Social Club and X-Roads near promised land
Young Men's Social Club are one win away from ending a 37-year wait to return to the Premier Division, with X-Roads set to create history by clinching the other promotion spot.
Last weekend's results, which saw X-Roads beat BAA and St David's draw with Southampton Rangers, has left X-Roads and Social Club needing one more victory to secure promotion.
Social Club meet Wolves at Devonshire Recreation Club on Sunday where even a draw will be enough provided X-Roads beat St David's, the only other team in contention, at Garrison Field. Social Club have 36 points and X-Roads 34, while third-placed St David's will only be able to finish on 36 points — even with a game in hand — if they lose on Sunday.
Social Club, the unbeaten First Division leaders, lost their top-flight status in 1980. They have been riding their luck lately with late goals, including strikes from Saki Tuzo in matches against X-Roads and Paget Lions.
“It's just a matter of fighting to the end, we've been working with our boys to stay in games for 90 minutes and I think that's important,” Quincy Paynter, the team's coach, said.
Wolves, who lost to winless Ireland Rangers last weekend, have failed to live up to their early season hopes of being in the running.
X-Roads have managed to be the second most consistent team and are set to get their just rewards, a first promotion to the top flight after only joining the league in 2004.
X-Roads are the top scorers with 42 goals in 14 league matches and should be favoured over a St David's team that will be missing Andrew Paynter and Dmetri Butterfield after their red cards against Southampton Rangers last weekend.
St George's host Southampton Rangers at Wellington Oval while Paget meet BAA at Southampton Oval, and Ireland Rangers host Hamilton Parish in a battle of the bottom two teams.
Devonshire Colts are facing relegation with only four games remaining and still seven points from safety. They are away to Devonshire Cougars knowing that another loss could seal their fate.
Colts have been hampered with injuries, particularly in the second half of the season, to key players with defender Matteo Isaac to sit out a one-game suspension after being sent off last weekend in the 6-0 loss to Robin Hood, a side chasing a first Premier Division title.
Shannon Burchall and Shakir Smith both netted twice last weekend to lead Hood to their tenth league win of the season and set up an intriguing top-of-the-table clash with leaders PHC Zebras tomorrow night at Goose Gosling Field as Smith goes up against his former team-mates.
Dandy Town's revival has been timely, climbing up to seventh after going unbeaten in their last four league games.
The champions play host to North Village at St John's Field with much at stake for both sides, with the Rams looking to bounce back after a 2-0 setback away to Somerset Trojans last weekend, which knocked them off the top spot.
Somerset Eagles travel to Goose Gosling Field to meet Flanagan's Onions in a relegation battle.
Eagles are only a point ahead of Onions in the second relegation position. Mid-table sides Boulevard and Trojans meet at Police Field.