The Cowichan Craig Street 49ers won their opening game of the Tony Grover Cup tournament last weekend, and will turn their focus toward capturing the Vancouver Island Soccer League Masters A title this coming weekend.
The 49ers began their Tony Grover Cup defence with a 3-0 win over the Saanich Fusion Forest Masters C team on the Dave Williams Turf last Saturday night. George Thomas, Darcy Penner and Adam Taft scored in what was largely a dominant effort for the Cowichan club.
“We were in control from the start,” 49ers coach Kevin James said. “The guys played well. We were down a few players with injuries or guys being away, but the depth of our team came through. Guys stepped in and got the job done.”
James admitted his team fell victim to complacency at times, something they can’t let happen when they encounter the top teams as the tournament progresses.
“We had a couple of defensive miscues that came from a lack of concentration on four or five occasions,” he said. “But we did recover from them.”
Forest finished second in the Masters C division this year, but from what he saw on Saturday, James felt they could have contended as a B entry.
“For being in the C division, they were much better,” he said. “They could definitely compete with the top half of the B division.”
The Niners’ next cup game will see them take on Prospect Lake’s Masters B team at Layritz Park on the weekend of March 2.
Between now and then, the team will look to clinch the Masters A league title, which they can do with a win or a tie when they host the Gorge Masters B side this Saturday at 6 p.m.
With no wins in 16 games, Gorge sits at the bottom of the B division standings, but James knows they will be looking for an upset when they visit Cowichan.
“We’re taking every game as if it’s a top, top team,” the coach said. “That’s the way we have to look at every game.”