VISL top two set up Jackson Cup final meeting after dramatic semi-finals
The Vancouver Island Soccer League Jackson Cup final has been set, and after a couple of cracking matches over the weekend, two teams are ready to battle for the most gorgeous of sterling silver trophies in amateur soccer.
In play since 1915, with only two years that did not document a winner – 1917 & 2021 – the Sir John Jackson Cup will have a have a newer name on it this year compared to the last couple, with league champions Lakehill and runners-up Vic West set to contest the final at the end of the month.
Here’s how they got there.
The first semi-final took place at Starlight Stadium in Langford on Friday night, as Lakehill hosted Nanaimo United, and the league winners needed a dramatic late winner to clinch their spot in the final.
Nanaimo opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a goal from Vasilos Bagiopoulos. Lakehill responded quickly with a goal two minutes later from Patrick Nelson. That was how thing things stayed until Blair Sturrock scored a dramatic 87th winner to seal the 2-1 victory. It was a fantastic match that was three minutes away from going to penalty kicks to determine a winner.
Saturday saw a highly contested match at Hampton park, and it was visiting Vic West that defeated Gorge FC 3-2 to clinch the second spot in the final, with the victors finishing the match with nine men.
Bryce Marinus opened the scoring for Gorge in the 16th minute before Salem Almardy levelled things up again five minutes later.
It was end to end stuff and Marcus Campanile put Vic West ahead in the 28th minute, but their lead was to last only two minutes before Sylvain Taghaoussi restored parity once again.
Vic West’s Chris Merriman saw a straight red in the 35th minute, but the ten men took the lead four minutes into the second half when Almardy grabbed his second of the game. It was a lead they weren’t to give up, even with losing Ryan McCurdy to a second yellow with two minutes remaining.
It will be a big matchup on Saturday March 25 at Starlight Stadium. A match up that will see Vic West going for a VISL record setting 23rd Jackson Cup, while Lakehill goes into the Final looking for their first ever Jackson Cup win.
Game admission is only $5.00 and can be paid in cash. Kids aged 1 and under are no charge. The concession will be open with food and beverage, and half time will also feature a spicy Under 8 boys match up between 5-a-side teams from Lakehill and Gorge.
There will be two more finals that day at Starlight Stadium. Opening up the day at 12 noon will be the George Pearkes Challenge Cup being contested by Gorge FC from Division 3 and Cook Street United from Division 4. At 2:30 pm, the Tony Grover Masters Cup Final will be contested by Cowichan FC and Gorge FC.
Thanks for continuing to support local grassroots soccer, and the people that work, live, and play in your community.