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Rego double ends BAA unbeaten run

Photograph by Blaire SimmonsDouble salvo: Nathan Rego struck twice in Somerset Eagles’ 3-2 win over BAA Wanderers at Somerset Cricket Club in the First Division. Report, page 35

Somerset Eagles 3 BAA 2

Three days after handing First Division leaders Young Men’s Social Club their first loss of the season, Somerset Eagles ended BAA Wanderers’ unbeaten 17-game run going back to last November.

Ironically, it was against Eagles, coach Kenny Thompson’s former team, that BAA began their unbeaten run when they defeated them 2-0 on November 23 to pick up their first win of last season.

Hoping to extend that impressive record, BAA were undone by two first-half goals by impressive striker Nathan Rego — who also scored twice against YMSC at the weekend — and a late header by Davin Riley-Clarke as Thompson was left fuming over a couple of refereeing decisions.

One was a handball appeal against Cardel Henry that was not given as Rego followed up to score his second goal just before the interval.

BAA were then reduced to ten men in the 77th minute when Morricko Iris was sent off for a second booking, a handball when he jumped to block a free kick by Eagles near the halfway line.

The referee’s assistant flagged, spoke to referee Tracy Adams and Iris was shown a second yellow, which left BAA fuming. Eagles scored what turned out to be their winner five minutes later from a corner.

BAA had the worst possible start when Rego scored after just 84 seconds, following up on his block to goalkeeper Eunico Trott’s ’s clearance to score from a sharp angle as the ball was rolling past the post.

“We were down at the very beginning because of a mistake at the back which put us on the back foot,” Thompson said.

“However, we did very well to come back into the game and deserved to equalise.

“Then, right after that Eagles took advantage of what was to everybody a clear handball which should have resulted in a free kick for us and it wasn’t called by the referee.

“Again we were on the back foot at the start of the second half and responded very well and deservedly equalised again.

“Then, what I can only describe as a phantom call, the assistant referee found it necessary to flag for a handball on our player from a free kick for what I can only describe as akin to an edge in cricket and certainly not deliberate.

“After the match the referee said to me that he didn’t see a handball, so we’re disappointed in this case and two important calls went against us and hurt us.”

Rego’s pace was causing the BAA defence some problems early in the match as the game was played at a fast pace.

BAA levelled the score in the 42nd minute when a long ball upfield sent Laquan Thomas through and he used his pace to get away from the defence before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of Gladwin Lambert’s goal, a finish of real quality.

However, BAA were trailing again two minutes later when Henry challenged the defence and appeared to handle the ball before it broke free to Rego who side-footed into the far corner.

BAA had an effort ruled out for offside in the 61st minute when Jamin Lottimore found the net, but they did equalise three minutes later when the ball struck the hand of Lorenzo Burch as he tried to boot the ball clear from the corner of the box.

Zeon Robinson, the captain, converted the resulting penalty to make it 2-2.

Just when it seemed the teams would share the points, Riley-Clarke headed home at the near post from a Henry corner to put Eagles back in front with eight minutes to go.

“We just have to pick ourselves up and fight in the next match,” said Thompson after his team’s first league defeat in a year.

“I’m a football professional, I did work at Eagles and now I’m doing work at BAA so it doesn’t matter to lose to Eagles or anyone else, it feels the same.

“With regards to the unbeaten record it stood at 17 and that’s a good run, but 13 of those matches came last season and last season is over. We’re more disappointed because there were some decisions that were made that clearly went against us.”

Eagles climbed up to third in the standings with their third win of the season and look to be a team to take seriously in the promotion race.

“I thought the guys came out and played well tonight, they wanted to win,” Roger Lee, the Eagles assistant coach, said. “Against BAA over the past few years we have dropped points so this was a good win for the guys.

“It is our hope every season that we can contend for promotion, we’ve been finishing mid-table for a few years and this may be the year that we may be able to contend. I thought this performance was as good as it was on Sunday. It was a good game of football, BAA are a good team and didn’t go down easily.”

In the nightcap, Flanagan’s Onions edged out Paget Lions 3-2 to climb to second in the table. Corey Davis gave Onions the lead in the 29th minute before Paget equalised in the 61st when Damon Morris converted.

Two goals by Treshun Smith in the 69th and 76th minutes cushioned the Onions lead at 3-1, but Paget battled to the end and pulled another goal back in the 82nd minute when Kushae Hypolite scored.


Somerset Eagles (4-5-1): G Lambert — R Quinn (sub: J Simmons, 70 min), L Burch, G Smith, K Evans (sub: K Harrison, 54) — K Fray, C Henry, D Riley-Clarke, W Tucker, A Telford (sub: J Santos, 75) — N Rego. Substitutes not used: D Chin, R Trott, K Fox, A Furbert, R Seaman, A Wilkinson. Booked: Fray.

BAA (4-4-2): E Trott — S Lambert, Z Robinson, N Richardson, E Heyliger (sub: J Thomas 86) — J Furbert, J Lottimore (sub: M Lampit, 62), D Brangman, T Tucker (sub: A Johnston, 71) — M Iris, L Thomas. Booked: Lambert. Substitutes not used: S Sanders, S Somner, S Thomas, K Brown. Sent off: Iris.

Referee: T Adams.