The Cowichan 49ers’ Neall Rowlings (right) is shadowed by the Cowichan Steelheads’ Jim Noon during last Saturday’s local derby. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The Cowichan 49ers’ Neall Rowlings (right) is shadowed by the Cowichan Steelheads’ Jim Noon during last Saturday’s local derby. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan local derby ends in a draw

49ers and Steelheads play to a 3-3 deadlock

If you weren’t sure which team to support in the local derby between the Cowichan 49ers and Cowichan Steelheads last weekend, here’s some good news: it ended in a draw.

The crosstown O35 men’s soccer rivals played to a 3-3 draw on Saturday night in the first all-Cowichan match of the 2021-22 season.

“It was a fun, competitive game,” said 49ers player-coach Neall Rowlings. “The Steelheads came out with something to prove. Travis Brown was everywhere and played unbelievable. Seventeen minutes in we were down 2-0 but we rallied back and made a match out of it.”

Brown scored his first of the night at 10 minutes, and Nick Zuback made it 2-0 a few minutes later. Stu Barker scored on a set up by Tyler Hughes and Ryan Fusick converted a penalty kick to even things out before the break. Hughes then scored from far to put his team ahead, but Brown’s second of the game made it 3-3 with 17 minutes left to play, and that’s how it finished.

“We will need to be better to stay near the top of the table, and we will work hard to get there.” Rowlings said. “Nothing but pride for the Steelheads and I’m very excited to play them again.”

The Cowichan teams will meet again on Nov. 6.

Saturday’s game was the first of the season for the 49ers, who will visit JDF Pacific at Royal Bay Secondary this coming Saturday. After playing to draws in their first two matches, the Steelheads will look for their first win this Friday when they visit Vic West at Finlayson Turf in Victoria.

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