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Last quarter-final spots up for grabs in Friendship and Shield competitions

Domico Coddington will be hoping for a better result tonight in the Friendship Trophy against Somerset Eagles after his two goals only enabled Devonshire Cougars to draw with league leaders Dandy Town on Sunday. (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Devonshire Cougars and Somerset Eagles will battle for the remaining quarter-final spot in the Friendship Trophy when they meet in the final preliminary round match at Devonshire Rec tonight.

Night football returned to the Den on Sunday with the Cougars drawing 2-2 with Dandy Town in a Premier Division fixture. Cougars earned the distinction of being only the second team this season to take points off the league leaders, though the result was disappointing for the hosts as it helped second-placed PHC’s title aspirations more than it did their own.

Cougars will be favourites over an Eagles team that sits last in the table with just a win and a draw to show from their eleven league matches so far.

Tonight’s opening Shield match (6.30pm) should be a closer encounter between Hamilton Parish and BAA, the top two teams in the First Division.

Parish’s only blemish of the season occurred exactly a month ago at Goose Gosling Field when BAA pulled off a 2-2 draw after their goalkeeper, Peter Silvester, scored directly from a free kick in his own half four minutes into second half stoppage time to end Parish’s perfect record.

BAA moved to within four points of Parish on the weekend when they beat St David’s and Parish’s game with Vasco was called off. While promotion will be the priority for the two teams, the Shield is another piece of silverware to be won.

Sergio Goater, the Parish coach, insists his team has moved on from the disappointment of dropped points in their previous meeting with BAA.

“That’s all behind us, we took that in stride,” he said. “It was the first time we’ve dropped points, but it can be something that can inspire us, actually.”

Devonshire Colts were the last team to win the promotion and Shield ‘double’ in 2020. Tonight’s match has a quarter-final place at stake, so both teams will no doubt be motivated.

“It’s a very important match, I’m going up against my mentor [Andrew Bascome] so it should be a good match-up,” Goater added. “Promotion is our priority but if you’re in a match with silverware then you always want to win. We’re preparing and are up for it.”

BAA last won the Shield in 2016 and 2017 while Parish won in three straight years between 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The draw for the Friendship and Shield quarter-finals will take place on Friday at the Clyde Best Centre of Excellence. The quarter-final matches will all be midweek encounters, played on February 23, March 2, 9 and 15.

In the Premier Division, Robin Hood will play Somerset at Goose Gosling Field at 9pm, in a rescheduled fixture.

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Published February 02, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated February 02, 2022 at 7:58 am)

Last quarter-final spots up for grabs in Friendship and Shield competitions

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