THAT TITLE WAS FOR COVE CAPTAIN MARVEL ERIC, SAYS GOAL-DEN BOY MITCH AFTER VICTORY AT FORRES
THE MAN WITH SIX APPEAL: Eric Watson, first left, celebrating winning his sixth Highland League title with Cove Rangers after their 1-0 victory over Forres.
COVE Rangers have dedicated their latest title triumph to club legend and long serving skipper Eric Watson.
Mitch Megginson scored the only goal as they beat Forres Mechanics 1-0 at Mosset Park to ensure they were crowned champions of the Breedon Highland League.
Top scorer Mitch admitted they had been desperate to win the title for veteran centre-back Eric, who will be 37 next week and has said that he fears this could by his last season with the club.
The latest title triumph was Eric’s sixth in 12 seasons and also brought his tally of winners’ medals to an astonishing 13 in all competitions.
Mitch said: “You run out of the right words to describe just how magnificent Eric has been for Cove Rangers.
“He’s our leader on the pitch, a man who is never afraid to go in where it hurts and has given his heart and soul to the club.
“If Eric does move on in the summer he’s going to be a hard act to follow, that’s for sure.
“He will be almost impossible to properly replace because he leads by example and will rightly be remembered as a legend of the club.
“We all know Eric would have liked to be playing a bit more than he has this season but he’s still been a positive influence in the dressing room before and during every game.
“He also does his bit at training every week, despite staying a fair bit from Aberdeen, to make sure he’s ready when called upon.
“We couldn’t do anything for Eric as far as playing goes, but we were all determined to make sure he was able to add to his admirable list of title wins.
“Captaining Cove to six titles underlines just how talented a player he is.
“It pleases us a lot that Eric is going to get to lift the trophy again next week after we have played our final league game, at home to Clach.”
Mitch’s strike, in the first half, was his 46th of the season and decided what was an at times scrappy match played on a bumpy pitch and in windy conditions.
“It wasn’t a pretty win but we don’t care,” said Mitch.
“All that mattered was getting the points needed to finally clinch the title.
“It was a bit of a battle but we worked hard and created the best chances so I feel we deserved to win.”
The Cove striker praised team mate Daniel Park for the part he played in setting up the winner.
“He played his cross through the legs of a couple Forres players’ legs, it was the sort of real quality you come to expect from Parky,” he said.
“He set it up on a plate for me, all I had to do was put it away into the empty net.
“It was the guys further back who deserve most of the credit, though.
“Our defence was excellent, as they normally area, putting their bodies on the line when it was most needed.
“Stuart McKenzie (the Cove keeper) also made an astonishing save to stop Forres taking an early lead.
“They have been doing things like that all season and have played a huge part in ensuring we were able to retain the title.”
Cove bring the curtain down on their league campaign against Clach, at Balmoral Stadium, next Saturday.
They will then take on Lowland League champions East Kilbride in the SPFL Pyramid Play offs.
Mitch said: “We know East Kilbride are going to be very tough opponents, I know quite a lot of the boys who play there from my own time playing in the SPFL.
“We are going to have to be at our very best if we want to beat them over the two legs.”
KEY MOMENT: The winning goal, captured in these pictures taken by Dave Cowe. Daniel Park crosses the ball and Mitch Megginson fires it home.