Tyler Hughes had two goals in the Cowichan 49ers’ win over the Fernwood Dragons on Sept. 18. (Citizen file)

Tyler Hughes had two goals in the Cowichan 49ers’ win over the Fernwood Dragons on Sept. 18. (Citizen file)

Cowichan 49ers open season with convincing win

Next week will be an emotional game for the team

The Cowichan 49ers Masters soccer team opened their season by crushing the Fernwood Dragons 5-0 last Sunday on what player/manager Neall Rowlings called “a not so amazing grass field” at Beacon Hill Park.

With a large roster of 20, it took the 49ers just 11 minutes to strike, with a goal from Tyler Hughes.

Stuart (Shake N Bake) Barker put the next one in at 25 minutes before Hughes got his second of the contest thanks to a shot from 23 yards out.

Todd Vass scored with a good build from Kale Haley at the 37th minute to round out the first-half scoring.

Haley is a new signing this year, along with Yuta Yamato and Doug Nestor.

“They bring a lot of pace and speed to our team,” Rowlings noted.

“Rocket” Rowlings himself, netted the team’s final marker in the 75th minute to seal the victory.

Goalie Darian Achurch recorded a shutout, which he had to earn from a key few saves.

“Our team is extremely focused this year, we have 22 guys at practice competing for time,” Rowlings said. “The entire team played so well, it’s hard to give out any more praise.”

On Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. the 49ers next play host to the Prospect Lake Lakers and Hughes’s brother Jordie Hughes at the Sherman Road turf.

“Only one family member will be victorious, and only one will earn mother’s love,” Rowlings joked.

On a more serious note, the game will be an emotional one for the 49ers.

”Our teammate Brad Thorne has suffered a large loss in his family,” Rowlings explained. “His daughter Yelina Gracie Thorne has left us at the young age of 14. The Quw’utsun Tzinquaw Drummers and Singers will be performing prior to kick-off and we will have a moment of silence to honour the family.

”We are asking everyone in the Valley to come out and support us during this challenging time,” Rowlings continued. “It’s times like these, where the soccer ‘family’ needs to show the Thornes their love and support.”

Come hungry, he said, as the family is connected to Thunder’s Food Truck so the food truck will be present as well.

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