Cowichan Axis FC’s Mike Bellefleur chases down Oak FC’s Shermag Joseph’s break-out attempt as Pat Foley looks on during McGavin Cup play on Sunday, Aug. 28. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Cowichan Axis FC’s Mike Bellefleur chases down Oak FC’s Shermag Joseph’s break-out attempt as Pat Foley looks on during McGavin Cup play on Sunday, Aug. 28. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Cowichan Axis FC punch ticket to McGavin Cup final

Cowichan Oak FC bows out in the semi-finals

Cowichan Axis FC is on to the McGavin Cup final following a 5-2 victory over Cowichan Oak FC on Sunday, Aug. 28.

The McGavin Cup tournament is open to all Vancouver Island Soccer League teams, with the exception of the top four Div. 1 squads. Div. 1 Cowichan Axis and Div. 3 Cowichan Oak FC booked their berths in the semi-finals with quarter-final victories over Div. 2 Saltspring United and Div. 4 Cook Street United respectively on Aug. 21.

“Playing against a team two divisions above us was always going to be difficult,” said Oak coach Jonas Golf-Myers. “I was really happy with how we played for the first 25 minutes of the game. We didn’t respond to conceding the first goal well and is something we need to improve on during the season. We picked it up a bit in the second half and hopefully our goal scorers can carry that momentum into the next games.”

Scoring for Oak FC were Brandon Tolfo and Patrick Foley.

Axis FC controlled the possession game but it took a while for them to get moving, noted coach Ryan Flynn.

“They had a decent little set up that when you’re playing a team that is above you, you’ve got to adjust and make sure that all your ducks are in a row and they did that for the most part,” Flynn said. “They had a good showing. Our team thought they played pretty well and I was happy to see that. It was a pretty good game on both sides.””

Once Axis scored their first goal, the floodgates opened.

“We’re two divisions ahead of them for a reason and once we got one on them then it kind of imploded a little bit for them,” Flynn said. “We had a lot of possession so it was just finding the right passes and everything and we kind of figured it out late in the first half.”

Axis FC was up 3-0 at the midway point of the game and scored again early in the second half.

Oak FC didn’t back down, however and after scoring two of their own, Axis FC players felt they needed to pick up their game in order to maintain their lead.

“I think the guys paid attention right away because right when [Oak FC] scored the second goal, we scored two minutes later,” Flynn said. “The 4-1 goal was OK but when we got to 4-2, we thought we’d better get it going again and we were able to do that right away.”

Ultimately Axis FC took the game 5-2 on goals by Jacob Ready, Connor Crichton, Antony Van Cleave, Kayden Jack, and Blaze Roberts.

Despite the goals, Flynn said Oak FC’s keeper, Tim Den Hartig, was “definitely” the player of the game.

“I thought their goalie was outstanding,” Flynn said. “He made some great saves.”

Cowichan Axis FC moves on to face Div 1 Gorge FC in the McGavin Cup final at the Sherman Road turf Sept. 9. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.

“Of course we wanted to be in the final but we’ll all be supporting the Div 1’s in the final now,” Golf-Myers said.

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Cowichan Axis FC Colin Knight gets in the way of Oak FC’s Shermag Joseph’s pass attempt during McGavin Cup play on Sunday, Aug. 28. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Cowichan Axis FC Colin Knight gets in the way of Oak FC’s Shermag Joseph’s pass attempt during McGavin Cup play on Sunday, Aug. 28. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)