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Full points to Bajan Pride

Renaldo Gilkes

Full points to Bajan Pride

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Bajan?Pride are on course to the next round of the LIME?Pelican Football Challenge. 
Following their second consecutive 2-0 victory on Sunday night at the National Stadium against Red Snappers, they became the first team to earn six points.
In other Group A matches, Barbados Steel Works Esso Oistins Top Bay Settlers came from behind to edge LG Kick Strike Force 3-2 and in the opening game, TS Strikers prevailed 1-0 over champions Akademiks.
Akademiks’ winless streak continued as a 27th minute strike from Rico Baptiste was all it took for TS Strikers to earn their first win of the 2013 campaign. Akademiks now find themselves in the cellar of the standings, with two losses from two matches.
Top Bay made amends for their dismal display a fortnight ago by coming from behind to defeat Strike Force. Strike Force took the lead in the second minute, when Hadon Holligan ran on to a pass from midfield to slide his shot under the body of Bernard Howell in goal.
The score remained 1-0 into the interval and the break was seemingly what Top Bay needed.
In the 51st minute, Mustafa Haqq benefited from some slack defending. He cut in off the left and what seemed like a timid effort sneaked past the right hand of Strike Force captain and goalkeeper Kareem Farrell.
Haqq doubled his tally in the 59th minute with a more convincing strike. There was a melee in the area following a long throw by Edwin Brereton and the ball eventually fell to Haqq, who unleashed a ferocious left-foot shot into the far corner.
Things soon got worse for Strike Force as they went down 1-3 in the 63rd minute. Barbados Defence Force midfielder Raheim Sargeant found some space to shoot just outside the area and somehow the ball seemed to beat the grasp of Farrell.
Strike Force received a glimmer of hope when Rudy Grosvenor nodded in a corner in the 90th minute, but it was too little too late as Top Bay joined TS Strikers and Strike Force on three points.
Another LIME Pelican debutant was the hero for Bajan Pride.
Starting in an unfamiliar attacking midfield position, Anderson “Poompit” Grannum repaid the coach’s confidence with a 31st minute goal. Forward Imron Ponteen drove into the box with pace and strength, but he was dispossessed only for the ball to fall to Grannum, who shot home with aplomb from inside the area.
Red Snappers never looked threatening and gave away ball possession needlessly and easily, which allowed Bajan Pride to experiment in their build-up and at some times carve open the Snappers’ defence.
Last game hero Jomo Harewood should have scored a hat-trick but uncharacteristically he skewed many of his efforts and kept the Snappers in the game.
Things went further downhill for the Snappers as their talisman Rashad Jules had to be substituted due to injury. This took away the creative spark and energy that was needed to get them back in the game.
Bajan Pride sealed the deal in the 90th minute, when former youth national player Carlo Perry sprinted on to a through ball and tucked his effort easily beyond Snappers’ custodian Tazeio Riley.