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Title race hots up as top three win

Photograph by Lawrence TrottLooking ahead: Mikkel Thomas, of Devonshire Cougars, left, and North Village’s Jonathan Briers battle for a loose ball at Bernard Park

North Village and PHC kept pressure on league leaders Robin Hood at the top of the Premier Division with narrow victories yesterday.

Village were relieved to get the three points at Bernard Park against neighbours Devonshire Cougars to stay in the title race. Shayne Hollis scored the only goal five minutes into the second half.

“We’re pleased with the points, not necessarily with the performance,” Devarr Boyles, the Village coach, said. “The boys always give a good effort, it’s just the instructions that were given were not executed.

“We couldn’t control the wind, so we had to adapt and there were three key players for us who started the build-up but didn’t quite understand what they were asked to do.

“We’re in with a chance so we’re happy. Three games left for us, two for everybody else.”

PHC beat Someset Eagles 2-1 with Na’eem Griffith and Idrees Sharrieff scoring for the visiting Zebras, while Kanhai Fray pulled one back for Eagles before he missed a penalty.

The defeat drops Eagles into the relegation zone after Flanagan’s Onions beat Boulevard 3-1 at Police Field to move ahead of the West Enders. Striker Treshun Smith notched a brace and Keston Lewis added a late insurance goal to make the points safe for Onions. Ian Coke grabbed Boulevard’s consolation goal from the penalty spot.

“This was a very big result for us because obviously we were in the relegation zone and we want to get out of that,” Mick Ward, the Onions coach, said.

“Today was never going to be easy with the weather. Boulevard are not a bad team but with the weather it made it really difficult and a lot of our lads were slipping on the pitch in the first half.

“Second half, even against the wind, we were on the right half of the pitch to be able to play towards their goal and a lot more came together in the second half. We switched just before the first goal. We dropped Keston back and put Treshun further forward and literally five seconds later the ball was in the back of the net.

“Results haven’t gone our way lately but I thought the lads deserved something today and hopefully this is the start of a good run to climb out of the relegation zone.”

Robin Hood, who are one point ahead of PHC and three ahead of Village, defeated Somerset Eagles 3-0 at Somerset Cricket Club on Saturday night.

Antwan Russell scored a brace while Lejuan Simmons also found the net in a match marred by a late double sending off.

Hood substitute Neil Figureido appeared to spit in the direction of Shaquille Bean, the Trojans goalkeeper, with about five minutes remaining. Both players were dismissed by referee Garic Swainson who called a premature finish to Saturday night’s match after the incident sparked unsavoury scenes involving players from both teams.

Dandy Town’s match against Devonshire Colts, which was switched to Goose Gosling Field, was postponed.

Reports, page 39