The conclusion of the 2015 Shelter Island Soccer Challenge Cup Monday, August 17, marked a first in the cup’s 13-year history, with B&R winning for a third consecutive year.
The heat of the evening was duplicated by the hot play of B&R, and as the annual summer soccer tournament drew to a close and darkness fell on FiskeField, B&R again retained possession of the Simon Gavron Trophy.
In the early years of the Challenge Cup, Southampton College Alumni was the only other team to have recorded back-to-back annual wins, but never even came close to winning three in a row.
Starting with a quarterfinal victory over Bateman Painting of Sag Harbor, B&R went on to defeat two locally sponsored teams, SG United and Wooden House. The semifinal victory over SG United would prove to be the hardest match of the day for B&R. SG United, sponsored by summer resident Ron Delice and coached by Jim Read and Donally McGovern, was the favorite to win the cup for a second time, notching a championship in 2010, and was this year’s top seed in the elimination round.
At the conclusion of the tightly contested match, the game was scoreless. SG United dominated the second half but was unable to capitalize on several goal-scoring opportunities. Ending in a 0-0 tie, the game was decided by a shootout with five players on each team having a chance to win the match for their respective teams. The shootout was very similar to the match, ending with B&R scoring on their fifth and final shooter’s goal and a SG United’s shot saved by the B&R keeper.
Entering the finals against another locally sponsored team, Wooden House, would prove to be easy work for the highly skilled B&R team. At half time the score was 2-0 and the game ended with a decisive 3-0 win for B&R. It should be noted that Wooden House had an exceptional tournament.
Going into the elimination round they were the seventh seed and many discounted their ability to get out of the first round. Wooden House’s quality play would have them beat the number six seed, Elli’s Country Store and a strong number three seed, Binder Pools team that had a two goal lead at the half but lost 4-2.
Player/Coach Leslie Czeladko was pleased with the halftime lead and the goals scored by his two local players, Jimmy Read Jr. and Charlie Binder, but giving up that two-goal lead was a disappointment for both Leslie and sponsor Darrin Binder at the end of the game. Wooden House’s three-game win streak and energy seemed to come to an end in the final match of the evening as the strong B&R took possession of the Challenge Cup
This year’s tournament was successful in many ways. The Shelter Island Lions Club will receive approximately $2,500 generated by team entry fees to support local community youth needs. The 88 players and their close to 100 supporters enjoyed two great days of high intensity, first class, East End soccer.
A magnificent after-tournament party at Sunset Beach, the perennial sponsor of the event, followed the intense competition.
But the greatest success again goes this to year’s Challenge Cup champions. Everyone associated with the tournament offers hearty congratulations to B&R.