Last night was an occasion for upsets at the National Stadium as Direct TV Paradise, Klaytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame and Pride of Gall Hill all scored unlikely victories in the Digicel-sponsored Barbados Football Association’s Premier League.
Paradise came from behind to win 3-2 against Solaris Pinelands in the first game of the triple-header. This was followed by Notre Dame’s thrilling 2-1 defeat of reigning Premier League champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP). The coup de grâce of the evening came when Gall Hill walloped Mackeson Brittons Hill 4-0 to win their first game of the league season.
Action kicked off at 4p.m. and Pinelands captain Arantees Lawrence got down to business eleven minutes into the game when the ball was played inside the box to Paradise goalkeeper Jason Boxill and Lawrence somehow managed to kick the ball out of Boxill gloves and into the back of the nets.
Nine minutes later in the 20th minute Lawrence in his usual role as striker made it 2-0 when the ball was played up the left flank to him and he sped past Paradise defender Jonathan Straker, chipped the ball over the head of Boxill and into the back of the nets as the custodian was beaten yet again.
Pinelands had a clear advantage and went into the second half with confidence but this did not last for too long. The Paradise unit came out with more purpose in the second half and scored. In the 64th minute Paradise began to see the light of day when Demar Linton broke the ball from the left and crossed over with a deft touch to striker Armando Lashley inside the box. Lashley fended off two Pinelands’ defender and shot the ball wide to the left of Pinelands’ goalkeeper Michael Spooner.
With just one goal down one could sense that Paradise if they stuck to their attacking game plan would find that all important equalizer and that they did a couple minutes later in the 81st minute. The ball was played forward into the possession of Paradise’s midfielder Jalani Keizer who with pace and control volleyed his shot into the back of the nets.
An inspired Paradise sensing blood and the opportunity to complete the turnaround in fortunes, upped their intensity even more. It seemed only a matter of time before the match-winner came and in the 84th minute defender Najee Holder became the hero when there was a fumble in front the goal bars and he got his head onto the ball and scored.
Pinelands tried to make a comeback in the last three minutes of added time when Lawrence from the right flank made a neat right- footed pass towards the goal bars and Pinelands’ midfielder Keith Warner took a shot at goal but was brilliantly denied by Boxill.
Another game which many perhaps thought would have gone in the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme’s favour went to Notre Dame who must thank their striker Zeco Edmee for two early goals.
Edmee is having a good season thus far and last night was no exception when he opened the score in the 11th minute and came back in the 20th and booted home another. Edmee’s second goal came about when he out-paced the BDFSP’s defenders and slammed the ball into the back of nets past goalkeeper Saheka Duke.
National player Kyle Gibson managed to pull a goal back for the BDFSP in the 42nd minute when Dame’s defenders were caught napping and Kemar Chase floated the ball with his right boot over to the right top corner
of the goal bar and Gibson was in position to head the ball into the back of the nets.
The BDFSP had the opportunity to equalize when Edmee was sent off following his second yellow card of the game but Notre Dame did well to keep their 1-0 advantage and take the game.
After last night’s games Notre Dame jumped to third on nine points in the standings followed by Paradise on eight.
The final game saw Gall Hill’s T-Shane Lorde score a hattrick with strikes in the 21st, 39th and 73rd minutes while Renaldo Marquez made it 4-0 in the 81st minute in a game which had two red cards going to Omar Archer of Brittons Hill in the 78th minute and to Rasheed Parris in the 83rd.