Div. 1 brothers battle for soccer supremacy

Bays challenge Cowichan for the Jackson Cup at Sunday championship tilt

Former Victoria Highlanders teammates Jordie Hughes (left) and brother Tyler

Former Victoria Highlanders teammates Jordie Hughes (left) and brother Tyler

A battle of north and south pits brother against brother when the Bays United Div. 1 soccer team faces Cowichan FC Div. 1 for the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s Sir John Jackson Cup Sunday, April 3.

“(The) Bays and Cowichan have had a strong rivalry over the past handful of years. This game should be no different and have that same intensity,” VISL president Vince Greco says of the 2:30 p.m. kick-off at Royal Athletic Park.

“While the rivalry is strong, another interesting aspect will be the Hughes brothers battle against each other, Jordie with Bays and Tyler with Cowichan. I’m sure the result of this game may have an effect as to what may be discussed at family dinners in the future.”

In semi-final play last Friday at the University of Victoria, Bays United challenged Westcastle United in a hard-fought battle.

Tied at 1-1 after regulation play and two 15-minute extra-time halves on goals scored by the Bays’ Jordie Hughes and Westcastle’s Arbnor Jusufi, kicks from the penalty spot decided the match for the Bays.

On the other side, Cowichan defeated Saanich Fusion 2-0 to advance to the final.

Bays coach Richard Fast expects a hard-fought game. In league play, the two tied, then the Bays fell to Cowichan in a second game 2-1.

“They’re a really good team and they have a lot of good players,” Fast says, noting the well-disciplined team defends well.

Jordie, a forward 3 1/2 years younger than defender Tyler, has laced up for the Bays for about five years. This marks the second time the two have squared off for the Jackson Cup. “It’s a lot of fun and I wouldn’t want anyone else to play against in the final,” Jordie says.

“We’re super competitive playing against each other but it’s all in fun.”

In predicting a Bays victory (while acknowledging Tyler would likely predict the same for Cowichan), “we’re tough physically,” he says. “We have some experience and we have some young guys so it’s a good balance.”

As to the competition, “they like to keep it and move it around. We have to be patient and see our chance when it’s there.”

Fast encourages Bays fans to come out to Royal Athletic Park to support their boys in green.

“It’s a great place to watch soccer, it always has been and it always will be.”

As to which colours the Hughes’ mom will be sporting for the big match, “I think she wears a Bays jacket and a Cowichan jacket,” Jordie laughs.