Resurgent Town target second piece of silverware
Somerset Trojans will meet Robin Hood and Dandy Town will play PHC in the semi-finals of the Friendship Trophy next week.
Trojans, the defending champions, will travel to Wellington Oval for the first semi-final against Hood on Boxing Day while Dandy Town and PHC will play at Bernard Park the following day.
Town are slowly finding their rhythm after a slow start to the league campaign, hammering St George's 6-0 in the quarter-finals last weekend. They already have one cup in the bag, after beating Somerset in the Dudley Eve final in November, and are now two wins away from another trophy.
“They have the confidence, now they just have to play who's left [in the draw],” Wayne Campbell, the Town president and a member of the Town team when they won their first three Friendship titles in 1991, ‘94 and ‘95, said.
The club's last Friendship Trophy title was in 2003 when they beat Somerset Eagles in the final.
“Even getting to the final is not easy, so you have to take every game as it comes, and not all the time is it going to be pretty,” Campbell said. “With the club's form so far in cup games, we have as good a chance as everybody else.”
Last season Town were the Island's most successful team, winning the Digicel Premier Division, FA Cup and Dudley Eve competition. This season they have found the going tough in the league, while enjoying some cup success. “Compared to last year this is a younger team so we can't expect everything to be working at one time,” Campbell said. “It's going to take some time for things to gel a little bit, but slowly they [the team] are starting to gel.”
Somerset Eagles, the defending Shield champions, will meet Young Men's Social Club in the semi-final at Wellington Oval, while Devonshire Colts will play BAA in the other semi-final at Bernard Park. Colts lost in last year's final and then were just pipped by St George's for the second promotion spot. Promotion remains their priority Ray Jones, the club's president who was at yesterday's draw, said.
“Ultimately our goal is promotion and to stay active over Christmas is hopefully going to allow us to continue on in the second half,” he said.
“BAA have picked up some pretty impressive results recently and they have some of their college boys back which has helped boost their performances, so for the club it will be a good test to be pushed, but our main aim is to be promoted at the end of the season.”
Colts and Eagles could meet again in the final on New Year's Day. “If you look at last year's final I think we were probably overwhelming favourites based on the league standings at the halfway mark, but I've been around a long time and when it comes to cup finals there is no such thing as overwhelming favourites,” said Jones.
As an added feature to the Boxing Day matches, the Bermuda Football Association are planning to hold the draw for the first round of the FA Cup on the balcony of the St George's Cricket Club. FA Cup matches are scheduled for the weekend of January 17, 18.
“We scheduled the draw for the next round of the FA Cup for some time over the Christmas period, so we will do something different and have the draw on Boxing Day, either at half-time or before the Friendship semi-final match,” Shannon Burgess, the deputy chairman of the BFA competitions committee, said.
Somerset Trojans v Robin Hood (Wellington Oval, 2.30pm)
Dandy Town v PHC (Bernard Park, 2.30pm)
First Division Shield
Somerset Eagles v YMSC (Wellington Oval, 12pm)
Devonshire Colts v BAA (Bernard Park, 12pm).
PDL Festival Tournament
Semi-final matches to be played on December 28 at Goose Gosling Field at 12.45 and 3.15