Cowichan’s Dave Tuckey battles for the ball with a Columbus ISCF player during the 49ers 3-1 win in the Deryl Hughes Cup quarter-finals on Saturday. (Mark Margerison/Highlight Studio)

Confident Niners return to provincial semis

Masters soccer team now one game away from B.C. final

A confident Cowichan 49ers club booked a return trip to the provincial masters A soccer semifinal with a 3-1 win over ISCF Columbus in a quarter-final showdown at the Sherman Road turf on Sunday.

The 49ers reached the semis of the Deryl Hughes Cup two years ago, in their first year of existence, then lost in the quarter-finals a year ago. With three full seasons of success under their belts, the team was more than ready to take on one of the best teams from the Vancouver Metro Soccer League.

“In the past, when one of the top VMSL teams has come over, we’ve always been the underdogs, we’ve been expected to lose,” Cowichan head coach Kevin James observed. “But we knew we could play with them; we knew we could beat them. After 15 or 20 minutes, we realized that these guys are good, but we are as good, or better.”

James had scouted Columbus when they played a first-round game against Cowichan’s Island rivals from UVic, so he was prepared, changing his team’s formation to a more defensive 4-5-1. Columbus came out strong, as expected, but aside from allowing a penalty shot goal, Cowichan weathered the storm well.

“The first half, they had the majority of play,” James acknowledged. “We started to settle in, and it was a competitive half after that.

“In the second half, we started to play our game. We were more confident and comfortable with the ball.”

Tyler Hughes scored Cowichan’s first goal around the 70-minute mark, and George Thomas put the 49ers ahead about 10 minutes later. Neall (Rocket) Rowlings took a feed from Dale Aune and carried it down the right side before sending the ball to the middle for Thomas to fire it into the top corner. Another 10 minutes after that, Rowlings added insurance with a beautiful finish of his own

“It went pretty much according to our game plan,” James said. “Defend for the first 20 minutes, then play our game from there.”

This Saturday at 4 p.m., the 49ers will host PCOV from Vancouver, and something will have to give, as neither team has lost a game since mid-January. PCOV finished sixth in the 10-team VMSL O35 Premier division, but knocked off first-place Coquitlam Metro Ford in the cup final.

“It’s two teams who have been on a bit of a tear; two cup winners,” James said. “Even though they were in the middle of the pack, they’re undefeated since Jan. 11. They’re a team that’s been on fire. I’ve never seen them play, but I can tell you, if they beat Metro Ford, any team that can take points off them is solid.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: CVRD already hard at work on climate change issues, Morrison tells One Cowichan

‘Not only is our rubber on the road, we’re up to speed!’ CVRD chair answers climate action critics

Mary Lowther column: Your plants need to feed, too, as they produce your food

Growing plants require extra nutrients beyond what they begin with when sown or planted.

VIDEO: Province agrees to fund investigation of new bypass road for Lake Cowichan

Province won’t build the road but is ready to start the ball rolling by paying for the first step

Business notes: New owners celebrate at Arbutus Ridge Golf Course

The award-winning Arbutus Ridge Golf Course in Cobble Hill has a new… Continue reading

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Film features Chez Monique, an off-the-grid restaurant on West Coast Trail in B.C.

“The story we are trying to share is of the loving haven they created and sustained for decades.”

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Most Read