Matchday Nineteen Review
It’s hard to believe that we are into the last month of the debut season of the Caribbean Mega League and on a day when the first team sadly all but qualified for the Relegation/Promotion playoff, at the other end of the table astonishingly none of the top five won. Does anybody actually want to win the big trophy?
We start off this week’s roundup with a sombre trip to Barbados which saw managerial buddies James Bennett and Wes Carter do battle in a match that the away side needed to win to prevent Dominica Dominoes’ fate being sealed. After a tense goalless opening forty-five which saw Bajan Boppers dominate without managing to score, the second-half saw the eventual and familiar collapse of the Doms. Rashad Jules put in a stunning display for Bop 2 da Top in this basement battle and it was the international winger who opened the scoring with a well hit strike inside the box that gave Glenson Prince no chance. With half an hour left to save their season, Dominoes gave it their all but in doing so they were undone as a counter-attacking wonder goal from Hadan Holligan made it 2-0 and pretty much sealed the visitors’ fate. Kerwin Lawrence grabbed a consolation penalty, but ultimately Carter’s task will now be to win the playoffs and keep the Dominican side in the division.
Elsewhere in the lower reaches of the league, Spicy Doves were the surprise winners of the weekend as they came from behind to stop Vodou People from moving into pole position whilst also improving their own chances of moving into the top eight. Charlemagne Chaderson, who hadn’t scored since the opening day of the season, grabbed a goal in the twenty-ninth minute to temporarily put Prodigy first in the league, but the lead would only last for eight minutes as Kimo Sampson netted his fifth of the campaign to square things up. Just before half-time, the comeback was completed by Chad Mark who celebrated his fourth start for Big Nutz by doubling his goal tally, which in doing so also moved the Grenadan side to within two points of safety. If Sophie Dibbens can beat Redonda Rockys next weekend, her team will leapfrog Da Rockz and move into the top eight.
For the second weekend in a row, Jamrock Juniors avoided falling from the top spot despite drawing 0-0, this time away at Bermuda Tempest, but thankfully for them joint leaders Moko-Jumbies FC could only manage the same result at Sugar Lane against Limbo Leopards. Thankfully for the fans there were some goals in the other matches and particularly at ArenArubA as Ajax Oranjestad once again showed their grit to power past Redonda Rockys in a 3-1 win. Meanwhile in South America, the pressure continued to build on manager Tom Meadowcroft as Republican Rabbits suffered their fifth defeat of the campaign at the hands of a well-drilled Suriname Sharks side who had little worries about keeping out the division’s top scoring team.
Next weekend could see Bermuda Tempest join their opponents for the day, Dominica Dominoes, in the relegation playoffs if they fail to win at LIME Stadium, whilst the top four could all confirm their positions in the top spots with victories. Leaders Jamrock Juniors will host survival fighting Suriname Sharks, whilst second place Moko-Jumbies will battle Bajan Boppers, who are unbeaten in their last three outings. Palo Park will see Republican Rabbits take on overachieving Ajax Oranjestad in the Dominican Republic and fifth place Limbo Leopards will aim to keep third place Vodou People within reach. The other big game is over in Antigua & Barbuda as Redonda Rockys need to hold off a feisty Spicy Doves outfit to avoid being plunged into the relegation playoff places at this late late stage.