Andrew Adams, left, of Nanaimo United with VISL president Vince Greco and Nanaimo player Paddy Greig. Adams was named MVP of the the Jackson Cup. (Submitted)

Nanaimo, Prospect Lake win Island soccer titles

Extra time needed in three of four men’s cup finals

After nearly two decades, Nanaimo United are the Sir John Jackson Cup champions as the top senior men’s soccer club on the Island.

Nanaimo defeated the favored and defending champs Cowichan FC 2-1 in a game that went 30 minutes into extra time. The Sunday afternoon match drew a raucous crowd with a 2 p.m. start that went head-to-head against the Victoria Royals final game of the season, one block down Caledonia at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Nanaimo’s Darragh Fitzgerald scored early in the Jackson final. For the majority of the game it was 1-0, and looked to stay that way, said VISL president Vince Greco.

But, even with Cowichan down a man due to a red card, they still managed to strike when Joel Harry scored at the 90-minute-mark. Nanaimo’s Niko Cristante played the hero when he scored at the 110th minute.

The Denny Girvin game MVP went to Nanaimo’s Andrew Adams.

“The theme of the weekend was extra time…” Greco said, adding none of the four cup finals disappointed.

The Jackson final was the final of four Vancouver Island Soccer League matches at Royal Athletic Park last weekend. The Lower Island Women’s Soccer Association also held its final for the premier side Terry Price Cup.

The Prospect Lake women continued their successful era as they defeated the Vic A’s 1-0 in the Price final at Tyndall on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday Bays Utd. defeated Saanich Fusion in the Div. 1 Doug Day Cup at Tyndall.

Two more LIWSA matches are this week, Sunday, April 9, as the Castaway Utd. over-30 face Saanich Fusion Div. 2 in the crossover Stefanie Shergold Cup. Sooke Div. 3 faces Juan de Fuca (over-30 B) in the Frank Leversedge Cup.

Both games are at Lochside with the Leversedge Cup kicking off at 11 a.m. and the Shergold at 1 p.m.

Last weekend’s VISL finals at RAP started with the George Pearkes Challenge Cup for Div. 2 clubs on Saturday.

The Mid Isle Mariners outlasted Gorge United 1-0 for the Pearkes Cup on a goal by Alex Dedame. Mid Isle keeper David Turkstra earned the shutout and the game MVP was Gorge’s Mateusz Deron.

In the George Smith U21 Cup, also on Saturday, the U21 Mid Isle Mariners side (separate team from the Div. 2 club) won 6-1 over Juan de Fuca.

Juan Rubiano scored three times for the Mariners with Liam Wirth, Daniel Doukakis and Griffin Douglas also scoring.

Graeme Thompson scored the loan goal for Juan de Fuca. Rubiano earned the Walter Craveiro trophy as MVP of the game.

At the 35-and-over level it was a newcomer, the Cowichan 49s, winning their first Tony Grover Masters Memorial Cup in the first cup game on Sunday.

The 49ers took down a Vic West by a score of 2-1 after another 120-minute marathon.

Adam Taft and Stu Barker tallied for Cowichan while Colin Ralph responded for Vic West. The Alec Hylan game MVP went to Barker.