Matchday Twenty Review
As we come towards the end of an amazing first season in the Caribbean Mega League, there was another twist in the table as the top side changed hands, two teams qualified for the World Mega Shield and one of the sides tipped for relegation struggles moved into the top five with just a couple of games to play. There’s still a heap to play for in the CML, but some things are starting to take shape.
The outstanding performers of the weekend were St Kitts and Nevis side Moko-Jumbies FC after they demolished Bajan Boppers in a 3-0 masterclass at Sugar Lane. In a game which the Kitt Men needed to win by more goals than Jamrock Juniors, who had a tough test against Suriname Sharks, they could go above Jamtastic at a hugely crucial time. By the time the opener came from Tiran Hanley in the fortieth minute, over in Jamaica the leaders were already 2-0 up against the Sharks thanks to goals from Ajay Chin and Jabari Hylton, which meant that as things stood at the break Jamtastic were now one goal difference ahead of the Jumbies. Liam Knapton will no doubt have demanded even more out of his side and they responded justly as defender Clyde Mitcham struck in the seventy-second minute before the hosts won a penalty ten minutes later. Kennedy Isles, who is arguably the hottest player in the division right now, stepped up to slot home his fourth goal of the season and in doing so he sent his team above Jamrock, who remained at 2-0 until the end.
With all of the action unfolding at the top of the league, it was surprisingly in the lower part of the table that hosted the match of the day in a five goal thriller between Redonda Rockys and Spicy Doves. Da Rockz started the day just two points above the relegation zone and the team hoping to leapfrog them today arrived at Wa’omoni ready to plunge the hosts into the bottom four at a crucially important time. Just three minutes had passed in the match before the opener for Big Nutz and after eight minutes Kimo Sampson already had a brace as the away side stormed into a very early 2-0 lead. At half-time Andy Baxter clearly had a lot to say to his players and after keeping them in the dressing room for the full fifteen minutes, the hosts emerged looking blank faced and ready to fight for their lives. Much like the start their opponents made in the first-half, Da Rockz were rampant in the second and when striker Elvis Thomas scored his first goal for the club it was game on again. With less than twenty minutes left on the clock by the time the next big chance came about, St Lucian forward Andrus Remy scored an equaliser to make it 2-2 and sparked a huge roar from the home fans. A point a piece would have probably been a fair result and in other circumstances both teams would probably have settled for it, but with a big step towards survival being the prize for a win, Sophie Dibbens’ side managed a win deep into stoppage time as youngster Ronaldo Joseph scored what may be the goal that the Spicy Doves faithful talk about come the end of the season.
In the battle between fifth and third in Trinidad, golden oldie Charlemagne Chaderson’s excellent free-kick for Vodou People was enough to beat Limbo Leopards, whilst fourth place Republican Rabbits crumbled under the pressure in a limp defeat to Ajax Oranjestad, who jump into fifth and still have a shot at the World Mega Shield places. Meanwhile, already relegated Dominica Dominoes picked up a point after a 1-1 draw with Bermuda Tempest.
Next weekend’s matches are made up of Ajax Oranjestad vs Jamrock Juniors, Bajan Boppers vs Limbo Leopards, Bermuda Tempest vs Moko-Jumbies FC, Spicy Doves vs Republican Rabbits, Suriname Sharks vs Dominica Dominoes and Vodou People vs Redonda Rockys.