Wednesday, April 24, 2024

‘Buju’ hat-trick for Lions


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by NICHOLAS MAITLAND SHAMAR “BUJU” EDWARDS’ hat-trick liberated Scotty’s Car Rentals St Andrew Lions as they further enhanced their Premier League credentials with a 3-1 victory over Youth Milan on Saturday night at the Wildey Turf.

Paradise remained within touching distance of the top clubs in Zone 2 with a hard-fought 3-1 win of their own over Crane and Equipment Ellerton, and earlier in the night, Mark’s Auto Spares Porey Spring United finally claimed their first win in 2019, a 2-1 result in their favour over RBC Capital Markets Barbados Soccer Academy (BSA), thanks to first-half goals from Ryan Stuart and new national selectee Shaquille Stewart.

Porey Spring’s last win in the Barbados Football Association’s Premier League was a 2-1 win over BSA in December, and, having failed to win in every game since, gratefully grabbed the win in the opening clash.

Stuart put Porey Spring in pole position in the fourth minute and Stewart doubled the advantage in the 28th minute. Jamile Goodman scored the consolation for BSA right on the hour mark but “Academy” could not prevent their winless run being extended to ten games.

Only goal difference separated Paradise and Ellerton and with both clubs’ ace marksmen gunning for the Golden Boot, it was a physical, end-to-end contest which had the full attention of referee Andrew Herbert and supporters alike.

Anxious to avenge last week’s 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP), Paradise came out the blocks flying, and after just three minutes Elijah Downey was on hand to gift them a precious lead after Jomo Harris put him through on goal.

Nevertheless, Ellerton were up to the task and responded in kind through captain Shakille Belle in the 14th minute for his 12th strike this season.

Fellow Golden Boot contender Armando Lashley was equally prolific at the other end and forced one past Ellerton stopper Jamar Brewster on the stroke of half-time.

In the second half, Lashley and Ellerton centre back Damien Walcott had an apparent coming together, resulting in a straight red for Walcott and only a caution for Lashley.

Despite the expulsion, Ellerton continued their usual game plan in hopes of drawing level. Harewood dashed all those hopes in the 86th minute as he rose highest to nod in at the back post from Zico Phillips’ cross.

Player-coach and former national captain Norman Forde once again took to the field for Youth Milan but they were helpless to stop “Buju” banging in his first in the fifth minute.

Edwards converted his next opportunity in the 38th minute to hand his side a healthy lead at the break.

Three minutes into the second half, the in-form striker completed his hat-trick to take him to seven goals this season.

Travis Grant added some gloss to the scoresheet on Milan’s behalf in the 85th minute but they stay rooted to the bottom of Zone 2 with nine points, 14 points off Lions in fifth place.



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