There’s an exciting weekend of BC Provincial Cup action coming up. The A Cup and Doug Day U21 Cup are at the semi-final stage, with the larger B Cup and Masters competitions at the quarter-final stage.
In the meantime, here’s Canucks4Ever’s preview of the U21 semi-finals.
Pacific United (VMSL) v CCB Guildford (VMSL)
[Newton Athletic Park, Surrey – Saturday May 6 – 8pm kick off]
The Match of the Round is a VMSL Surrey derby featuring the current title holders, CCB Guildford. Their local rivals, Pacific, pipped them for league position this season, but Guildford finished strong during the back half of the campaign and repeated as U21 Cup Champions. Now they look to defend the other trophy that they won last season. The two league meetings between these two were a saw off, with each team claiming three points. However, they met in the VMSL U21 cup final a month ago and CCB walked away 4-1 winners. The back half of the season was a reclamation project of sorts for Guildford and I will give weight to that cup score line. With their league form stagnating, the Guildford boys evidently focused their efforts on the cup, to great aplomb. Pacific should not be considered slouches though, having won a tough away trip to the island to begin this competition and then dispatching FVSL Champion, and U21 upstarts, FC Barca in the previous round. Guildford slammed five past a decidedly inferior West Coast squad though, which will go a long way to reassuring a team that failed to score in any of their final four league matches. Pacific have the stats and the results to be favourites in this one, but I like Guildford’s pedigree as title holders and repeat VMSL cup champions, I’ll take them to make the final.
Mid-Island Mariners (VISL) v West Van (VMSL)
[Forrest Field, Ladysmith – Sunday May 7 – 3.30pm kick off]
Mid-Island overcame an all VISL quarter-final as they saw off their domestic runners up, Gorge FC, for the fourth time in five tries this year. Mid-Isle are one of only two VISL teams remaining in any of the Provincial Competitions, as all of their entrants from the Provincial A and B cups have been eliminated and only Cowichan remain in the Masters bracket. Overall a disappointing and underwhelming showing from the league this season and they will, I’m sure, be keen to try and rebuild their former pedigree beginning next year. As for this year, Mid Isle’s semi-final opponents, West Van, look like a force to be reckoned with. The North Shore boys knocked off VMSL Champions Chile in the previous round and clearly have their sights set on a title. Certainly at home the VMSLers would be very strong favourites in this one, but, of course, travelling to the Island is always tricky. That being said, West Van can take heart from looking at the results that other Mainland teams have had on their travels thus far across the Provincial competitions and be confident in taking advantage of what must be considered a down year for the VISL. West Van are former winners of this trophy and, while that might not say much given that players from that previous team are almost certainly no longer under 21, it does speak to the culture of the club. They continue to build competitive programs, year in and year out, and instil a winning mentality into their players. West Van are good bets to win not just this game, but the trophy as well.