The pack continues to shuffle as Empire were struck down into relegation zone after losing 4-2 to Weymouth Wales in the ongoing Digicel-sponsored Barbados Football Association’s Premier League at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf last night.
Empire who are now in ninth position on 12 points, ahead of tenth place Solaris Pinelands, needed to win against Wales in order to capture three vital points and stay ahead of Clayton’s Kola Notre Dame. The Dames defeated Direct TV Paradise 2-0 on Saturday to move into eight position on 14 points and out of relegation.
That win by Notre Dame has definitely shattered Paradise’s chances of winning the 2016 league cup and as it stands both the top and bottom of the premiership points standings look interesting. Table leaders University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds and defending champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme both won their encounters yesterday. UWI trounced Mackeson Brittons Hill 6-3 to maintain their lead on 39 points and one point ahead of the soldiers in second position on 38 while Paradise are tied in third place with Weymouth Wales on 31 points but with a superior goal difference.
Wales took an early lead in the 27th minute through a combination of passes to Kemar Headley who took a long range shot outside the 18-range yard box and the ball sailed right of Empire custodian Andre Aqui into the net.
That lead was short-lived as a minute later in the 28th Empire striker Ormando McLeod dribbled past the napping Wales’ defence and seized the moment to score a scorcher from inside the box past Wales goalkeeper Bentley Springer.
The score would remain that way until the second half when Wales’ striker Tristan Parris registered a hat-trick with goals in the 58th, 68th and 70th minutes.
Parris’ first goal came when Malcolm Marshall floated the ball inside the box to the striker who fended off two Empire defenders and placed it left of keeper Aqui.
Wales were utilizing the right flank a lot during the second half and the other two goals Parris netted were inside the box. Once again he got past Empire’s defenders who were simply too relaxed at critical junctures.
Empire coach Andrew Tudor decided to make a few substitutions and he brought on younger, fresher legs to run at Wales. That move paid off somewhat and they managed to pull one back off a free kick that was scored by Renaldo Bignall in the 78th minute, low and to the right of Wales keeper Springer.
In the second match of the evening UWI captain Mario Harte scored as early as the 5th minute but six minutes later in the Dario Browne equalized for Brittons Hill. The ever-consistent Jairo Lombardo along with Jomo Harris netted one each in the 15th and 19th minutes respectively, to give the university a 3-1 lead at half time.
Rommel Bynoe pulled one back in the 66th minute for Brittons Hill but Harte scored his second in the 76th minute, Dario Harewood netted in the 79th and an own goal in the 85th gave UWI the advantage even though Walton Burrows gave Brittons Hill their third goal in the 90th minute.
In the final clash Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme captain Romario Harewood shook the nets as early as the fourth minute and in the second half Shaquille Boyce accounted for two in the 63rd and 65th minutes to get over Rendezvous 3-0.