After weeks of refurbishment, the Barbados Football Association finally reopened its gates at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf to spectators who were accommodated in well-lit surroundings and comfortable seating while being treated to a triple-header Sunday night.
Before a modest crowd, defending champions Weymouth Wales, Crane and Equipment Ellerton and Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme were all victorious in their respective match-ups to take away three points each along with Barbados $500 dollars respectively.
Wales made light work of Paradise with a convincing 3-0 victory compliments a goal each from midfielders Romario Harewood and Hadan Holligan along with another from the experienced Rashida Williams.
Harewood with that deadly left foot of his struck goal for Wales 12 minutes into the contest with a 25-yard shot from the right that left Paradise’s custodian Jason Boxill diving in vain to his right. Wales dominated the right side a lot and it didn’t take them long to add another, this time through Williams who took control of an aerial ball before hammering it past goalkeeper Boxill.
That gave the men in green a 2-0 advantage at half-time and they found another in the 62nd minute thanks to Holligan to comfortably secure the win.
The second matchup was a derby between 2015 league kings BDFSP and 2016 champions University of the West Indies Blackbirds.
The BDFSP held the majority of ball possession and had several goal scoring opportunities especially in the opening half but all went a-begging. Case in point in the first half when the soldiers won themselves a penalty taken by Raheim Sargeant from the 12-yard spot, and instead of putting it away, the national midfielder sent it straight into the waiting gloves of teenage goalkeeper Liam Brathwaite who must be commended for holding his nerves during the game having been let down on quite a few occasions by his defense.
The second period commenced and based on BDFSP assertiveness, it was just a matter of time before they eventually score and that they did with a lovely brace from striker Kyle Gibson in the 47th and 60th minutes respectively.
UWI led by leading striker Mario Harte failed to put away their chances and even though defender Tito Beckles did well to cover his goalkeeper Brathwaite at times, he did not get the kind of support required especially from fellow defender Mustafa Haqq who had a horrible night at the back.
In the opening game, Home and Improvement Hardware Waterford Compton lost 3-1 to Ellerton. Scoring for the St George side were Shaquan Clarke in the ninth minute, Zico Mascoll in the 75th and Shad Parris in the 83rd. Compton’s lone goal came off the boot of Kishmar Wade in the 71st minute.
As it stands, Wales are out front thus far with a commanding nine points in zone one having won their last three encounters. Similarly, former three-time kings, BDFSP are also ahead on nine points in zone two.