Tricky triple at Oval
By Ezra Stuart | Sun, September 30, 2012 - 12:03 AM
A tantalizing and tricky triple-header awaits fans when the 2012 LIME Pelican Football Challenge resumes today at Kensington Oval.
In the opening encounter at 5 p.m., injury-hit Broad Street Men And Women Red Tridents oppose inaugural champions, Tiger Malt Bajan Pride.
This will be followed by a showdown between the youthful Emmerson Boyce 5th Avenue Bajan Elite and early favourites, Akademiks at 7 p.m.
The feature match at 9 p.m. will see Phoenix UFO Toyota Fire House clashing with last year’s runners-up, Nulook 360 Connection.
The one-week break would have been welcomed by Red Tridents, who were not only trounced 4-1 by Indar Weir/Barbados Steel Works Top Bay Settlers in their opening encounter, but suffered injuries to key players, defender Rommel Burgess, striker Riviere Williams and midfielder Kadeem Atkins.
Midfielder Curtis Odle also missed the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Cup through injury and if all four of them are unable to play, Bajan Pride, who defeated Bajan Elite 1-0 in their first match, will be favoured to notch their second win but must also guard against complacency.
A lot will therefore depend on former national defenders Omar Archer and Jonathan Straker as well as midfielder Dwayne “Boot” Grfiffth to lift the Tridents.
As usual, Julian Mottley and Shawn Clarke will marshal the defence of Bajan Pride, whose goalkeeper Morrison Taylor rolled back the years with a super display between the uprights in their opener, while Jabar “Buggy” Greene and Rondelle Vaughan will mastermind the midfield with Walton Burrowes and Zico Edmee leading the attack.
The middle match will see a massive clash involving several Barbados teammates as Mario Harte and his Akademiks’ striker partner Arantees Lawrence go up against goalkeeper Jason Boxill and sweeper Barry Skeete, who will be guiding the national under-20 footballers in the Bajan Elite side.
The BDF pair of striker Chai Lloyd and 20-year-old defender Zico Phillips as well as Youth Milan’s duo of Shane Hinds and Antonio Griffith and the skillful Jermaine Boyce, will complement talented youngsters such as Jomo Harris, Amal Mayers and Romario Harewood.
Harte could be tired after playing three tough internationals in the space of five days, so the likes of Neil Shepherd, Peter Stoute, Randy Burrowes, Damien Welch, Nicholas Best, Jason Goodridge and Lionel Paul, who missed Akademiks' opening game, would have to pick up the slack for the Pinelands-based outfit.
Akademiks have a well-balanced side and even without Jermaine Ceasar, serving a one-match suspension, Omar Primus, Andre Gibson, teenager Akeem Maloney, Jamar Thomas, Corey Taitt and Marlon Headley are all capable of protecting goalkeeper Romayne Primus.
Coach Kenville Layne and team strategist Ivan "Speed" Forde can also utilize the likes of Jason Goodridge, Chad Griffith, Kemal Thompson and Renaldo Bignall.
In the feature clash, Fire House will be going all out to defeat 360 Connection and atone for the disappointment of conceding a late goal which allowed Red Snappers to earn a 2-2 draw.
The experienced trio of former Barbados captain Norman Forde, Paul “Soup” Lovell and Nicholas “Alan” King will orchestrate Fire House’s plays with Dylan Marius playing the defensive midfield role.
They should have a compelling contest with veterans Anthony Cumberbatch and Luther Watson as well as national midfielder Malcolm Marshall.
Veteran Oscar Nero will need to tighten up in defence with the likes of Llewellyn Broomes, Rohan Hall and Timothy Walrond in protection of custodian Saheka “Rossi” Duke.
They will need to be at their best to keep out 360 Connection's dangerman Dwayne Stanford and his young partner Kyle Gibson.
The always threatening Ricky Barnes and teenager Shaquille Stewart will lead Fire House’s attack in penetrating a 360 Connection defence, minus regular sweeper Jomo Brathwaite, but Jason “Fowlie” Blackman could cause some problems for wing backs Troy Johnson and Nicolai Blenman.
A lot will therefore depend on Kevin Padmore and promising youngsters Zidkigah Samuel and Kemar Chase.
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