Darian Achurch stole the show from teammate Jesse Winter last Saturday as the Cowichan 49ers edged the Fernwood Dragons 1-0 in a thrilling O35 men’s soccer clash at the Sherman Road turf.
Winter scored the only goal of the night on a header off a Matt Arnett corner kick just before halftime, and looked like a shoo-in for “the chain,” which the 49ers present to the player who had the biggest impact on the game. Some late-game heroics by Cowichan keeper Achurch, however, preserved the shutout and the win and earned him the award.
“He’s a game changer,” Cowichan player-coach Neall Rowlings stated.
The 49ers sit atop the O35 pool A standings, but Fernwood isn’t far back in third place, and the Cowichan team was expecting a good battle.
The 49ers will visit fourth-place Vic West at Finlayson Park this Saturday as the first round of games wraps up.
Also in O35 action at the Sherman Road turf on Saturday, the Cowichan Steelheads suffered their worst loss of the year, falling 6-1 to UVic Alumni.
Kevin Smith opened the scoring for Cowichan at 11 minutes, but UVic answered back with two goals in the first half and four in the second. With one win, two draws and two losses, the Steelheads sit fifth in the O35 division, one point back of Vic West and two back of third-place Fernwood. They are one point ahead of sixth-place Gorge FC, who they play at Hampton Park this coming Saturday.