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Spoilt night for champs Pinelands


RANDY BENNETT

Spoilt night for champs Pinelands

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PINELANDS’ planned celebration of the capture of the Barbados Football Association Division 1 title didn’t quite materialize on Wednesday night.
What was supposed to be a night of triumph for the men from The Pine after securing the Division 1 title and gaining promotion back to the Premier League, ended up being one of disappointment. Several of their players were red-carded and their last game against Maxwell at Wotton was abandoned after a dispute threatened to escalate into a brawl.
With Pinelands already assured of the Cup, having tallied an unassailable 44 points, the night’s main focus was supposed to be on their celebrations at the end of the match, complete with champagne and all.
Instead, referee Royon Small was forced to blow off the match after several Pineland players responded aggressively to his decision to send off their colleagues.
The incident occurred midway through the second half, with Pinelands leading 1-0 courtesy of a first half header from Dario Nurse.
It will now be up to the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) tournament committee to decide the outcome of the match.
For Pinelands’ coach Christopher King, it was a disappointing end to a season in which his team had shown character to overcome several obstacles.
“It was a silly incident and I think it could have been controlled from earlier in the game, but the referee took too long to control the football,” King told WEEKENDSPORT after the incident.
“However I cannot condone the behaviour. I must admit that I didn’t actually see how it happened because I was looking away, but I think it could have been avoided.”
King, who was actually a player at the beginning of the season before taking up the position as coach, said that despite the incident, the team was happy about returning to the Premier League after being demoted last year.
“This season was a rush, rush season. I started as a player and had to give it up to become the coach because nothing wasn’t going on, and we lost our first two games.
“So right now I am grateful that we are back in the Premier League. What happened here is a down, but still a high, because we are back in the Premier League,” King said.
Silver Sands will also be returning to the Premier League after thrashing Bagatelle 6-2 on their home field.
The result means that Silver Sands, who last played top flight football four seasons ago, moved to 42 points in second position behind Pinelands and ended the promotion hopes of third-placed Bagatelle (39).
In other news, Kick Start beat previous promotion contenders UWI 2-1 to save their Division 1 status. Ellerton also ensured they would avoid relegation with a 2-0 victory over Carlton. They both ended on 24 points.
With Benfica (13) already assured of demotion, Carlton (19) and Maxwell (21) are left to see who will be the second team to be relegated to Division 2 next season.
Clarke’s Hill and Empire played to a goalless draw at Hilda Skeene, ending the latter’s faint promotion hopes.

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