Ponoka’s Josh Simons jumps to finish a cross with a header in the penalty area of the Camrose net during the first half of the game on Wednesday

Ponoka’s Josh Simons jumps to finish a cross with a header in the penalty area of the Camrose net during the first half of the game on Wednesday

Ponoka regains upper hand in Battle River Men’s Soccer League

Ponoka’s representatives in the Battle River Soccer League returned the spoof to the Camrose side on Wednesday

Ponoka’s representatives in the Battle River Soccer League returned the spoof to the Camrose side on Wednesday, July 30 in their last home game of the season, defeating the visitors with a score of 8-3.

Camrose were short on the bench just like the Storm were when they received their first defeat of the season at the hands of Camrose two weeks ago; and this last win has now secured a place for the Ponoka side in the semifinals in the playoffs, which is practically the competition for the Battle River Cup.

It didn’t take long for the hosts on Wednesday to impose their pace and game plan on the visitors as the first goal from the Storm came in the first ten minutes of the game through Bryce Sharp. In about another ten minutes, Ponoka were awarded a penalty when Carmen Lyon was brought down in the 18-yard box and it was comfortably converted by Christoph Dittmar: 2-0.

And then the goals began to rain on the Camrose net with the hosts comfortably maintaining possession and controlling all the pitch in length and width. By the time the first half was done, the scoreboard showed a 5-0 lead for the local side.

Things changed, however, early in the second half with the visitors pulling themselves together and scoring twice in quick succession, reminding the Storm that there was still a lot of play time.

Ponoka players then resumed their grip of the ball and scored twice more to make it 7-2 in a matter of minutes. But as the clock kept ticking, there was an increased number of unforced errors on the part of the hosts, one of which allowed the Camrose players to take the ball close to the Storm net, where they won a corner kick and converted it to bring the score to 7-3.  Although the local side was sure to win the game, they maintained pressure until the very end and scored another in the process, sealing the final score at 8-3.

The scoring tally for the Storm was composed of Bryce Sharpe (3), Christoph Dittmar (2), Josh Simons, Tyson Klein and Jordan Vogel.

Storm coach Rich Evans said they had a solid first half but gave away a few goals in the second.

With one more game left to be played against Leduc as part of the regular league fixture, Evans said the Storm had already secured a bye in the quarter final round for the Battle River Cup because even if they lost to Leduc on Monday, Aug. 4, they would still be the silver medalists of the regular league.

But Evans said, having played and won over Leduc twice during the regular season, he thought they had a good chance of winning their last game and finishing the league as champions.

The outcome of the game was not known as Ponoka News was sent to print.

Ponoka Storm will have their semi-final game for the Battle River Cup at home on Sunday, Aug. 17.