Brotherly love only goes so far.
Hughes brothers Tyler of Cowichan LMG Pringle and Jordie of Bays United Liquor Plus were in the spotlight when their two teams squared off during a huge Vancouver Island Soccer League Div. 1 tilt at the Ladysmith turf field Friday night.
Not only were family bragging rights on the line, but the game had direct implications on who would potentially finish first in the division.
The advantage went to Cowichan when Kevin Brown scored in the last seven minutes to give Cowichan a 1-0 victory.
“That put us back into first place and we hold our own destiny again,’’ said Tyler Hughes, the shutdown player on Cowichan’s back end.
Jordie is the big scorer for Bays, fifth overall in the league with 10 goals, but he couldn’t generate anything offensively against Cowichan.
“It was difficult,’’ said Tyler. “He had some good little bits. Bram Taylor was on him a lot, and he did a great job containing him and limiting his chances.’’
The Hughes brothers mostly kept it clean — unlike hockey’s Primeau brothers who once engaged in a fight on the ice — other than one incident where Tyler got a yellow card for a push on Jordie.
“My mom had a few words for me after the game,’’ laughed Tyler Hughes.
The turf war suited Cowichan fine.
“They’re used to turf and I think we’re a much better team on turf now,’’ said Hughes. “We’re skilfully better than most teams now. A couple of years ago it would have been better playing at Sherman Road.’’
It looked like the game would finish scoreless, but Brown went on a nice run up the right side and was set up by Ladysmith native Chris Arnett.
“I think Bays was satisfied with the tie,’’ said Hughes. “We needed the win. The onus was on us to score.’’
And that’s exactly what Cowichan did.
“It was exciting,’’ said Hughes. “We had a few good chances to score and take the lead.’’
Brian Carriere and Ryan Andre, also two of the league’s top scorers, missed getting the goal that could have put Cowichan in control earlier. But Brown’s marker came just in the nick of time for the valuable three points in the standings.
Combined with a shocking 6-1 loss by previous frontrunner Gordon Head against Nanaimo, Cowichan vaulted back into the lead with a 12-2-2 mark for 38 points with two winnable games left against Juan de Fuca and Sooke.
Gordon Head is now 12-3-1 for 37 points, and Bays sits third at 11-4-0 for 33 points.
Cowichan starts in defence of its Jackson Cup title Saturday in Victoria against Div. 2 Castaways.
Cowichan United Div. 2 moved to 7-4-4 with a 4-0 victory over the Gordon Head Blaze Thursday.