Cowichan’s Div. 1 and masters men’s soccer teams will be in action at home this weekend as their respective provincial cup tournaments get underway.
Cowichan LMG, who were last in action when they lost the Jackson Cup Island championship final on April 2, will start the Provincial A Cup tournament by hosting Langley United on Saturday at noon. The Cowichan 49ers, who won the Tony Grover Cup as Island masters champions, will start their bid for the Deryl Hughes Cup on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Both games will be played at the turf on Sherman Road.
A provincial championship is the lone title that has eluded Cowichan LMG in recent years. The team has won four Jackson Cups over the last seven seasons, and claimed the last three Garrison Cups as league champions, but hasn’t made it past the provincial semifinals. LMG was eliminated in the second round last season.
As is often the case in the provincial tournament, Cowichan will face an unfamiliar foe in the first round.
Cowichan has played Langley United only once, beating them in the quarterfinals of the 2013 tournament before losing to West Vancouver in the semifinals.
“We don’t know anything about them, other than that they were second in their league,” LMG head coach Glen Martin said. “They had a lot of goals for and not many against.”
Langley finished second behind Aldergrove in the Fraser Valley Soccer League, with a record of 12 wins, two ties and four losses, while outscoring opponents 52-17. Cowichan won the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s top division with 14 wins and four draws, scoring 67 goals and allowing 29.
The high-flying 49ers missed winning the VISL masters A league by a single point, winning 11 games, tying three and losing four. Their first-round opponent in the Deryl Hughes Cup tournament is FK Nikola Tesla, who finished second in Richmond’s masters division with an impressive 11-1-1 record.