The beauty of cup play, according to Vancouver Island Soccer League president Vince Greco, is that every single matchup is determined by pure luck, at the beginning anyway as teams are drawn out of a hat for early round matches.
Saanich Fusion, in the VISL’s top division, may not mirror those feelings. Especially after the perennial powerhouse has been forced to play one of three play-in games this weekend as the league’s cup action begins it’s preliminary rounds. Saanich Fusion, which finished in third place in Division 1 regular season action this season, will now have to play one extra game than most other teams in the Jackson Cup playdowns, if it is to once again reach the championship game on April 3 at Royal Athletic Park.
It all starts Sunday for Saanich when it takes on Div. 2 side Vantreights at 2:15 p.m. at Glasgow Park. The other two play-in games have Div. 1 teams Gorge FC and Vic West playing Saturday at 8 p.m. at Hampton Park, and Div. 1 Comox Valley United taking on Div. 2 Castaways on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Topaz Park.
The three weekend winners will then join regular Jackson Cup play, which gets under way next weekend.
The George Pearkes Challenge Cup for Div. 3 and 4 begins this weekend with Lakehill 3A playing SFFC Shady Lane on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Braefoot and Gorge 3A taking on Penelakut 4A on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Hampton Park.
The Tony Grover Cup for Masters Division teams also begins this weekend with Vic West B going up against Lakehill B on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Finlayson, and Castaways Jrs. B taking on Fernwood Dragons B on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Blanshard.