Cougars silence their critics

THE Capricorn Cougars' arrival into the Football Queensland State Cup semi-finals has achieved a pre-season goal and silenced critics.

Their 2-1 win over Whitsunday Coast at Rockhampton's Ryan Park on Saturday night booked the Cougars a semi-final showdown with Far North Queensland back at Ryan Park this Saturday.

It will be the Cougars' first look at their northern rivals who suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Pine Rivers in the final round ? it was the first time Far North Queensland had not scored a goal this season and the first goal they had conceded.

Cougars coach Justin Kilshaw said this team had achieved its goals.

"At the start of the season we said reaching the semi-finals would be a success, anything else was failure,'' Kilshaw said.

"We certainly have a good team spirit among the boys and we're more versatile this year.''

Kilshaw also had some added motivation courtesy of comments from a local coach, who he did not want to name, earlier in the campaign about the Cougars' boring style of play in a pre-season game against Taringa.

"We were only two games into our campaign and we had a young group of guys ? we've silenced the critics,'' Kilshaw said.

In the Cougars' final regular round game Michael Steere opened the scoring 17 minutes into the game, scoring off a throwin from Cameron Draper.

Whitsunday increased the pressure in the closing 15 minutes of the opening half forcing some Cougars positional changes with Tristan Fraser moving from right back to the centres and Draper filling right back. Tim Hickey came off the bench into right midfield, adding some extra bite in the middle of the park.

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