It was another superb weekend of top flight amateur soccer action on the Island, with Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) cup action taking centre stage.
The chase for the Sir John Jackson Cup had a variety of results, with some great matches taking place.
Here is how the top half of the draw worked out:
Gorge defeated Powell River 2-0 at Hampton Park. Goalless at the half, Gorge got the job done with two goals in a seven minute spell midway through the second. Bryce Marinus put Gorge ahead in the 62nd minute and Dominic Colantonio sealed the deal with their second in the 69th minute. Providing the clean sheet for Gorge in goal was Nick McCue.
In a match that could have passed as the final, 2nd seed Nanaimo United defeated top ranked, and newly crowned Division 1 champions, Lakehill 2-1 at Braefoot Park.
All the goal action came in the first half in this one. Callum Magog put Nanaimo ahead nine minutes in but Craig Gorman levelled things up for Lakehill in the 23rd minute. With the teams looking to head into the half on level terms, Hussen ‘Suka’ Behery put Nanaimo ahead three minutes before the break with what proved to be the winning goal.
Gorge now host Nanaimo on Friday night at Hampton Turf at 8pm in the first semi-final.
This has the appearance of an easier game for Nanaimo, especially coming off a win against the top seeded Lakehill. No doubt that Gorge will need to have an excellent performance to take down a team destined to win it all.
The teams do match up well and Gorge have actually played well against Nanaimo, but they are without one of their top players, Dominic Colantonio, due to yellow card accumulation suspension.
It’s another roadtrip to Saanich for Nanaimo, and they are huge favorites to leave as victors again.
The bottom half of the draw looks like this after the weekend games were played:
Cowichan went up to Comox and took it on penalty kicks after a 1-1 score after 120 minutes of football couldn’t split the teams.
Nick Marinus scored the early goal for Comox just two minutes in and that was how it stayed until they put the ball in their own net in the 69th minute to bring Cowichan back level.
With no further goals it headed to penalties, with Cowichan keeper Robbie Cochrane saving three of the four kicks he faced to give his side the dramatic win.
What in night in comox both teams battled hard to till the 120th minute. Robbie Cochrane gets play of the game saving 3/4 pks. No need to keep rambling on just watch pic.twitter.com/7Y3q5rUiPP
— Cowichan FC Div 1 (@1Cowichan) March 6, 2022
The other semi-final on the bottom side saw Bays Utd defeat Vic West 3-2 in a exciting match at Oak Bay High.
Bays came storming out in this one and Jack Hill gave them a 10th minute lead, which was doubled just before the half hour mark by Patrick Nelson.
Hill added a second of the night five minutes after the restart to give Bays a three goal lead, but Vic West soon pulled on back through Marcus Campanile. And that was how the scoring stayed until three minutes into stoppage time when Chris Merriman brought Vic West to within one, but there was no time left for them to force extra time.
Cowichan will be hosting Bays on Friday night at the Sherman Road turf. This will be a battle as these two teams always do fight hard. Cowichan has the upper hand on Bays this year. Look for the same as they will be motivated to work hard for their fans.
Just a super exciting weekend of soccer played on the Island and it will be hard to match next weekend, but the players will try.
You can find all the latest results, standings, and fixtures across all of the VISL divisions and cups at VISL.org.
Thanks for supporting local grassroots soccer, and people in your community.