The Cowichan 49ers closed out league play in the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s masters A division with a 6-0 win over Juan de Fuca Ghostfinger Alliance on Saturday night.
Last-place JDF showed up to the Sherman Road turf with just 10 players, and there was nothing riding on the match for either club, so the 49ers agreed to play a 70-minute match out of respect.
“It’s too bad, as they are an extremely talented team which shouldn’t be at the bottom of the table,” Cowichan’s Neall (Rocket) Rowlings commented.
Rowlings and Stu (Shake and Bake) Barker each scored twice, and Ryan (Fish) Fusick and Matt (Arnie) Arnett had one apiece. Jeff Mann had the shutout, his third in three games played as Cowichan’s emergency goalkeeper.
More important than the league finale is the 49ers’ upcoming Tony Grover Cup semifinal, this coming Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Sherman Road turf. The three-time defending cup champs will play host to the Cordova Bay Bobcats, who have always posed a challenge to Cowichan. The teams played to a 2-2 draw in their first meeting this season before Cowichan won 4-1 in the rematch.
“They have been a lot for us to handle every year,” Rowlings said. “As stated previously, we aren’t going to give up lightly on defending the Tony Grover Cup.”