Cougars clinch championship title
Devonshire Cougars wrapped up the Digicel Premier Division title yesterday after Somerset Trojans handed North Village a 3-2 defeat at Bernard Park.
The league race looked like going down to the wire when Village, the only other team left in the title race with three games remaining, were given a helping hand on Friday night when St Georges held Cougars to a 1-1 draw.
Victory yesterday for Village would have taken them to within four points of Cougars and with a meeting between the top two teams next weekend setting the stage for an exciting finish to the league season. However, Somerset had other ideas as a first half brace by Jonathan Bean and the eventual winner midway through the second half from Leo Burgess killed off Village title aspirations and gave their former captain and coach, Dennis Brown, a first league title as a coach.
Clay Darrell and Pierre Smith scored for Village in the comeback effort that was too little too late for the hosts, who were left to rue their missed opportunities throughout the match.
While his team were replacing Dandy Town as Premier Division champions when the final whistle blew, Cougars skipper Chris Caisey Jr admitted to not knowing the result until his phone rang with the good news.
It is always good to be crowned champions, although I didnt know much about the result until someone had informed me, said the Cougars midfielder.
Our motto all season has been to concentrate on your performances and let everything else take care of itself, and that is what we did.
Cougars draw with relegation bound St Georges enabled them to extend their lead at the top to seven points, a gap that cannot now be closed by Village with only two matches remaining. Now Village can only play for second place as the expected league decider next weekend will have no bearing on the top spot as Cougars could finish comfortably ahead of the pack as they switch their focus to their FA Cup semi-final clash with Southampton Rangers on March 30. A first Triple Crown (League, FA Cup and Friendship) is now well within Cougars reach this season.
The point on Friday night was valuable in the sense that we wouldnt have wrapped it up today and would have gone on the road next week to play for all the marbles, but we will celebrate this moment until our next match and refocus, said Caisey.
So far we have the Friendship Trophy in the bag and now got the league with the FA Cup still to play for, and we will go right until the end to get as many pieces of silverware as we can.
Lately we havent been able to field the same team consistently with injuries and so forth, and Ive have to play down the back but that shows that everyone in the squad is willing to put their egos to the side and play for one cause, and that is to win every match we enter.
Village boss Ralph Bean Jr was subdued after his sides loss, pointing to their lack of potency in front of goal throughout yesterdays game that would have swung the match in their favour.
When you look at the situations in matches that you must win on order to be champions you cant allow yourself to get complacent and think that things will automatically fall your way, you have to take it from the beginning and we were slow from the start and were on the back foot from their first goal, said Bean.
In order for you to be champions and successful in anything you do you have go and get it from the start and be dedicated, and although we wont be crowned champions I am pleased with the team and the effort they put forth to get results throughout the season so I really dont have any complaints.
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