The Cowichan 49ers will begin their provincial cup pursuit this weekend. (Kelly Wallace photo)

The Cowichan 49ers will begin their provincial cup pursuit this weekend. (Kelly Wallace photo)

49ers lead Cowichan contingent into provincial cup play

3 teams start play this weekend; Cougars open at home April 30

The Cowichan 49ers are hoping to build off their Tony Grover Cup championship earlier this month as they begin the Men’s Masters A provincial tournament with a road game against West Van FC this Sunday.

West Van were the runners-up in the last provincial tournament, three years ago, losing to PCOV, who beat the 49ers in the provincial semifinals.

“We are as ready as can be,” Cowichan striker Neall Rowlings said. “We are training hard and pushing ourselves to leave it all on the field.”

The 49ers have some familiarity with West Van, as player Todd Vass used to play there, as does the brother of Brody Phillips, who played for Cowichan four years ago.

Also getting their provincial tournaments underway this weekend are Cowichan LMG, who open the Men’s A Cup on Saturday at Rinos VSC Coastal in Surrey, and the Cowichan Steelheads, who open the Masters Men’s B Cup on Saturday at Croatia SC Vatreni in Burnaby.

The Cowichan Cougars will start the Women’s Masters B provincial tournament at home against Castaways next Friday (April 29).

Castaways are the only team that has been able to beat the Cougars this season — once in league play and again in the Stephanie Shergold Cup final — but the Cougars are going into this match full of confidence.

“We are looking forward to taking them on again in our pathway for provincials,” Cowichan coach Darian Achurch said.

The Cougars will play host to Castaways in the first-round showdown at the Sherman Road turf on Friday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m.

The Cougars are the only one of Cowichan’s adult soccer teams hosting a first-round provincials game, but three others are hoping to get deep enough in their tournaments to play in front of a home crowd.