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League rivalries reignited after winter break

Goal hungry: Donavan Thompson has been in a rich vein of goal scoring form this season. (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

The second half of the 2018-19 Bermuda Football Association season swings into action today with plenty at stake at either end of both divisions.

Premier Division action takes centre stage at Somerset Cricket Club tonight when relegation-threatened Somerset Trojans host high-flying X-Roads, beginning at 8pm.

A victory for X-Roads, one of the big success stories during the first half of the season, would result in them joining leaders PHC on 22 points.

The Trojans are still looking for their first league win of the campaign and can ill afford to come away empty-handed if they are to make up precious ground and steer clear of the drop zone.

Tomorrow in the Premier Division, lowly Devonshire Cougars host second-placed Robin Hood at Devonshire Recreation Club.

There is plenty at stake for both sides, with Hood keen to leapfrog PHC into first place while Cougars will be looking to distance themselves from the dreaded drop zone.

Likewise, Paget Lions and North Village will both be looking to move farther away from the relegation zone when they do battle at Southampton Oval.

Eighth-placed Lions are tlevel on points with second-from bottom Cougars and one behind sixth-placed Village going into the clash.

The remaining top-flight fixture will pit Dandy Town against close rivals BAA at St John’s Field.

Town will be keen to bounce back from a 5-2 Friendship Trophy final defeat by PHC at Somerset Cricket Club on New Year’s Day but will have their work cut out against a BAA side who have held their own.

All of tomorrow’s Premier Division fixtures kick off at 3pm.

Leaders PHC were scheduled to play Boulevard at Lord’s, St David’s but the game has been postponed.

The BFA confirmed that Boulevard had requested to have the match postponed in the wake of the recent shooting death of their goalkeeper, Ronniko Burchall, which occurred at the same venue.

Burchall, 30, was shot several times and seriously injured as he stood outside of a Christmas party at St David’s County Cricket Club in the early hours of last Saturday.

He was rushed to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, but died the next day.

Explaining the decision to postpone the encounter, Mark Wade, the Bermuda Football Association president, said,

“What we do is allow the clubs to consider their own circumstances and if they desire the games to be postponed, as long as they reach out to us in enough time, we certainly consider their request.

“They [Boulevard] reached out to us and, with all things considered, we agreed to postpone the match.”

“We certainly grieve with them [Boulevard] and we just hope that the club works through the grieving process,” Wade added.

“It’s something that has shaken us all and we will try and work along with the club and help them to move forward.

“Right now, it’s about healing the community and club, it’s just tragic.”

Meanwhile, there are two First Division matches being played today with Vasco hosting Devonshire Colts at Bernard Park and promotion contenders Hamilton Parish doing battle with Wolves at Wellington Oval.

Parish will be keen to secure maximum points and leap frog idle Somerset Eagles, who have a bye this weekend, into second place. Both matches kick off at 3pm.

First Division action then concludes tomorrow with the remaining round of fixtures taking place across the island.

Unbeaten leaders Southampton Rangers host basement-boys Ireland Rangers at Southampton Oval.

Jomar Wilkinson’s team hasve plenty of momentum heading into the game having successfully defended the First Division Shield after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Parish at Somerset Cricket Club on New Year’s Day.

St George’s Colts host Flanagan’s Onions at Wellington Oval while St David’s welcome Young Men’s Social Club to Lord’s.

All First Division matches tomorrow kick off at 12.30pm.