Matchday Fourteen Review
Well, we promised another classic weekend in the Caribbean Mega League and as the top six all did battle against each other there was the chance to see someone try to assert their dominance and in an exciting outcome we would see top of the table change for the third time in four weeks.
We are now two-thirds of the way through the campaign and with just eight rounds of matches left to go we will struggle to see a better match proceeding the magnificent battle between CML giants Republican Rabbits and Jamrock Juniors at Palo Park this weekend. Just like in the reverse fixture the league’s topscorer Juan Vélez grabbed an early instinctual goal to give the Rabbits the lead. The Colombian attacker now has twelve goals from fourteen games and is four goals ahead of Limbo Leopards’ Jamal Creighton in the race for the golden boot. With the remains of the first-half flying by, we would soon find ourselves knee deep into the action and Jamtastic soon grabbed themselves an equaliser in the shape of a Newton Sterling penalty. Again, in a similar form to the last time the two met, Jamrock went on to grab the second goal of a quickfire double as Jabari Hylton tucked home his fifth goal of the season- putting the visitors 2-1 up in the process. Vélez was marginally offside as he scored two disallowed goals in the final knockings and at the other end the away side went so close to a third goal that would seal the points. In the end, there was to be some very late action with Pablo Cofe sending the fans into ecstasy with an injury-time equaliser which just about keeps the hosts in contention for a shot at the title. Tom Meadowcroft’s side have now failed to win in six attempts, but this point will feel like a good one due to the nature of how dramatic it was.
That draw over in the Dominican Republic would pave the way for either Vodou People or Moko-Jumbies FC, if either of them could outdo the other at Papa Doc Parc. The Haitian hosts had the best of the game and despite there being only two shots on target between the two sides- both coming from the home side- one of them was good enough to find its way in as Othniel Roasard scored his first ever goal for Prodigy on the stroke of half-time to take Vodou People top of the pile for the first time ever. No better time to do it with only a handful of games left to go, so Oscar’s side will now need to build on their four match unbeaten run and try to bring the trophy home to Haiti.
The other top-half clash, between Limbo Leopards and Suriname Sharks, was also action packed and a late Iveraldo Pengel penalty gave the Sharks a point at St Stern’s Park meaning that both sides remain as close to the top of the table as they do to the bottom four. Down at the bottom, Dominica Dominoes ended an incredible eleven game winless run with an unlikely away victory in Antigua over Redonda Rockys, whilst second-bottom Spicy Doves also managed to win thanks to a stoppage time Lydon Cato goal over Bajan Boppers. The big winners of the weekend, almost forgotten in and amongst this bumper weekend, were Ajax Oranjestad who smashed Bermuda Tempest 3-0 at ArenArubA, with Liomar Croes picking up the Player of the Weekend award.
Next weekend should be another interesting one, with new confidence instilled into Dominica Dominoes as they host their rivals Republican Rabbits. Table-toppers Vodou People will go over to face Bajan Boppers as they test their title credentials for the first time, whilst Jamrock Juniors will look to overtake them again as they host Limbo Leopards. Moko-Jumbies take on Redonda Rockys in St Kitts, strugglers Bermuda Tempest and Spicy Doves do battle at the Hidden Ground and the Dutch Caribbean sides Suriname Sharks and Ajax Oranjestad faceoff in South America.