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North Shore football league plays on Bowen

In what was likely the very first organized football game in the history of Bowen Island, two teams from the North Shore's Gordon Sturtridge Football League played at the BICS field on Sunday morning, Oct. 16.

In what was likely the very first organized football game in the history of Bowen Island, two teams from the North Shore's Gordon Sturtridge Football League played at the BICS field on Sunday morning, Oct. 16.

The teams, the Colts and the 49'ers, comprised of 10- and 11-years-olds in the Pee Wee division. They provided an exciting match for a crowd of about 45 onlookers. Some islanders came to get a glimpse of football on Bowen, others knew one of the three island kids on the 49'ers.

"We had a great time and really competitive game," said Vern Pahl, coach of the 49'ers, who lost a close one to the first-place Colts, 13-12. "The kids loved the ferry ride and a bunch of us went for a meal later. A lot of the kids and their parents had never been to Bowen before."

Bowen player Benny Welsh made a big interception for the 49'ers late in the game but his team's final drive stalled after an illegal blocking penalty. Coaches Sean O'Dea, James Pratt and the Colts had captured the first ever Bowen Bowl.

The G.S.L. runs from August into November and has five divisions based on age: Flag, Pee Wee, Bantam, Minor and Midget and, with the exception of the Flag division, games are tackling with full equipment.

A good deal of practice time, Pahl said, is spent learning plays, formations and how to tackle safely.

"I think anyone who came out saw some good football, though sometimes my defence left holes in the line big enough to build a Costco," Pahl, a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber linebacker, said. "But Jumpin' Jehoshaphat, we almost beat those guys!"

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