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Cougars set the pace in title race

Devonshire Cougars took full advantage of the two top-of-the-table clashes over the weekend to move four points clear at the top of the Digicel Premier Division.

With the Big Cats playing second-placed PHC, and third-placed Southampton Rangers taking on fourth-placed Dandy Town on the opening weekend of the second half of the season, many variables were in play.

But the Devonshire side wouldn’t let it be their own undoing in their quest for the coveted showpiece, as they beat nearest rivals PHC while Town overcame Rangers to shake up the landscape.

Rangers were the biggest losers, falling from third to seventh, while North Village and Somerset now sit fifth and sixth respectively.

PHC, who will be looking to bounce back in their derby game against Rangers this coming weekend, are one point ahead of Town, who will be buoyed by their weekend victory.

However, they are all playing catch-up to the men from the Den who aren’t about to get complacent.

Skipper Chris Caisey, who is nursing a slight ankle injury and missed his side’s triumph on New Year’s Day to hoist the Friendship Trophy, isn’t taking anything for granted given the amount of games remaining.

“Talking to my team after the PHC game, everybody was happy and in good spirits. Yes we are happy with the four-point lead at the top but we as a team aren’t getting too carried away as it is still a long way to go.

“We just want to continue working for one another and hopefully we will reap the rewards of the hard work we are putting in, but it’s still a long way to go.”

The emergence of the younger players at the club has had a profound effect on the squad’s success thus far in the campaign.

Goalkeeper Kioshi Trott announced his arrival at the senior level with his penalty-saving theatrics in the Friendship final win over Town at the National Sports Centre (NSC).

Trott save three spot-kicks to help Cougars claim the year’s first title.

Che Brangman has also played an influential role this season, including scoring the winner on Sunday as Cougars snatched three valuable points on the road.

Kenny Desilva, Philip Parsons, and Demitri Daniels have all played important parts to put the club where they are now, and Caisey makes no qualms about the importance of these players to the side.

“Teenagers such as Che, Kioshi, Demitri and others have all stepped up for us.

“We have some quality young players that personally I rate very high. The future of the club is looking very promising.

“Also I have to praise the Cougars coaching staff. They have been excellent for us and are the main reason for our success thus far.”

Devonshire Cougars defender Kijuan Franks keeps PHC striker Shakir Smith at bay during Sunday's match at Southampton Oval. Cougars won 2-1. Photo by Mark Tatem

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Published January 08, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 07, 2013 at 6:59 pm)

Cougars set the pace in title race

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