Hard work paid off for BAA, says Burgess
BAA 2 Southampton Rangers 4
BAA clinched the First Division title on goal difference despite slumping to defeat in their season finale against unbeaten Southampton Rangers in a six-goal thriller at Goose Gosling Field yesterday.
The home side went into the match having already secured promotion and all but clinched the title with a vastly superior goal difference than nearest rival Paget Lions.
But any hopes they might have had of ending the season on a winning note were cruelly dashed as Ezekiel Stoneham’s hat-trick completed an impressive comeback by Rangers.
Tyrell Burgess, the BAA captain, admitted that the defeat muted his team’s celebrations.
“No matter what sport it is, when you lose the last game it’s a bitter taste,” he said. “Some of the guys are not really celebrating.
“But regardless of the last game we got the job done and have worked hard for it.”
Burgess said his team were deserving of the title having put the hard work in on the training ground throughout the entire campaign.
“Nobody sees the hard work you put in training,” he added. “But then again you can train as hard as you can and don’t show up in the game and then all that hard work doesn’t mean nothing. So you have to win and that’s what got us where we are today. We worked hard and got our reward.”
BAA gained promotion to the Premier Division exactly ten-years after rejoining the Bermuda Football Association.
The club disbanded at the end of the 1996-97 season after finishing second from the bottom of the old Second Division before rejoining the BFA after an 11-year hiatus in 2007-08.
BAA clinched the first promotion spot with a convincing 5-2 victory away to Somerset Eagles on March 18.
They last played in the top flight during the 1994-95 season.
Rangers needed to win at all costs and rely on Paget to slip up against lowly Ireland Rangers to clinch promotion.
The visitors dominated the early exchanges and took a deserved lead when Khalil Symonds, the midfielder, lobbed Daniel Johnson, the BAA goalkeeper, from an angle.
BAA were forced to make an unscheduled change after Erik Corriea fell ill and was replaced by Marcus Brangman.
But it might have been a blessing in disguise as Brangman injected life into BAA’s attack while Bascome dropped back into midfield and started wreaking havoc with his creativity and physical presence.
BAA enjoyed a good spell during the latter stages of the opening stanza and were gifted an equaliser after Ajai Daniels, the Rangers goalkeeper, miskicked Darius Cox’s back-pass.
The hosts started the second half in search of more goals and their aggressive approach paid off when Bascome put them in front for the first time with a neat finish after exchanging passes with fellow midfielder London Roberts.
But that was as good as it got for BAA as Stoneham rolled up his sleeves and turned the game on its head with three unanswered goals inside of 22 minutes.
The Rangers talisman grabbed an equaliser when he poked in Donte Brangman’s pullback and then gave his team the lead for good after Quadir Maynard’s blast deflected off his body and into the net.
Stoneham then completed his treble with virtually the last kick of the game with a sublime lob over Johnson after intercepting a headed back pass.
Cox (og) 45, Bascome 53
Symonds 21, Stoneham 68, 85, 90
BAA (4-5-1): D Johnson — A Darrell, S Somner, Z Robinson, Q Lema — E Correia (sub: M Brangman, 26), T Burgess,
L Roberts, M Iris, L Thomas — D Bascome (sub: D Wellman, 80). Substitutes not used: S Thomas, E Vieira, A Carvelho, R Saggar. Booked: Burgess.
Southampton Rangers (4-5-1): A Daniels — M Tankard, D Cox, R Sampson, K Harrison — I Taylor, Q Maynard, D Brangman, E Stoneham,
K Symonds (sub: J Hill, 60) — S Coddington-Burchall (sub: K Durrant, 78). Substitutes not used: D Steede, N Mello, L Simons.
Referee: C Trott
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