Lion Heart's Damian Crookes and Panthers' Jhon Samuel, racing toward the ball during Saturday night's match in Greenland | Island Sun

Lion Heart’s Damian Crookes and Panthers’ Jhon Samuel, racing toward the ball during Saturday night’s match in Greenland

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Sugar Boys top Rebels 2-1, as Football season heads to break

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Defending BVI Football Association league champs, Virgin Gorda Sugar Boys, closed out the year firmly top of the league standings with a six-point cushion, after a 2-1 win over the Rebels on their home turf at the Valley Recreation Grounds on Sunday.

Sugar Boys who started the game shorthanded, dug deep in front of their home fans to claim the win, thanks to talisman striker, Derrol Redhead, who popped up in the 76th minute to score the winner and his Golden Boot leading tenth of the season.

“Thumbs up to the whole team,” Redhead said. “Having started with just nine players, everyone came out and gave 100%, supported each other and had amazing communication to stay positive. We played as a team and got the result we wanted, but it was a hard game.”

Romaine Henry gave Sugar Boys the early lead in the 41st minute before the Rebels’ Curtly Peters equalized in the 53rd.

“First, you could have seen that both teams are unfit, even though it seems like the Rebels team has been training a little bit,” Sugar Boys Coach Collis Ughu said. “My team is made up of foreign players who have gone home for Christmas, so you could see we were struggling to make up the team. Our team has not had a culture of youths so that’s not catching on and giving us a big problem. In training, only three to four are coming out and that’s causing a big problem for the last two months. A game that we could have easily won, we had to struggle, but kudos to Rebels, they gave them a fight but on a good day, I don’t think there would have been a fight.”

While it was a big game, Rebels Coach LaToya Sue, told Island Sun Sports that she was disappointed with the turnout of players, and when they have matches in Virgin Gorda, they always have a challenge with players.

“Unfortunately, a lot of our players, the young ones I really needed for this particular game, couldn’t make it, so in the space of their absence, I had to play reserve players with injuries,” she noted. “But all in all, they still played their best. They still fought and the result wasn’t what we were looking for, but it wasn’t a bad game. The Christmas break will help the guys recover from injuries, for us to go back to the drawing board and come back stronger and try to correct the mistakes, work on our weaknesses that we were lacking in the first half of the season, gain some strength from it and get better results.”

Meanwhile, Lion Heart may just be the team that the Sugar Boys need to watch out for, as they claimed a second straight win, 4-2 against Panthers and are now unbeaten in five matches.

“Another well-deserved win,” Coach/Manager, Winston Brown said. “It was our last game before Christmas and we gave ourselves the perfect present of three points. The game was really competitive, but we stayed focused, the players did what we asked of them, and our game plan worked.”

Tyrone Buddah may well be the final piece in the Lion Heart jigsaw as he scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the win and has been at the forefront of the recent success for the team. Ashani Barret also scored twice in the win.

Jhon Samuel and Ezra Alleyne kept Panthers in the game at 2-1 and 2-2 respectively, but in the end Buddah’s second half double proved too much to handle.

The league is now on Christmas break and will resume on January 7th, 2023 

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