The East Kootenay Soccer League championship title has returned to Cranbrook.
Mister Tire, a team out of Cranbrook, wrested the trophy away from the Sullivan Pub out of Kimberley-the team that has won the league title for the last two years.
Mister Tire downed Kinsmen 2-1 in a tense final as the victors had a shortened roster and their opponents had a greater percentage of ball possession, according to AJ Wheaton, a fullback for Mister Tire.
"It was a great game. Everyone played super, super hard," said Wheaton, of the championship game. "Kinsmen had a great season, they probably should've won the game-they had their chances, they had more possession of the ball than we did-but when the time was to score, we just got the ball in the back of the net at the end of the day."
Mister Tire grabbed an early lead off a goal from Jake Walmsley, but Chisanga Chanda tied up the affair for Kinsmen by the end of the first half. Mister Tire regained the lead in the second half when Richie Hall scored, showing up after missing the first part of the game.
The playoff road for each team was simple as the top-ranked team played fourth place, while the runner-up challenged third place.
Mister Tire blew past Players Bench 3-0 in the semi final, while Kinsmen edged past Sullivan Pub by a score of 2-1 in the other semi final game.
The championship squad was a force during regular season play, winning 17 games, while dropping only two decisions.
Kinsmen was the runner up, victorious in 13 matches, while ceding defeat in seven other contests.
A combination of young talent with some older, experienced veterans was the keys to success, said Wheaton.
"We weren't trying to paint the Mona Lisa, we were just trying to connect the dots and we just made it work this year," Wheaton said.
Awards were handed out after the event, as Mister Tire hoisted the hardware for playoff and regular season champions.
Chris Rushworth, who recovered from injury after taking a vicious boot to the head during the JulyFest soccer tournament, earned the MVP award.
Walmsley earned the Golden Boot award for most goals, Wheaton himself captured the top defensive award, and Jamie Siguenza won the sportsmanship award.
Wheaton also acknowledges that the four teams wouldn't be able to play without the work of the referees and volunteers who help out with everything throughout the season.