Onions promoted after St David’s card fiasco

  • All dressed up, nowhere to go: St David’s players wait in vain to see if their cards would show up at White Hill Field for their crucial promotion match against Somerset Eagles (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    All dressed up, nowhere to go: St David’s players wait in vain to see if their cards would show up at White Hill Field for their crucial promotion match against Somerset Eagles (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Flanagan’s Onions have clinched promotion back to the Premier Division and Somerset Eagles need one more point to join them after being awarded a 3-0 win from their abandoned match with St David’s on Sunday.

The Bermuda Football Association confirmed yesterday that St David’s have forfeited the points after showing up at White Hill Field without player cards.

The loss of the points leaves St David’s on 28 points and unable to catch Onions or Eagles, who are on 36 and 35 points with only two games remaining. It means Onions have clinched the first promotion spot, while St David’s are eliminated from contention.

The BFA’s competitions committee deliberated yesterday over the reports and referred to Article 2(k) in announcing its decision: “In the event a membership organisation fails to keep its engagement, the Executive Council shall have the power to impose a fine, order the defaulting membership organisation to pay any expenses incurred or otherwise deal with them at their discretion.”

The committee opted not to impose a fine on St David’s, with the loss of the points consigning them to another season in the second tier of domestic football.

They were leading the tables when they suffered a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of St George’s on November 29, their first loss in the league.

“We were warmed up and ready to go,” said Roger Lee, the Eagles assistant coach, upon hearing that his team had been awarded the points. Then we were given the information that the match wouldn’t proceed because they didn’t have their cards. It was basically left it in the hands of the BFA to decide that we would get the points.

“It’s unfortunate it had to happen that way but those are the rules. Now we just have to look forward to the final two games of the season.

“Promotion was the main goal and the guys have been doing well throughout the season, working hard towards that. There were hiccups along the way, but that’s football. It’s how you come back from those hiccups that show if you really want to achieve something.

“It will be a good achievement for the players, the club and the community. We’ve had a lot of support from the community and we’re looking forward to getting into the top flight next season, if it all pans out that way. In two games we need one point; we have to get over the line.”

Lee revealed that Eagles’ top scorer, teenager Nathan Rego, is still recovering from a shoulder injury and would have missed the match, but it is hoped that he will be back for the match with Onions on March 19.

“He’ll get an additional week off,” Lee said. “The information we’re getting from the physio is he will probably be ready for the final two matches of the season, and we’re certainly looking forward to that.”

The Eagles match with Onions could decide the title. Onions all but booked their immediate return to the top flight with a come-from-behind win over X-Roads last weekend.

Eagles are six points ahead of St George’s and can only be passed by the East Enders on goal difference. Eagles would have to lose to Onions and Wolves, while St George’s need to beat St David’s and Paget, and overcome a seven-goal differential to Eagles.

Eagles were relegated at the end of the 2010-11 season, with Marlon Rojas, then in his first season as coach, vowing they would bounce back. He is within touching distance of achieving that goal.

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Published Mar 9, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 9, 2016 at 12:52 am)

Onions promoted after St David’s card fiasco

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