Nation e-Edition

Bajan Pride on the rocks

Bajan Pride on the rocks First half goal scorer Chai Lloyd (right), of Bajan Elite, and Top Bay Settlers’ Paul Straughn chasing a ball. Bajan (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)

By RANDY BENNETT | Tue, October 23, 2012 - 12:04 AM

TIGER MALT BAJAN PRIDE are on the verge of being eliminated from the LIME Pelican Football Challenge.

The defending champions were held to a 0-0 draw by Akademiks in their crucial Zone A encounter Sunday night, leaving them bottom of the table with just one more game remaining.

With only four points from their four games, Bajan Pride find themselves in sixth position, with Akademiks currently atop the group on seven points and Kick LG Strike Force, Emmerson Boyce/5th Avenue Bajan Elite, Top Bay Settlers and Broad Street Men’s and Women’s Red Tridents all tied on six points each.

It means that anything short of a win in their last match against Top Bay Settlers on Sunday would see Bajan Pride crashing out of the competition.

They will no doubt be kicking themselves after wasting a golden opportunity to pick up valuable points against Akademiks despite several chances to score.

Mario Harte was his usual threatening self for the Pine-based Akademiks, forcing Bajan Pride’s keeper Morrison Taylor into two good saves early on.

Jadai Clarke then wasted Bajan Pride’s first good opportunity when his shot was saved by an advancing Romayne Primus after being played through one-on-one.

Jemel Pinder followed suit soon after, blasting over the bars from ten yards out, with none but Primus to beat.

The second half was all Bajan Pride as they poured forward searching for that all important goal, with Akademiks contented just to sit back and defend.

Shane Harewood’s threatening cross was pushed wide by Pinder, before Shane Harewood joined in on the missing spree, misdirecting his attempted right-foot shot.

Against the run of play, Akademiks almost made them pay when Akeem Maloney drilled his 20-yard effort on to the underside of the bar, only to watch it rebound back into play with Taylor beaten.

Substitute Walton Burrowes couldn’t get his outstretched foot to the ball with the goal wide open, and Stefan Bowen skied his shot when he really should have done better.

Two more muffed chances from Carlo Perry and Burrowes summed up Bajan Pride’s miserable night, with Akademiks requiring just a draw in their final match against Red Tridents to advance.

In the night’s second match, spectators were treated to two brilliant goals as Nulook 360 Connection defeated TS Strikers 2-1 to move to seven points, the same as their defeated opponents and UFO Toyota Firehouse who have played one game less.

Shawn King produced the goal of the tournament so far to put his side ahead in the 39th minute when he hammered home from 30 yards after an attempted clearance from a corner.

His powerful shot left TS Striker’s keeper Andre Small a mere spectator, as he could only watch in amazement while the ball cannoned into the back of the nets.

In the second half, it took two brilliant saves to deny King from getting on the scoresheet again, with Small first brilliantly stopping his thunderous shot from just outside the penalty area, before turning back his second effort after the ball rebounded into his path.

Another brilliant goal saw TS Strikers draw level, with Jamal Chandler’s spectacular bicycle kick beating a diving Kerry Holder to make it 1-1 in the 73rd minute.

But Dwayne Stanford’s clinical finish in the 81st proved decisive. The diminutive striker was given too much space, and after controlling the ball on his chest, blasted past Small at the near post.

Earlier, Chai Lloyd’s 30th minute strike and Devaughn Elliot’s goal in the 78th gave Bajan Elite a 2-0 victory over Top Bay Settlers to set up a thrilling finish in Zone A in next week’s final matches.

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