Parish,St David's clinch promotion
Hamilton Parish and St. David's both clinched the two promotion spots yesterday with a game to spare after BAA lost at home to Boulevard in their final match of the season.
Parish and BAA held a one-point lead over St. David's going into the weekend, but with only one match remaining for BAA, St. David's knew victories in their last two matches would clinched them a quick return to the top flight. As it was they beat Somerset Eagles 2-1 at St. John's Field while BAA went down 2-1 to Boulevard and Parish held off a challenge from X-Roads at Wellington to win 3-2.
After a scoreless first half, half time substitute Shakil Robinson netted in the 50th and 56th minutes to give St. David's a 2-0 lead before Eagles pulled a goal back through Tyone Fubler in the 79th minute. At the final whistle St. David's coach Kameron Fox was relieved to secure promotion after leading the division for most of the campaign. Fox concedes that the team will need to be strengthened for next season.
“I think we will have to get some more experience in the team,” said Fox. “I saw towards the end of the season where there was a lack of more mature players where we really weren't playing well and couldn't close out games. Truthfully, I'm glad we played away from home because at home we've not been doing too good, but the away results have really helped us. With Eagles you never know what they are going to bring.
“A lot of my players are still young so over the summer we can do a lot of work and get guys as ready as we possibly can. I'm just happy that we pulled it (promotion) off in the end. We will definitely have to pick up some qualify players who know how to play in the top division. We just have to make sure we don't give away points like we have been in this division.”
Fox dropped a controversial hint by suggesting that the BFA consider making it one division. “I think the league should be one league because the difference in the teams isn't too far and that will inspire players to want to play and beat the Villages and Dandy Towns and the Cougars because it is possible,” said the St. David's coach.
“If they open it up it will give everybody a chance to play in one division to experience it.”
BAA blew their final chance at promotion when they went down to Boulevard. Dunn-ya Taylor netted twice for Boulevard, in the 47th and 76th minutes to spoil their opponents' promotion aspirations as Ian Simmons put an effort wide of the open goal from an angle soon after Boulevard took the lead. Duante Taylor eventually pulled a goal back for BAA in the 85th minute but it was too late.
Hamilton Parish also almost stumbled near the finish line when X-Roads gave them a scare at Wellington Oval where they led 1-0 at the half before going 2-0 up within about 10 minutes of the second half. Parish then began their great fightback as substitute TiaVince Douglas set up the first goal by Donavan Thompson soon after coming on. He then scored the second himself to tie things up before top scorer Ian Coke netted the winner to seal promotion for the Shield champions.
Parish will replace their landlords, St. George's, in the top flight next season, three years after the teams also swopped divisions, with Parish going down and St. George's moving into the Premier Division.
“There is much excitement going on around the club right now,” said goalkeeper Nigel Burgess. “That was our main goal and everybody is really excited that we achieved that and now we're just looking forward to (winning) the league next weekend.
“And our youth teams won two age groups (under eight and under 14) in the Kappa Classic today and the 12 and under reached the semi-finals so we're starting from the bottom up.”
In other First Division matches, Devonshire Colts hammered Prospect 6-2 while Social Club got by Paget 4-1. King Somner opened the scoring for Social Club in the fourth minute before Charmari Burns added to the tally with goals in the 12th and 22nd minutes. Callon Burns made it 4-0 after 25 minutes before Quincy Simmons pulled a goal back for Paget on the hour.
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