Jules’ brace floors Empire
by ANMAR GOODRIDGEBOYCE
NATIONAL CAPTAIN Rashad Jules scored on both sides of half-time to send the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) to the top of the Premier League on goal difference following a 2-0 victory over Empire at the Wildey Turf, St Michael, on Sunday night.
It was started in the 18th minute by promising full back Reshawn Kellman when he played a five-yard pass to Omani Leacock, who totally deceived Rico Brathwaite before sliding the ball into the path of Jules.
The in-form Jules, who has been in excellent form since returning after a groin injury, drilled a left-footed shot low and hard through the legs of Empire’s custodian Oba Tucker to give BDFSP the lead.
It seemed to be just the wakeup call the Bank Hill side needed in the top-of-table clash and they began to pass with more urgency and created goal-scoring opportunities in an effort to find the equaliser.
Empire had a great spell deep into the first half and should have pinned back one. Right back Renaldo Bignall found himself in an advanced position in the box and despite offside shouts from BDFSP players, the assistant referee’s flag stayed down, but Bignall sent the ball wide of Kishmar Primus’ goal bar. The Sports Programme took the 1-0 cushion into the break but one minute after referee Jamar Springer sounded his whistle to start the second period, Zacherie Browne, who replaced the injured Tucker, was picking the ball out of his net. Jules, the league’s top goal scorer with 12, dispossessed Brathwaite in the middle of the field, sped into the area and fired a beauty of a right-foot shot into the top corner, past a diving Browne.
The likes of Jabarry “Papi” Callender, Zinio Harris and junior national Abiola Grant struggled all night as the boys from Paragon remained stubborn at the back.
Substitute Rasheed Williams had a golden chance to add the final nail to Empire’s coffin but Browne stopped him from point blank range.
Following the match, there was a heated discussion on a touch line which resulted in a fight between a number of players, resulting in red cards shown to Harris, Omar Primus and Bignall of Empire and BDFSP’s Leacock and Akeem Hill.
In the nightcap fixture, Notre Dame came from a goal behind to stun champions Weymouth Wales 2-1.
Arantees Lawrence broke the deadlock for the reigning champions five minutes before half-time. Winger Hadan Holligan delivered a teasing free kick into the box that was partially cleared. However, after the ball was floated back across the area, Lawrence scored with a diving header.
Down at half-time, the Dames downflipped the script. Zeco Edmee went down the wing and played a ball along the carpet for the unmarked Azarel Croney to slot home from close range to level the score at 1-1.
Veteran former national player John Hawkesworth then produced a moment of magic in the 68th minute to secure the victory for Dames when he curled a free kick from 35 yards past Eastmond.
In the first game, UWI Blackbirds and Brittons Hill played to a 2-2 draw. Omar Archer and Jermaine Forde scored for Brittons Hill while Shamari Mark and Mario Harte were on target for the Blackbirds.
NOTRE DAMES’ Dwayne Mars shielding the ball from Wales’ Duwayne Peters.
Below, BDFSP’s captain Rashad Jules was also on the receiving end of some tough tackles.
(Pictures by Jameel Springer)