Final day of the 23/24 season ends in drama but disappointment

The 2023/2024 season concluded with plenty to play for. Cook Street United were hoping to finish the season with more wins than losses and fight for a 6th place finish ahead of Gorge FC and Bays United in division 3. The Peacocks started the weekend with an even number of wins and losses, and just two points behind those clubs. A win against 4th placed Vantreights would secure both objectives, but the opponents had ambitions of their own. Vantreights needed a win to earn 3rd place in the league – perhaps enough to win a place in the BC provincials given that 2nd place Vic West had made the final of the George Pearkes trophy already.

With enough at stake to make the season finisher a game worth watching, VISL executive director Vince Greco and league photographer Kelly Wallace were also in attendance, kicking off the day with a presentation to Peacocks defender Kieren Erickson for winning division 3 player of the month.

Cook Street missed two glorious opportunities from close range in the first half, but Erickson was also on target twice to put the Peacocks comfortably ahead 2-0, with ten minutes to go until half time. Confidence was rattled soon before half time, as a bobbled ball struck from a corner somehow made its way through a tangle of bodies and into the back of Zach Layton’s net to pull one back for Vantreights.

The uneven and muddy surface of Glasgow Field would continue to impact the game, as a scrappy second half saw fewer chances at both ends with players struggling to overcome the conditions. Cook Street’s one goal lead was looking like it would be enough to claim victory, but the team would come to rue those first half misses as Vantreights capitalized upon a mistake that resulted in a late equaliser to bring the game to 2-2. As one of the best defensive teams in the league, Cook Street pressure was not enough to find the winner and the points were shared at full time, in a good-spirited battle that ended in mutual disappointment.

Cook Street Soul also ended the season on subdued terms, succumbing 1-5 away to a strong Lakehill Reds team that finished 2nd in the division. Despite the loss, Soul managed to finish 6th, in the top half of division 3, thanks to excellent performances earlier in the season – including an epic 4-3 win against Lakehill also at Glasgow Field.