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Busy weekend of league football coming up

Brandon O'Connor turns to celebrate after scoring the equaliser for Devonshire Colts against PHC last weekend. However, four goals in the second half sealed a comfortable 5-1 win for the Zebras. (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Boxing Day football matches usually attract some of the bigger crowds of the season, with college students back home, but games are likely to be low-key again this ‘Derby Weekend’ after Ernest Peets, the sports minister, announced tighter restrictions for sporting events.

Peets was speaking after a recent spike in Coronavirus cases this week forced government to look at stricter guidelines for gatherings like sporting events.

Spectators will now be required to have a negative antigen test before being allowed entry into sporting events.

“Antigen tests will be required for all previously approved events, as well as new applications,” Peets said this week.

“For sporting events, this means spectators must produce both a SafeKey and an antigen test.”

Up to press time, the BFA had not responded to requests for comments on the latest restrictions which are bound to impact crowds at football games, where the limit is 100 person.

Many fans could be refused entry to Sunday’s derby matches, a new feature in the schedule designed to create extra excitement as neighbouring Premier Division clubs play each other.

It was introduced last season and this year will make up the Boxing Day weekend fixtures on Sunday and Monday.

Sunday’s three matches will see Devonshire Colts playing Devonshire Cougars at Police Field, X-Roads hosting St George’s Colts at Garrison Field in the east end derby and Southampton Rangers at home to PHC.

PHC are fresh off a 5-1 win over Devonshire Colts to take over sole possession of second place, while Rangers are unbeaten in their last three matches, picking up a win and two draws to move off the foot of the table.

On Monday, Village can expect to have their hands full with an unbeaten Dandy Town side looking for an eighth straight win, as they make the short trip to Bernard Park.

The Rams, on the other hand, have not won since November 7 when they beat X-Roads, having now dropped to eighth in the tables after five games without a win. They are three places ahead of bottom side X-Roads, who have lost six of their seven games.

Somerset Eagles host Somerset Trojans at White Hill in a west end derby that will see Nathan Rego, the Trojans forward, playing against his former team for the first time this season.

Eagles saw their make-up match against Robin Hood called off on Wednesday night because of heavy rain.

Hamilton Parish’s match against Ireland Rangers in the First Division, went ahead on Wednesday night at Somerset.

Parish won 3-1 to extend their lead at the top to five points over Young Men’s Social Club and Boulevard.

Marquille Walker opened the scoring for Parish in the second minute before Kneiko Richardson made it 2-0 midway through the first half.

Kaya Lambert pulled a goal back for Ireland Rangers in the 44th minute before substitute Deniche Hill sealed the win with the third goal in the 82nd minute.

Parish have played one game less than Social Club who have a bye this weekend so will have a chance to extend their lead at the top when they play Boulevard on Sunday in another top-of-the-table clash at Wellington Oval. Paget take on Wolves and St David’s meet Vasco.

League matches are also scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, two Premier and two First Division matches on each day, before Somerset play North Village at home next Thursday night (8pm), the final match of 2021.

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Published December 24, 2021 at 8:16 am (Updated December 27, 2021 at 8:58 am)

Busy weekend of league football coming up

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