The Barbados Football Association 2017 Digicel Premier League cheque has been signed with Neighbourhood Care Pharmaceutical Weymouth Wales’ name written on it.
Wales, the new titleholders and one of the island’s most popular clubs, were destined to lift the cup and needed just three match-winning points which they secured with a 1-0 victory over Rendezvous last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
This is now Wales’ first league title in five years having won in 2012 and it came through an own goal as early as the tenth minute when national forward Arantees Lawrence attacking from the right flank did well to outpace two defenders, squared inside the six yard box where a shot was taken but deflected off Rendezvous defender Roy Richards.
After celebrating his maiden league trophy as coach of Wales’ team, an elated David Ward toldBarbados TODAY the commitment of the players had been the glue that kept the Carrington Village men focused and determined.
He also attributed fitness and motivation to their overall success and yesterday was no different even though a few of their key players such as exciting national attacking midfielder, Romario Harewood along with Wales season captain Jabar ‘Buggy’ Green, were missing.
“We never really had any fears. Sometimes one player has a bad game, sometimes the team have a bad game but we came through that bad game against Notre Dame, we came back together, we pull through together and we worked hard. They [players] worked hard from the beginning and we have great depth and as I said there are no lesser players here, all of us are one, “ Ward said.
Wales had a perfect opportunity to increase their lead to 2-0 when Rendezvous captain Rashida Williams committed a foul that caused referee Adrian Skeete to blow his whistle while signalling the penalty spot. Lawrence was given the responsibility and made a mess of the shot by sending it flying wide of the target.
Omari Eastmond re-enacted what made him 2016’s best goalkeeper in the league with several magnificent saves that might be enough to earn him the trophy yet again this season.
Both teams are known for their attacking style of play especially Wales but with Rendezvous being under pressure to equalize they did not sit around. They had the opposition backline led by versatile national left back Tariq Highland along with Jamar Walters, Akeem Maloney and Stefan Cumberbatch quite busy.
Rendezvous played some lovely one-two touches but were either denied by Wales’ defenders or keeper Eastmond whenever they were en route to finishing the job. Midfielder Emerald George was one of the key players that kept pushing the accelerator for Rendezvous whenever an opportunity presented itself but he tried a bit too hard and was sent packing after receiving two yellow cards in the 27th and 83rd minute respectively. It was a numerical disadvantage Rendezvous could not afford and to make matters worse they were without the services of former Barbados number one goalkeeper Kerry Holder. He was replaced by coach Paul ‘Soup’ Lovell who must be commended for holding his own.
Wales, with one more match left to play before completing the season, lead the standings on 40 points having played 17, won 12, drawn four, lost one, with 42 goas for, 13 goals against and a goal difference of 29.
Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme [BDFSP] will need to win their final game against Brittons Hill in order to keep their hopes alive of finishing second after being held to a stalemate by Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame. The soldiers having played 17 games have won ten, drawn five, lost two with 43 goals for, 19 goals against and a goal difference of 24 for a total of 35 points.
Rendezvous also have played 17 games, won ten, drawn four, lost three, scored 42 goals, conceded 25, and with a goal difference of 17. They trail BDFSP by one point on 34 in third position.
The race is on for a fourth place finish between Notre Dame and Paradise. The men from Dover trounced Home and Improvement Hardware Waterford Compton 5-0 compliments a superb hattrick by Armando ‘Suga’ Lashley in the 25th, 31st and 44th minutes along with one goal each from Zico Phillips [18th] and Chai Lloyd [26th]. Paradise currently have the edge on 27 points in fourth position while Notre Dame are fifth on 26. Both sides have just one game left to complete in the season.
Things are about to get even more interesting at the bottom of the able as relegation threatened Waterford Compton on 11 points must win against the mighty Wales this coming Saturday but will also need to pray that BDFSP defeat Brittons Hill  on Sunday with the two teams in eight and ninth positions respectively and separated by one point. Belfield, in tenth position, are definitely on their way to being relegated but will seek to end their stint in the league on a winning note when they take on Ellerton Football Club tomorrow night and Paradise this Sunday at the AstroTurf.