Onions out to end Rams’ Friendship stranglehold
North Village will put their three-year reign as champions on the line tonight at BAA Field when they take on Flanagan’s Onions in the second match of a Friendship Trophy double header at Goose Gosling Field.
And Village need only to remember their meeting with Onions on October 13 to know that their opponents shouldn’t be taken lightly. That night at BAA Field, Village were upset 1-0 as Onions continued their good start to the season with their third win in their first four matches.
Unfortunately for them, though, their scorer that day, Gavin Thomason, is out for several weeks after breaking a leg in last weekend’s win 3-2 over Somerset Trojans.
It will no doubt be a blow for Onions whose priority is to survive in their first season in the Premier Division. A good cup run will boost the team’s confidence ahead of the resumption of league play in January.
“The games will come fairly quickly following the latest win so we will try to keep the momentum going,” said coach Michael Ward.
“It gives a few guys on the fringe the chance to come in and shine.”
Ward expects Thomason to be out for about eight weeks, and Martel Laws, who is out with a serious knee injury, also faces a long period on the sideline.
Ward acknowledges there is still a lot to play for in the second half of the season for Onions who are seven points ahead of the drop zone. Overall, he is pleased with the team’s achievements in the first half of the campaign.
“The only game I think we deserved to lose was against Dandy Town, in the other games we showed what we can do apart from put the ball into the back of the net,” said the coach.
“We were able to do that on the weekend and hopefully we have found our scoring boots.”
Kevin Ronaldson netted twice in the Somerset match and will no doubt be one of the key players for Onions if they are to survive this season. He also netted twice in the season-opening 2-1 win over St George’s.
“He’s one of them but it’s not just about one guy,” Ward insists. “Last season when we were in the Shield we made it to the semi-final over Christmas and lost to X-Roads. We will be taking the game seriously and each game as it comes and hope to win each one of them.
“We respect every team we play against. They (Village) came second in the league last year. We played them once so we know what they’re about. They were the last team we beat, before the Trojans. We also know we’ve got the talent to beat them. It should be a good game.”
Tonight’s 7pm opener sees Robin Hood taking on PHC as former PHC pair, coach Kyle Lightbourne and striker Antwan Russell look for victory against their former team.
The winner of the Hood/PHC match will take on Devonshire Cougars in the semi-finals next Tuesday while Flanagan’s or Village meet Somerset in another quarter-final on Sunday at Bernard Park.