Rendezvous spoiled any chance of taking the Barbados Football Association Digicel Premier League title to their home base.
Sunday night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf, Rendezvous were held to a 1-1 draw against relegated-threatened Brittons Hill and that resulted in both teams earning one point each.
Scoring first was Rendezvous through Damal Francis in the 36th minute to take a 1-0 advantage. However a penalty given by referee Edwin Adams in the 78th minute of the second half kept Brittons Hill’s hope alive when Zidkigah Samuel comfortably scored the equalizer.
Table leaders Pharmaceutical Neighbourhood Care Weymouth Wales already have one hand on the trophy and the BDS$20, 000 cheque thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Paradise Sunday.
When two of the premiership’s best teams collided there were lots of goal-scoring opportunities but unfortunately for both sides those chances went abegging in the opening half where none of the two managed to trouble the nets.
The second half was a totally different scenario as Wales continued from where they left off in the opening half being even more assertive with striker Arantees Lawrence and two of Barbados’ top attacking midfielders Romario Harewood and Hadan Holligan causing lots of trouble for Paradise’s back four led by captain Barry Skeete, and including Zico Phillips, Tyrell Bancroft and Najee Holder. Holder is currently home on vacation from Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia, United States where he is on a four-year scholarship.
Wales led as early as the 55th minute when a dangerous looking Lawrence was greeted with a challenge from Paradise custodian Jason Boxill who disputed making any contact with the striker but referee Jamar Springer deemed otherwise which resulted in a penalty kick taken by Harewood. It was his eighth goal of the season.
Paradise had a few moments of their own but failed to covert those opportunities into goals when it mattered most. The intensity began to pick up and it reached a stage where two national players, Harewood, who was eventually substituted, and Mario Williams of Paradise, almost got into a fist exchange. Referee Springer quickly intervened and calmed the situation though.
Lawrence, in the 67th minute, gave Wales their second goal when he made sufficient contact with his right leg to nudge one past keeper Boxill. Paradise eventually earned themselves a penalty when Rakim Lashley dribbled two defenders before being brought down inside the 18-yard box. Lashley’s cousin Armando took the shot and scored what was his tenth goal of the season in the 87th minute.
That performance has now placed the men from Carrington Village in the driver’s seat on 37 points having played 16 matches, won 11, drawn four, lost one, with 41 goals for, 13 against and a goal difference of 28 with two games remaining.
Three points now separate Wales from Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme in second position on a total of 34 points, having played the same amount of games . The soldiers have won ten, drawn four, lost two, 43 goals for, 19 against and a goal difference of 24.
Going into yesterday’s match-up third-placed Rendezvous were on 33 points and a win would have pushed them into second or first position but instead they were held to that disappointing draw and will most likely finish the season in third having won ten, drawn four, lost two with 42 goals for, 24 against and a goal difference of 18 with two more matches remaining.
None of the other teams in the league have more than 26 points and that means the top three teams can breathe easily. The closest to those three are Notre Dame in fourth position on 25 points and they too have two more games in hand but would not be much of a threat. Meanwhile, former champions University of the West Indies Cave Hill Blackbirds and Paradise are in fifth and sixth position respectively.
Home Improvement and Hardware Supplies Waterford Compton, facing relegation in ninth place, registered a much needed 3-1 victory over Ellerton Football Club. Scoring for Compton were Zinio Harris in the 21st minute, Kishmar Wade in the 45th and Marlon Headley in the 84th. Shaquan Clarke netted the lone goal for Ellerton in the 58th.