sully Pub was able to get three or four fresh legs on the field at any given time.

Kinsmen pulled it together a bit more in the second half, yet still struggled on their possession play.

They nearly struck gold on a header that went off the crossbar, but it was Walmsley who broke the deadlock later on.

Kinsmen took a free kick, which sailed over the Sully Pub defence, and Walmsley and Balcom engaged in a footrace for the loose ball. Walmsley barely got to it first, and tapped it by Balcom into the net as the two collided.

Not much later, Chris Franklin doubled the lead when he went down in a scramble in front of the net and poked a shot past the goal line.

Sullivan Pub tried to stay strong in the face of a two-goal deficit, but then disaster struck.

Joey Brons picked the pocket of a Sully defender and went in uncontested on Balcom, firing a easy shot into the corner for a three-goal Kinsmen lead.

Walmsley nearly got his second of the game, scoring off a throw in that made a deflection into the six-yard box, however, he was whistled offside.

Sully Pub organized a successful attack up the field, breaking through the Kinsmen defence, however, the shot went wide of Elliot and the goalpost.

Walmsley potted his second of the night near the end of the game to seal up the scoring for Kinsmen.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mister Tire and Players Bench duked it out in the first semi final of the playoffs.

Mister Tire, the first place seed going up against the fourth place Players Bench, drew first blood, however, with two minutes remaining, it turned into a tie game.

Overtime solved nothing, and the game was decided in penalty kicks.

Mister Tire and Kinsmen will go head-to-head for the league final at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Mount Baker soccer field.