Cougars? footy final hopes are kept alive

By AARON KELLY THE FRENCHVILLE Sports Club Capricorn Cougars have thrashed Wide Bay to keep their Football Queensland State Cup finals hopes very much alive.

The Cougars recorded their first win in this year's State Cup with a commanding 5-0 round two victory at Rockhampton's Ryan Park on Saturday night.

Playing in front of a strong home crowd, the Cougars continued their exciting brand of attacking football, despite coming off a heart-breaking 3-2 loss to Pine Rivers in the opening round.

Cougars striker Michael Steere opened the scoring in the 10th minute, running on to a clever pass from new strike partner, man of the match Kenny Robertson.

Five minutes later, Roy Bob delivered a pin-point corner and Robertson outjumped the Wide Bay defence to give the home side a 2-0 lead.

Wide Bay's best scoring chance came early in the second half, but the ball sailed wide, before Gladstone's Lee Veenhoven extended the Cougars' lead with a sharp header from another fine cross from Bob.

Yeppoon's Chris Griffin continued his goal-scoring ways in the 65th minute before an own goal in the closing stages sealed a confidence-boosting win for the spirited Capricorn outfit.

Cougars coach Justin Kilshaw said his players were having fun.

"They're enjoying the challenge at playing at that next level,'' Kilshaw said.

"The boys really got at them early and put them under pressure ? it was a pleasing performance.''

Captain Craig Porter, who required eight stitches to a head wound, and Veenhoven (ankle) are the only injury concerns ahead of this weekend's away clash against group leaders the Sunshine Coast.

However, Porter has already declared himself a certain starter for the crunch game, while the Cougars will also be bolstered by the return of Nick Barker and Lindsay Dean, who were both unavailable for the Wide Bay match.

The Sunshine Coast are unbeaten after a 4-3 win over Brisbane club, Rochedale Rovers, on Saturday night.

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