Barbados Soccer Academy’s Jamile Goodman (left) controlling the ball during their 4-0 win against St Andrew Lions. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
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One of Barbados’ most famous footballing schools will be making their maiden voyage in next season’s Barbados Football Association’s Premier League as undisputed champions of Division 1.
RBC Capital Markets Barbados Soccer Academy (BSA) further imposed their dominance of the division with a 4-0 demolition of St Andrew Lions on Saturday night at the Wildey AstroTurf.
Both teams gained automatic promotion to the top flight by virtue of winning their respective zones, but Durae Padmore’s brace helped BSA to the overall championship in the first ever play-off of its kind in the division.
“Every coach wants to win because he wants to show everyone what he is about. We were blessed to have six of St Lucia’s finest Under-21 players as well, so the aim is to remain united and, more importantly, stay in the league,” said an elated BSA coach Andrew Tudor, who also secured promotion for Empire Club in 2015, albeit for a one-season stay.
Confirming their homecoming to the big league after a five-year hiatus was Checker Hall-based Youth Milan, whose 1-1 draw on the night with Wotton secured a 3-2 aggregate win to nab the third and final promotion spot.
At the other end of the map and the tables, Parish Land bade farewell after their 4-3 second leg relegation play-off loss to Bagatelle, which contributed to their 7-3 aggregate defeat.
Both teams appeared jittery in the opening stages of the title clash, conceding possession easily and forcing numerous long passes, but it was BSA who claimed the first goal just before half-time.
Padmore reacted quickest off the mark to slam home a loose ball in the box in the 44th minute, changing the tone of coach Tudor’s half-time briefing.
BSA’s momentum extended into the second half and less than three minutes after the restart, Padmore snuck in again to double the score. Torian Went cleverly slid his free kick down the left channel for Jamile Goodman to deliver a wicked cross, which could only find an Academy boot.
Damar Maloney had the chance to kill the game from the penalty spot in the 90th minute and though his initial kick was saved by the goalkeeper, the rebound was far more successful.
With Lions effectively out of the contest, Edwin Adams delivered the champagne moment in the second minute of stoppage time to send his team up in a blaze of glory.
Youth Milan’s draw with Wotton was enough to reward them a place back in the top flight. Coach Norman Forde masterminded a 2-1 win in the first leg with goals from Marlon Greaves and Kemar Goddard. The latter opened the scoring in the fourth minute although Keion Harding equalised for Wotton four minutes later.
Bagatelle added to their thumping 3-0 win over Parish Land last Tuesday night with a slender 4-3 success, which staved off the drop and relegated Parish Land to Division 2 alongside Sunrise Ballers and L&R United.
Rodney Norville, Brian Clarke and Eran Pointee were on target for Bagatelle in Tuesday’s first leg. Shamari Stevenson extended the aggregate lead in the 13th minute before teammate Andre Clarke struck ten minutes later. Jaraad Bourne pulled one back for Parish Land in first half stoppage time and though Rico Browne gave further hope in the 66th, Brian Clarke spoiled the fun in the 73rd minute with his second strike of the tie.
Anderson Layne breached the Bagatelle defence in the 86th before Imron Pontene restored order for the leaders with the fourth in the 89th minute. (NM)