Durham Celtic Awarded Provincial Elite Title
On the backend of a successful 3rd place finish in the Canadian National Championships in Surrey, B.C, Provincial Elite side, Durham Celtic, took on Caledon FC in hopes to capture the league double.
It has been a rewarding season for Durham, finishing first place in the Ontario Cup and representing the province at the national championships in early October.
Before the match, player/coach Mike Hadden mentioned that his sights were now on the league title after coming home with a bronze medal from B.C.
The only thing standing in their way was Caledon FC, the 2017 Alf Beese Cup winners.
In a very windy match that had to be delayed 30 minutes due to heavy rain, Durham were put on defensive duties right away.
Caledon held the majority of possession within the first 15 minutes, with the play being centred around the likes of Rodrigo Quiroga, Domenico D'Agostino and captain David Salt.
Durham would catch lucky breaks on counter attacks, but Caledon's strong backline, and keeper Matthew Grant, were at the top of their games on Sunday afternoon.
Not to be out down, Celtic goalie Fabrice Kabongo was a key figure for his club, making three key saves in the second half alone to keep his side in the game.
Durham caught a break in the 53rd, when striker Mark Van Beek pounced on a deflected ball off a Grant finger tip save and headed home his sides first of the match.
Celtic would get another opportunity to strike on goal 15 minutes later, but Grant made another acrobatic save to keep his side only down by one.
After a Caledon player took down his opponent on the right side of the box in the 80th, the Alf Beese Cup winners were again looking for Grant to bail them out. Grant would do just that, diving right and keeping Durham only up by one goal with 10 minutes left.
However, five minutes later, Van Beek would score a similar goal like he did earlier in the half to give his side a big boost towards the end of the match.
When the referee singled full-time, Durham were now crowned winners of the 2017 Ontario Soccer League's Provincial Elite division.
The club from Durham finished the 2017 campaign with a 10W-3T-3L record, an Ontario Cup title and a bronze medal in their name.