If this had been a boxing match, Lumisol Pinelands would have died in the ring.
Thankfully, it was a football game and the vanquished – or victims – will live to tell the tale of the day when they were savaged 21-0 by the University of the West Indies Blackbirds at the Wildey, St Michael Astroturf, in the Barbados Football Association’s Digicel-sponsored Premier League.
In the ring when a fighter is an underdog and taking a savage walloping, a supporter is likely to wince with every damaging blow. There were times last night that both the persevering Pinelands fans and players were cringing every time Mario Harte touched the ball.
Harte, the Blackbirds’ captain, will definitely take home the golden boot for 2016, and after last night’s massacre, it will be a very bloody golden boot. The top national striker had the game of his life as he struck a total of ten goals and did not score more because the game had to come to an end at some stage.
Harte is perhaps the first player to ever score that number of goals in a single match at the premiership level and took his tally to 26 so far for the season, ahead of Ormando Lashley of Direct TV Paradise with 19.
Pitiable Pinelands started the game with only seven players but eventually had ten men on the field. That handicapped situation allowed UWI to take full advantage and made life miserable for Pinelands’ hapless defenders Shane Hinkson and Lamario Springer, who left UWI’s deadliest striker unmarked on several occasions. By the end of the game their rotund custodian Tyrell Hinkson would have been slightly lighter by the hard work he endured and the frequency of having to bend and take the ball from the back of the nets.
At half-time the score was 9-0 to Blackbirds who then continued in the second half from where they had left off and netted 12 more goals before referee Mark Moses looked at his watch, decided enough was enough and blew his whistle to put Pinelands’ beleaguered bunch out of their collective misery.
Harte’s goals came in the 16th, 17th, 24th, 53rd, 62nd, 65th, 72nd, 77th, 79th and 85th minutes, while Corey Barrow finished with a hat-trick, finding the back of the nets in the 51st, 74th and 90th minutes. Fellow striker Jairo Lombardo accounted for two in the 10th and 58th minutes along with Jomo Harris who scored in the 14th and 30th minutes respectively. Ramar Miller had one during the first minute of the game, Nathan Worrell netted in the 18th, Tito Beckles got one of the freebies in the 86th and Dario Harewood raided the lucky dip in the 87th minute.
UWI have once again taken over the lead of the premiership with 42 points from defending champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme who are now one point behind in second position on 41. All ten teams in the premiership have played 17 matches with one more game in hand for each of the teams before the league concludes this coming weekend.
The 2016 premiership race is not only close at the top but also pretty tight at the bottom with Pinelands being the first of two teams demoted to division one After last night’s showing some suggested Pinelands be demoted to Bico’s primary schools football. They will now wait to see who will join them among Empire in ninth place on 15 points, Phone Medic Repair Belfield on 17 points and Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame on 18 points. The Dames defeated Mackeson Brittons Hill 1-0 in the first matchup yesterday to ease themselves into seventh position and further away from relegation heat. Notre Dame had Kyle Gibson to thank for their 40th minute goal.
Brittons Hill had 20 points at the start of the game but that loss to the Dames have now placed them in sixth position after Rendezvous edged Weymouth Wales 2-1 in the final game of the night to take over that fifth spot with 22 points.
That particular game was a preview of what’s to come next week in the Banks Beer Champions Cup final between Rendezvous and Wales who went ahead 1-0 in the 33rd minute through Kemar Headley with an open shot from the left. The score remained that way until half time but in the second half Rendezvous found the equalizer through striker Shandel Samuel in the 78th minute. And just when the game looked as though it was heading for a draw Dwayne Stanford proved to be the hero with the winner.
Matches continue this Wednesday at the AstroTurf when Wales take on Pinelands at 7 p.m. and UWI face Rendezvous at 9p.m.