Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wales, Dames clash today


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A relegation battle and a contest between title contenders headline the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) Digicel Premier League at Wildey tonight.
The opening match at 6 p.m. will be a northern derby between the Checker Hall, St Lucy-based Youth Milan and the Speightstown, St Peter-based Cosmos, who occupy two of the three last positions in the table.
However, it is the final match at 8 p.m. between defending champions Weymouth Wales and Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame which should see a beautiful brand of soccer between the country’s two most successful clubs.
Both teams are on 17 points, behind leaders BDF (23) and Mackeson Brittons Hill (19) and their fans in Carrington Village and Bayland will certainly be wishing for a win that would significantly boost their title ambitions.
Wales, buoyed by their 2-1 win over the previously unbeaten Barbados Defence Force (BDF) on Thursday night, will be seeking to repeat their 3-1 triumph over the Dames when the teams met in the first round.
The Dames, smarting from a 1-0 loss to Pride of Gall Hill in their last match on Thursday, will be looking to their youthful strike trio of Dwayne Mars, Diquan Adamson and DeCarlo Jemmott to run at the Wales’ defence which is marshaled by the ice-cool veteran Julian Mottley.
Wales’ wing backs Corey McCollin and Jamar “Bird” Walters can expect a busy time, trying to cope with the speed of Mars and Adamson while Omar Primus will also play a key role in thwarting the efforts of the Dames’ front men.
At the other end, Kemar Headley will need to play an even bigger role as his usual strike partner Dwayne Stanford has been debarred from playing until he meets with the BFA’s disciplinary committee to answer charges stemming from a post-match fracas when Wales lost to Youth Milan.
Headley will be joined upfront by Anthony Forde, who scored in Wales’ last match, while Dario Pilgrim may be rewarded with more playing time after his winning goal against BDF.
Oldstager John “Nobby” Parris has given away the sweeper position to Foundation schoolboy Shane Mottley to play a defensive midfield role with Kemoi Seale remaining at front stopper.
But the overall fitness of Parris and fellow veteran Rudi Grosvenor will be critical as the Dames are already missing the injured Aaron Huggins while another defensive midfielder Renaldo Gilkes is studying in the United States. Luckily, the experienced Leon Todd has displayed plenty of determination in defence this season while Mottley has accredited himself fairly well. 
The midfield battle will see the talented Kadeem “Buju” Atkins, who has come over from the BDF’s sports programme, and the evergreen John Hawkesworth battling with Jabar “Buggy” Greene, Kemar Bartlett and Carl Joseph, who will be keen to score against his former Dames teammates.
The opening game should be a ding-dong battle between two evenly-matched outfits, who are battling for league survival.      
Cosmos, in their debut Premiership season, have found the going tough, winning just two matches so far and gaining only eight points in their nine first round matches.
Psychologically, one of those victories was against Youth Milan when they outplayed their more esteemed opponents 2-0, with the Lavine brothers, Maradona and Donovan scoring.
Even though Youth Milan won two of their last three games in the first round to move to seven points, they remain in ninth position in the ten-team competition, above Families First St John Sonnets, who ended the first round on four points and were due to play DirecTV Paradise last night.
A victory would see Youth Milan jump ahead of Cosmos, who would move four points clear of their opponents should they win.
The two Premiership matches will be preceded by a Banks Beer Division One match between last year’s two demoted sides, Pinelands and Bagatelle, at 4 p.m.

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