High-flyers University of the West Indies Blackbirds survived an inspired performance from the struggling Notre Dame to come out 3-2 winners, as action in the Digicel-sponsored Barbados Football Association’s Premier League continued at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf last night.
Notre Dame, languishing in the bottom half of the table, were first on the score sheet when Zeco Edmee netted in the 35th minute of the game. They would remain in the lead going in the break. Following the resumption, Notre Dame repelled every attack mounted by the UWI Blackbirds and were particularly adept at keeping the dangerous national striker Mario Harte at bay.
Then in the 65th minute Aaron Leacock brought joy to the Dames’ fans with a second goal. Surely the game was dead and buried. Wrong! Whether they settled for their two-goal lead and adopted a defensive mindset, or Blackbirds simply found a third and fourth gear, there was a noticeable momentum shift.
The UWI side attacked the Dames relentless and their industry was rewarded in the 75th minute when Andre Leslie scored to narrow the contest to 2-1. Seconds later, to the dismay of disbelieving Dames fans, Harte finally made an impact on the game with the equalizer.
And if those two goals were not disheartening for the Dames, they were totally crestfallen when with two minutes to go in regulation time, Shamari Mark scored to give UWI Blackbirds the 3-2 lead and the eventual hard-fought victory.
UWI did not come out of the game unscathed, though, as Ramar Miller was ejected from the game minutes before the final whistle following a second bookable offence.
In the other game, an ill-tempered affair between Pinelands and Empire, the Bank Hall side defeated Pinelands 3-1 with Shawn Hackett (3rd & 77th minutes) and Damien Welch (39th) scoring for Empire and Arantees Lawrence netting for Pinelands in the 49th.
Pinelands had three players red carded – Rashad Greaves, Tito Grazette and Jamar Perch, with the latter suffering the ignominy of being ejected from the game with mere seconds of extra time to go.