After the end of the youth season with provincials, the YUFC Men’s team embarked on their season’s first tournament in Minnedosa, Manitoba July 28-29.
This was the first steady dose of action for the club who did not join any Saskatchewan leagues/tournaments so far in their season, putting them at a disadvantage over teams with more game and practice experience.
Game one saw the YUFC take on the host Minnedosa team as the tournament pool saw them play the two host Minnedosa clubs and Estevan. The opening fixture against the first Minnedosa club saw the YUFC come out flat over a well-rested home side.
Minnedosa came out to a two-nil lead off of some lucky bounces before Brandon McCallum scored off a well struck shot from outside of the eighteen yard box.
McCallum’s goal came right as the second half ended and was a huge momentum swing as YUFC was about to go into halftime with a much larger hole to climb than a two-one deficit.
The second half saw the YUFC continue to outplay the home side in every facet of the game, but just could not put away their chances.
Minnedosa’s goalkeeper did not make things any easier for them as his aggressive, hard charging style took away many passing opportunities through the box in what was a solid performance for the opposing goalkeeper, who was the difference maker in Minnedosa earning the win.
Game two on Saturday saw the Yorkton eleven take on tougher competition in Estevan.
With the temperature at a sweltering +35, conditioning became to be a huge factor in the match as the sun and humidity wore down the players.
Once again Yorkton came out flat, giving up a very soft goal off of a botched clearance in the game’s opening moments.
Estevan piled onto the YUFC’s frustrations with another quick goal off a through ball to send Estevan up two-nil.
The goal was highly contested by the YUFC players, who thought the Estevan striker was offside, but to no avail.
After getting settled, Yorkton came back to dominate play in defense and midfield, making hard tackles and blocking shots, but just failing to take advantage of solid possession and positions in Estevan’s third of the pitch.
Despite a goal from Dillon Ferridge and putting Estevan on their heels for most of the game’s final 60 minutes, Estevan escaped with a two-one win and eliminated Yorkton from the final. Ending what was high hopes for a title for the weekend.
Sunday morning saw Yorkton play the other Minnedosa side for third place in the tournament.
The nine a.m. start saw problems for both teams, but saw the YUFC once again go down two-one, but this time they dug in taking advantage of a momentum shifting penalty kick goal and lovely finishing skills from Robert Okeny to take a 5-2 win, leaving the YUFC with the bitter feeling of dominating play for the weekend with no results.
Regardless of their placing the YUFC men put together a tough effort despite missing some key players and gave it their all for the 270 minutes that were played on the extremely hot July weekend,
Next action for the YUFC men is another Manitoba clash as they plan to continue their series with Dauphin FC.