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Race for title nears conclusion

Still in the hunt: Hood can close the gap on Premier Division leaders Town with a victory at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Premier Division title race could become a two-team contest after this weekend.

Robin Hood have a good chance to briefly cut Dandy Town’s lead at the top to three points when they face struggling Devonshire Colts on Saturday night at Goose Gosling Field.

However, the lead would be back to six points if Town beat Southampton Rangers the next day, a result that would move Town to 34 points and mathematically eliminate the likes of PHC Zebras and defending champions Somerset Trojans from the race.

The most third-place Village can finish with is 35, but they will have to win their last five games, starting with a tricky away match at Boulevard Blazers on Sunday. PHC can finish with 33 points and Somerset 32 if they win their remaining games.

Trojans are in Haiti representing Bermuda in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championships as league champions, although by the time they play Devonshire Cougars on Monday night their chance of repeating as champions could be over.

Trojans are languishing near the relegation zone on 17 points, just six above second-from-bottom Southampton Rangers.

Exactly a year ago, Somerset were top of the league on 28 points and leading Town by seven points. That weekend they lost at home to Devonshire Cougars while Town beat Robin Hood by the same 2-1 scoreline to stay in the title race.

Town remain the favourites for an eighth league title after inconsistency by Village, PHC and Somerset has left Hood as Town’s main threat.

Hood have never won the league and the six-point gap may be too big for them to close, especially with Town playing Rangers, Boulevard and Trojans in their next three matches.

Hood play Colts, Cougars and Boulevard in their next three outings, by which time the league could have been settled.

Colts will not be easy opponents, however, as they are desperate for points to halt their slide down the table.

They are now just two points ahead of second-from-bottom Rangers after losing their last five matches.

Colts’ slump has coincided with a good run of results for both Cougars and Boulevard who have climbed away from the relegation zone.

Boulevard have picked up four wins and three draws in their last seven matches going back to November, while Cougars are unbeaten this year, winning their last four matches since losing to Hamilton Parish on December 20. Boulevard, whose change of form coincided with Ian Coke’s return from injury, are up to fourth in the table and Cougars sixth, although the points spread between fourth and eighth is only six.

Blazers meet North Village at Police Field on Sunday while PHC take on bottom team Hamilton Parish at PHC Field. Somerset are at home to Devonshire Cougars on Monday, the match rescheduled because of Somerset’s two CFU matches in Haiti against the Haitian and Guadeloupe league champions. Monday’s match, which starts at 8pm, will be their third in five days.

The First Division promotion race will be over soon if Somerset Eagles and Flanagan’s Onions continue on their good form.

Eagles and Onions lead third-place St David’s by seven points and with only four games remaining. The big match in that division will be Saturday’s clash between BAA and Onions at Goose Gosling Field where BAA, now ten points behind the top two, will be eliminated from the title race if they again fail to win.

BAA and St George’s fell off the pace last weekend when BAA went down to Eagles and St George’s drew with Young Men’s Social Club. Social Club are at home to Eagles on Sunday while St David’s host Paget Lions and St George’s meet X-Roads at Garrison Field. Ireland Island Rangers play Wolves in the other match.