Rangers hope for another visit from Lady Luck’
Will it be third time lucky or has luck finally run out for Premier Division side Southampton Rangers in the fight for survival?
Rangers face Hamilton Parish, who have already been relegated, in a bottom-of-the-table match on Sunday at Southampton Oval knowing that they need wins from their final two matches to have any chance of avoiding the drop.
In the last two seasons they pulled off the great escape, winning their final game in 2013-14 against Somerset Trojans to finish ahead of St David’s and Wolves to maintain their top-flight status.
Last season they survived again when, with their season already completed, Robin Hood defeated St George’s in the last game to send the East Enders down.
This season has also seen Rangers struggle throughout the season, winning just two of their six league games.
Rangers are the draw specialists in the league, with eight stalemates, including their last four matches against Somerset, Dandy Town, North Village and Devonshire Colts.
However, another draw against Parish will seal their fate as they would still be three points behind Devonshire Colts, with one game remaining and with an inferior goal difference.
With the league and promotion issues settled, the fight to avoid the last relegation spot is all that is left to be determined.
A Rangers win would make things very interesting going into the final weekend of matches when they host neighbours PHC Zebras while Colts meet Boulevard at Police Field.
Trojans, last season’s champions, are still not yet in the clear, although a point against Hood will ensure their safety.
Rangers would then only be able to finish level on points with Somerset who have a far superior goal difference, minus eight compared to minus 20 for Rangers. Colts are minus ten.
Only two Premier Division matches are scheduled for Sunday, after three matches were rearranged because of Bermuda’s Caribbean Cup first-round qualifiers against French Guiana on Saturday at the National Stadium.
Devonshire Cougars and Boulevard, two teams that made a dramatic climb up the table in the second half of the campaign, meet at Devonshire Recreation Club where victory for Boulevard would lift them into third place.
Cougars are three points and one spot behind Boulevard, but can play without the threat of relegation.
Cougars lost their last two matches against Hood and PHC but prior to that won five games on the trot to climb away from the relegation zone.
Boulevard have lost only once in their last ten matches. Much of the revival has been down to Ian Coke’s ten goals this season after returning from injury while Tiae-Vince Douglas has weighed in with seven in 14 games.
The final round of First Division matches will be played on Sunday, with promoted pair Flanagan’s Onions and Somerset Eagles battling for top spot.
Last weekend’s draw between the two teams left them separated by one point and it will come down to their final matches. Onions take on unpredictable St David’s at Lord’s while Eagles face Wolves at Devonshire Recreation Club.
In the other matches, Young Men’s Social Club and BAA meet at PHC Field, bottom team Ireland Island Rangers host X-Roads and Paget Lions take on St George’s at PHC Field.
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