The Victoria Highlanders recorded a key 2-1 victory Sunday in Ladysmith over the Mid Isle Mariners in the Island derby that made the top of the Pacific Coast Soccer League table even tighter.
Callum Montgomery headed home a Tarnvir Bhandal cross at 25 minutes to give the Highlanders the lead. Mackenzie Cole made it 2-0 at 53 minutes off an assist from Parm Johal. A deflected ball on a free kick gave the Mid Isle, comprised of players from the national powerhouse Vancouver Island University Mariners, their goal in injury time.
The only once-beaten Highlanders moved to 7-1-5 while the Mariners fell to 8-3-2. Victoria, Mid-Island and Vancouver United (8-3-2) are tied for first place with 26 points each.
The top-three teams, along with host Abbotsford Magnuson Ford (2-6-4), will make the playoff tournament.
The Highlanders are in Penticton on Saturday to take on the Pinnacles (3-8-1). —Times Colonist