Village in firm control for title

  • Title hunt: Che-Kai Caisey dribbles the ball during North Villageís match against Dandy Town at Bernard Park this season

(File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

    Title hunt: Che-Kai Caisey dribbles the ball during North Villageís match against Dandy Town at Bernard Park this season (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)


A win and two draws from their final three matches will be enough to land a first Premier Division title for North Village in nine years.

Village lead second-placed Robin Hood ó the only team that can realistically catch them ó by five points going into the final month of the league season.

Five more points will take Village to 41 and give them a first title since the 2010-11 season.

The most points Hood, the runners-up in three of the past four seasons and first-time champions in 2016-17, can finish with is 40.

They amassed 39 points in the last two seasons to finish second behind PHC Zebras, who will officially be out of the race if they fail to beat fourth-place Dandy Town on Saturday.

As it stands now, the Zebras can only finish with 39 points should they win their next three games.

Town, also on 27 points but with a game in hand, can finish with 39 points from their last four games.

Villageís last three games are against Somerset Eagles, Southampton Rangers and PHC while Hood, unbeaten but with a league-high seven draws from 15 games, have to play Devonshire Cougars, PHC and Somerset Eagles.

Villageís only loss in the league this season was against Hood, 2-1 in December.

It has been an outstanding first season under returning head coach Kenny Thompson, who took Village from an eighth-place finish last season to serious title contenders. They already have twice as many points as last seasonís 18-point haul. While the battle for promotion has already been decided with St Georgeís and Devonshire Colts claiming the top spots in the First Division, the fight to avoid the second top-flight relegation spot could go right down to the wire.

Five teams are battling to beat the drop after Boulevardís fate was confirmed last weekend.

Cougars, fifth on 17 points, lead second-from-bottom Somerset Eagles by just three points in the survival race. Eagles have a game in hand, albeit a tough match against Town next Thursday at Goose Gosling Field.

Eagles will definitely need to pick up points away to Village on Sunday and then in home matches against Cougars and Hood as they look to ensure survival in their first season back in the top flight.

It is the same for Southampton Rangers, who landed the Friendship Trophy on New Yearís Day, but are now focusing their efforts on staying in the top flight.

Rangers will meet fellow strugglers Somerset in a match put back to next Saturday, before ending their campaign at home to Village and away to Town.

Rangers, X-Roads and Somerset all have 16 points, with X-Roads playing Boulevard, Somerset and Cougars in their final three matches. The Trojans play Boulevard in their final match.

The battle between the two Colts on Saturday will go a long way towards deciding their First Division title.

Devonshire Colts lead on goal difference while St Georgeís have a game in hand, with their final two matches being against fourth and third-place teams Flanaganís Onions and Vasco da Gama while Devonshire Colts end their league schedule against St Davidís on March 14.

St Georgeís beat Colts 5-1 in their previous league encounter, but since that loss in November they have gone unbeaten, including claiming the Shield Trophy title.

In their last four league matches they have scored 22 goals to become the divisionís top goal scorers, with 6-0, 6-2, 6-0 and 4-0 wins over Ireland Rangers, Wolves, Vasco and Young Menís Social Club.

That good run of form was capped with an impressive 4-2 win over PHC in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

They go into the quarter-final draw today along with holders Hood, Village and X-Roads, last seasonís beaten finalists.

Who plays who

North Village: Somerset Eagles (h), Southampton Rangers (a), PHC (a)

Robin Hood: Devonshire Cougars (a), PHC (h), Somerset Eagles (a)

PHC: Dandy Town (h), Robin Hood (a), North Village (h)

Dandy Town: PHC (a), Somerset Eagles (h), Boulevard (a), Southampton Rangers (h)

Devonshire Cougars: Robin Hood (h), Somerset Eagles (a), X-Roads (h)

Southampton: Somerset (a), North Village (h), Dandy Town (a)

X-Roads: Boulevard (h), Somerset (h), Devonshire Cougars (a)

Somerset Trojans: Southampton (h), X-Roads (a), Boulevard (a)

Somerset Eagles: North Village (a), Devonshire Cougars (h), Robin Hood (h)

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Published Feb 27, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 26, 2020 at 7:51 pm)

Village in firm control for title

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