National Sports Council moved three points clear at the top of the Women’s Premier League with a comfortable 3-1 victory over archrivals Mavericks last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
Mavericks’ boss Thomas Jordan made four changes to the side that mauled newcomers Crane and Equipment Ellerton – who are finding life in the top flight difficult – 12-0 in Sunday’s tripleheader.
Ahead of the last night’s much-anticipated derby, both teams had a perfect start to the league, with Sports Council’s goalkeeper Breanna Atherley yet to concede a goal for the season.
Mavericks were caught sleeping against the run of play. They had hardly settled or had a portion of possession before excellent passing caused Kimberley Ellis to be in all sorts of space down the left wing. Ellis then composed herself and eluded the keeper with a decent effort to make the score 1-0.
Last night’s was a clash that saw a number of Barbados’ national female players lining up against each other, with not only points but bragging rights up for grabs.
Although a goal down, Mavericks showed why prior to kick-off they were breathing down the necks of their opponents with only goal difference separating the two at that point.
Felicia Jarvis who bagged a beaver-trick last time out, had a much more difficult night as she tried to create goal-scoring opportunities for her side against a well-disciplined NSC defence led by Kerry Bascombe, Oliana Bishop and Fabiana Walthrust.
Mavericks came close to equalizing mid-way through the first half when centre-back Shaunte Carrington rattled the frame of the goal bars with a free-kick from 25 yards.
At this point momentum changed, and Mavericks were asking all the questions as an excellent move by Jarvis and strike partner Cheyanna Burnett resulted in two corner kicks in quick succession in which Mavericks came very close.
After breaking the deadlock early on, Sports Council seemed far from finished and after a balanced spell from both sides, they went in search of a two-goal lead which would have given them a cushion but the score remained the same at the half.
When both teams emerged for the second forty-five, it was almost the exact same start to the first half for Sports Council. Quick passing in the centre of the field gave Stevenson the licence to run at players out wide.
She then delivered a telling cross into the box which was begging to be tapped home, but unfortunately, none of her team-mates approaching the box could latch onto the inviting ball.
NSC had another opportunity go a-begging, and fans started to feel like those changes would come back to haunt them in the latter stages of the match.
Sports Council were determined to get a second goal to double their advantage and Mavericks made them wait up until the 68th minute.
NSC playmaker Shante Padmore eased past another of the defenders on her way to the Mavericks’ goal and then laid off a past to Patrina “Pixie” Brathwaite who shifted the on-coming defender and whistled a right foot finish into the bottom left-hand corner beating the custodian Shai Carrington.
After conceding a second goal the Mavericks team collapsed again two minutes later where a quick counterattack in which Padmore was involved again, led to Ellis scoring her second on the night and Sports Council’s third when she converted a one and one chance.
Mavericks would get a consolation goal through Jarvis but the damage was already done as the match finished in favour of National Sports Council.