Pinelands, Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame, Empire and Belfield now have company in the relegation race of the 2016 Barbados Football Association Digicel Premier League.
Rendezvous have now joined that list of teams trying not to be demoted to division one. Last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf they lost 3-0 to Empire compliments of striker Omando McLeod with a hat-trick of goals in the 19th, 32nd and 69th minutes respectively.
The league season will come to an end next week Saturday with table leaders University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds on 39 points and defending champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme on 38, ideally placed to win the cup.
As it stands Rendezvous in sixth position on 19 points have two more games left and need to win them both against tough customers in Weymouth Wales and UWI. If Rendezvous fail to win those two games and Empire come out on top in their final two matches when they take on Direct TV Paradise and Notre Dame then they would move to a total of 21 point ahead of Rendezvous.
Interestingly enough Empire with a better goal difference are tied on 15 points with Notre Dame who also stand a fair chance of escaping relegation if they can at least win one of their two remaining games against BDFSP and Empire to push them on to 20, and in so doing, ahead of Rendezvous.
Belfield are another team that could move past Rendezvous if they pull off a draw or a win against either BDFSP or Brittons Hill.
In the featured game last evening Yekini Miller ran at Rendezvous defence down the right flank and delivered a pass to danger man McLeod who executed a superb left footed volley for arguably one of the best goals for this league season.
After two missed opportunities inside the six-yard box McLeod came charging in and seized the opportunity to put the ball away for his second goal of the night. The score would remain unchanged up to half- time.
Then in the second half McLeod led an Empire counterattack in the 69th minute, took on two Rendezvous defenders and pushed his way inside the 18-yard box where he left them both in his wake and shot to the right of Rendezvous’ goalkeeper Stefan Bowen.
In the second encounter of the night Notre Dame and Belfield played to a 1-1 draw. It was a uneventful first half but in the second period Kyle Gibson got past Belfield’s defence to shake the nets with a thunderous shot. The tall lad nearly finished the game as Notre Dame’s hero but in the 90th minute Jamar Grazette did brilliantly to deny the men from Bayland and level the scores.
As expected both teams went on the attack seeking to find the winner with less than two minutes to play during injury time when referee Gillian Martindale looked at her watch, blew her whistle and left the teams to make the most of the opportunities in their next encounters.
And what about Pinelands? While some of the other teams still left the AstroTurf with some hope, there is none for Pinelands. They are gone from the premier league.