DESPITE losing at the weekend for the first time this season, Bay Stars have kept their sights firmly on logleaders Tembu Royals in the Safa Eastern Cape Second Division soccer title race.
The Port Elizabeth side dropped three crucial points when they were defeated by Mthatha Bucks 2-1 at the Gelvandale Stadium on Friday and are now 10 points behind Royals, but still have four matches in hand (a potential maximum of 12 points).
The second round of the league race has come down to four teams, with the contenders being Royals, who have 37 points from 16 matches, Bucks with 35 from 15, defending champions FC Buffalo on 31 points from 14, and Stars in fourth on 27.
Stars are prepared to fight to the last match of the season to lift the sought-after silverware. They have a strong chance to clinch the league title but will only manage to achieve this feat if they win the majority of their remaining league matches. At one stage in the first round, Stars were in top position, but they then underwent a long break when the Africa Cup of Nations saw all their home games delayed.
Stars coach Mark Harrison insists the Second Division League title race is far from over. "Mathematically there is a chance for us to reach the playoff stage ... we have to grab it with both hands. It is now important to continue winning. We have forgotten about the loss to Mthatha Bucks and are now focusing on our next game."
He said they would continue putting up a brave fight in their matches until the last league clash in May.
At the bottom of the league, the battle for survival is gathering momentum, with Port Elizabeth outfit Highbury on seven points, Cacadu United on five, OR Tambo with two points and Mthatha Liverpool with one.