Matt (Arnesco) Arnett scored twice as the Cowichan 49ers thumped the Fernwood Dragons 5-0 last Saturday. (Kelly Wallace photo)

Matt (Arnesco) Arnett scored twice as the Cowichan 49ers thumped the Fernwood Dragons 5-0 last Saturday. (Kelly Wallace photo)

Cowichan 49ers slay Dragons to stay atop league table

Next up is Tony Grover Cup semifinal

A decisive win last weekend has the Cowichan 49ers still in position to finish first in the Vancouver Island Soccer League masters A division.

The Niners held on to first place thanks to a 5-0 victory over the Fernwood Dragons at Finlayson Turf on Saturday. Cowichan has 41 points in 17 league games this season, while UVic Alumni have 40 points in 16 matches and could still slide into first depending on the outcome of the teams’ game later this month.

Stu Barker and Neall Rowlings scored the first two goals, and Matt (Arnesco) Arnett scored the last two, giving him four on the season. In between, Jordan (JC) Clarke notched his second in league play this season, taking a pass from Todd Vass and holding his pace for a breakaway before putting the ball away.

“Jordan is a transplant from Vancouver,” Rowlings related. “And someone who is passionate about putting Cowichan soccer back on the map.”

The 49ers will take on the Cordova Bay Red Barn Bobcats in their Grover Cup semifinal at the Sherman Road turf this Saturday at 6:15 p.m. The Bobcats sit first in the Masters B division standings and knocked off the Cowichan Steelheads in the Grover Cup quarter-finals.

“They are a good team and we have battled with them over the years,” Rowlings commented. “They recently beat the Steelheads and we plan to get revenge for Cowichan.”

Although they aren’t looking past that cup game, the 49ers do know that, a week later, they will play their final league game against UVic and can clinch the regular-season title.

“If we win, we are the league champs,” Rowlings noted. “A tie or a loss means they are. This time of year takes health, luck, hard work and discipline.”

The Steelheads also played their penultimate league game on Saturday, tying Gorge 2-2 at Hampton Park on goals by Alan Kane and Marshall Wilkins. The Steelheads have one more league game, set for March 19 at Sherman Road at 8 p.m. against Fernwood Dragons.

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