Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame survived game one of two in the Barbados Football Association Premier League relegation battle with a 5-0 victory against Home Improvement Compton last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
The man who was named senior footballer of the year, Zeco Edmee, starred with a brace for Notre Dame along with teenage sensation Thierry Gale. Those two along with inspired plays by Tramaine Cobham in the midfield with a goal of his own in the 67th minute were more than enough to clinch game one.
The fifth-place teams in the two respective zones that consist of six teams each are required to play each other for a chance to stay alive in the premier league. And Notre Dame, one of the longest standing teams in premier league history, have had a decent football season in zone one with a total of 24 points heading into yesterday’s game.
In fact, Notre Dame are just two points behind fourth-place Empire Club [26 points] who barely wrestled themselves out of a relegation situation with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Ellerton Football Club last week Saturday. That then placed the Renaldo ‘Pee Wee’ Gilkes-coached Notre Dame side in that dire relegation situation against Compton in zone two.
St Leonard’s schoolboy and national Under-17 striker, Gale had the nets shaking as early as the ninth minute for Notre Dame. We are into the hurricane season and Gale was a real force for Notre Dame with his second goal of the night coming in the 75th period off a leading ball from none other than national forward Edmee. There was absolutely nothing that Compton’s goalkeeper Andre Gill could have done about that.
Compton’s backline had no strategy for Notre Dame in the final third, especially keeping the dangerman Edmee quiet. Edmee was responsible for producing goal number two for the Bayland Notre Dame side in the 55th minute for a 2-0 advantage. That goal was a skillful piece of play by Edmee who outpaced the two defenders en route to the 18-yard box where he took possession and finished with a beautifully executed header.
Then in the 86th minute, Edmee earned his brace thanks to a combination of passes. Gale ran the left flank, delivered an eight-yard pass to fellow national Under-17 teammate Andre Applewhaite who squared the ball to Edmee who had no problems finishing the job.
Each team in this year’s league has played a total of 16 matches and based on last night’s performance, Notre Dame look set to remain in top flight football and will finish behind the top four giants of zone one led by defending champions Weymouth Wales who are on 44 points with 14 wins, two draws, a goal difference of 44 having had 50 goals for and six against.
Paradise Football Club are in the second position on 32 points and Brittons Hill United Football Club are in third on 29 ahead of Empire 26, Notre Dame fifth on 24 and Silver Sands in sixth place with 11 points.
Wales will take on zone two leaders and former three-time champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme on 35 points to decide the league champions for 2018 this coming Sunday, July 8. The third-place game will feature the second place teams in both zones, Paradise will face University of the West Indies Blackbirds who are on 30 points.
Meanwhile, Ellerton and Porey Spring will finish third and fourth in zone two on 21 and nine points respectively. Compton are on their way out and Rendezvous at the bottom of zone two with minus five points have been relegated.