Much focus has been placed on the BFA’s Premier League competition this season, but the lower leagues have been nothing short of excitement during their match- ups.
In Division Three, newcomers Chickmont Football Club have captured the Gordon Douglas Zone to gain promotion to Division Two after their 14 matches. In their first season, they have amassed a total of 28 points from eight wins, four draws and only two losses. Eastern in one of their better seasons managed second place with 25 points and will have to try again next year.
In the Victor “Gas” Clarke Zone Barbados Fire Service lead Emmerton FC by three points with two rounds remaining. Fire Service are on 40 points from 13 wins and one draw and are yet to lose a game. They have been having a stellar season ahead of Emmerton FC who are on 37 points from 12 wins, one draw and one loss. Early front-runners Diamondshire, have faded into a distant third place at the start of the second round. They are on 26 points.
In Division two the northern youngsters Whitehall Titans were able to hold off a strong challenge from neighbours Checker Hall FC and Greens United to clinch the Edwin Harding Zone for a berth in Division One next season. This zone has seen several front-runners emerge throughout the competition with Green looking the most likely of the teams to advance. The Titans, however, held steady and with one round remaining have an unassailable lead on 31 points from 10 wins, one draw and two losses. Checker Hall and Greens are tied on 25 points both from eight wins, one draw and four losses.
Central League Spartans will join the Whitehall Titans in Division One next season after they recovered from a rocky start that saw them win one, draw one and lose one in their first three games of the campaign. After their only loss, they are yet to lose a game and have held off pressure from Caribbean United and Kick Start to claim the Lambert Thomas Zone. With one round to go Spartans are four points ahead of Caribbean United on 24 points with Kick Start on 19 points.
The all-out battle for the third Division One spot next season was settled at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf on Tuesday when Ivy Rovers came up against fellow front-runner Pinelands FC. Pineland came into the game trailing by two points and needed to win to overtake Ivy Rovers with one more round of games left. The game ended in a 1-1 draw and with Ivy Rovers fixed against Maxwell for their last game. This meant that they would gain three free points since Maxwell had withdrawn from the competition during the season. Ivy Rovers clinched the Gregory “Lalu” Goodridge Zone with 34 points from 11 wins, one draw and two losses. Pinelands and Benfica are on 29 from nine wins, two draws and two losses with one more round to play.
Barbados Soccer Academy are 12 points clear of Youth Milan and are poised to play Premier League next Season, having only been promoted to Division One in 2018. The Andrew Tudor-coached side were on a 10-game winning streak, only to be held by Deacons on Wednesday night in a 0-0 draw. So far, they have lost a single match on their way to their 40 points. A draw in their next fixture will ensure that they cannot be caught and secure the Zone Two Championship. Youth Milan on 28 points will have to see off a strong challenge from the Barbados Defence Force who are on 27 points if they are to secure one of two playoff spots.
In zone one, St. Andrew Lions have over-taken Wotton Football in a late surge for a Premier League spot next season. Lions’ last loss was six matches ago and with four more rounds to go Wotton FC will surely be piling on the pressure. They lead the pack on 28 points from eight wins, four draws and 3 losses while Wotton won six, drew seven and lost two on their way to 25 points. Potential Ballers are on a distant 20 points and can only hope to secure a playoff spot should Wotton foul-up.