Cowichan’s Stu Barker carries the ball into the offensive end during Saturday’s provincial masters men’s semifinal at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Niners knocked out in semis

Cowichan 49ers don’t get the bounces in showdown with PVOC

Someone had to go home, and deciding who wasn’t easy.

Saturday’s Deryl Hughes Cup semifinal saw two well-matched men’s masters soccer teams take to the Sherman Road turf, and whoever got the bounces would advance to the final.

This time, the bounces didn’t favour the Cowichan 49ers, who lost 2-1 in extra time to PCOV from the Vancouver Metro Soccer League.

“It could have gone either way,” Cowichan head coach Kevin James said. “Sadly for us, it didn’t go the way we wanted.

“I think it was one of those games where it was two equally matched sides, two very similar teams. They matched up with us in skill. They matched up with us in grit. We were very similar across the board.”

James felt his team could have done a little bit more to make the bounces go their way.

“[PCOV] played extremely well,” he said. “Not taking anything away from them, but I don’t think it was our best game.

“It wasn’t for lack of effort. It wasn’t that anyone played poor. It just wasn’t there for us. You can’t win all the time.

“I thought we were a little bit lethargic, for some reason. We didn’t have our best game when we needed to. With that said, it went to the second overtime before we gave up the goal that ended our season.”

The score was tied 1-1 at halftime, Cowichan’s goal coming from Tyler Hughes on a free kick that was bobbled by the PCOV keeper. No one scored in the second half, so the game went to extra time, when only PCOV managed to make good on an opportunity.

Neither team was short on scoring chances, and it was goalkeeper Chris Muller, Cowichan’s Man of the Match, who kept the 49ers in it.

“They could have scored two or three goals if it wasn’t for our goaltender,” James said.

Injuries played a factor in the result as well, and would have been a major setback for the 49ers had they qualified for the final.

“If we had won that game, we would have looked like a whole other team in the final,” James noted. “In the locker room, we were pretty banged up after the game. We had two or three bad injuries in the first half, and those guys finished the game. That says a lot about the commitment of the guys on the team.”

Although a provincial title remains elusive for the 49ers, they did win a second-straight league title and a third-straight Tony Grover Cup in just their third year of existence.

“I’m extremely proud to have gotten where we did,” James said. “I think we proved to the province that we’re capable of competing at that level. We’ve got talent, we’ve got grit. We lost by the smallest of margins, in overtime to a quality team.”

A spirited crowd turned out for the provincial semifinal, and James discussed how fortunate his team has been to have the support of the fans and title sponsor Craig Street Brew Pub. It’s also a group unlike any James has been part of before.

“I’ve been part of a lot of teams over my career, coaching and playing, and this is one of the more special teams. It’s a tight-knit group of guys. The camaraderie is second to none.”

Just Posted

Duncan Minds in Motion program has space available

Minds in Motion runs on five Monday afternoons beginning on May 27

Anticipation building for trip to D-Day anniversary for Chemainus students

Experience of being there promises to be a memorable one

Retired teacher’s generosity provides huge opportunity for two Chemainus Secondary students

Blitterswyk and Brown looking forward to being at Juno Beach for 75th anniversary of D-Day

Breakers battle into girls soccer provincials

Kelsey takes aim at top-eight finish

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read