PHC Zebras claimed a record eleventh Premier Division title despite suffering their second league defeat of the season yesterday.
It looked as though Scott Morton’s team would have to keep their celebrations on ice a little longer after their surprising 2-1 defeat away to basement dwellers Somerset Trojans on Saturday night.
However, they were declared the champions with two games to spare less than 24 hours later after nearest rivals Robin Hood were held to a 1-1 draw away to North Village yesterday.
“It feels good to win the league again but we definitely didn’t want to win it this way,” said Cecoy Robinson, the PHC captain, who attended Village’s match against Hood along with team-mate Tre Ming.
“We wanted to win it last night [Saturday]. It was tough after being up 1-0 and in control of the game. But we made mistakes which cost us and that’s how football goes.”
Robinson cited team harmony and a hard work ethic as the key to his team’s successful title defence.
“The key to our success was just sticking together and working it out through the hard times,” the son of former PHC midfielder Cecil Robinson said.
“Nothing came easy for us. We had some testing moments and we were able to overcome them. If you want to be a champion you have to be able to grind throughout those moments. I thought we were able to do that throughout most of the season.”
Robinson said the depth of PHC’s squad was also a significant factor in their title triumph.
“It definitely makes a big difference when you have players that have cards and different things like injuries happen,” the PHC striker added.
“It definitely plays a part and the guys that came in were able to do a job for us. We have to commend everybody because we needed everybody.”
John Barry Nusum, the Hood player-coach, admitted falling shy of his team’s primary objective of winning the league was “hard to take”.
“We wanted to win the league this season but draws have killed us,” he said. “We have lost one game, but we have five draws, so it’s a hard one to take because those are games we should have won. There’s a lot of ‘could have, should have, would have’ in the team right now. But we can’t do anything about it. We’re now looking at the FA Cup [semi-finals].”
Meanwhile, Paget Lions slipped closer to relegation after three goals in the final ten minutes by BAA at Goose Gosling Field left them rooted at the bottom of the table with just two games remaining.
Having struggled to field a team, Paget went behind to Jaman Lottimore’s sixteenth minute goal, before they managed to level courtesy of Tahjae Welch’s penalty. However, a late double from Keishen Bean and an own goal from Chare Smith condemed them to defeat.
Devonshire Cougars avenged an early season defeat to Boulevard, with a comfortable 2-0 win at Devonshire Recreation Club.
Allan Douglas and Chae Brangman netted for Cougars.
A second-half four-goal blitz guided Dandy Town to a convincing 5-2 victory over X-Roads. Angelo Simmons netted a hat-trick, with the other goals being added by Kwame Steede and Daeshun Butterfield. Teiko Lowe and Tymon Daniels netted for X-Roads.