By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Defending BVI Football Association League champions Virgin Gorda Sugar Boys, stayed unbeaten after overcoming the Panthers with a 4-2 victory on Sunday night in Greenland, despite conceding first, in the 15th minute to an Irwin Lewis strike.
The Boys responded by taking a 3-1 lead into the half, with goals courtesy of Andres Bailey in the 27th, Clint St. Hilaire in the 37th and Alejandro Sanchez in the 45th. Romaine Henry then made it 4-1 in the 80th before Jhon Samuel scored what turned out to be the final goal of the game in the 85th making it 4-2.
“The problem has been not training. Because of the rains, most of them have not trained this week, but we know we are Sugar Boys. We know what to do,” Coach Collis Ugwu told Island Sun Sports. “I could see we’re short (of players) , some of them are injured from the last game, but all the same, I’m happy we won.”
Ugwu said his team knows how to keep ball possession and they can spread it when they want to, but just the fitness is failing them. “Not training the way we used to do is affecting our output but, generally, we know how to knock it. They understand each other. One or two key players are out of the country, so it’s affecting how we build our team. When you train with people around (and lose them) you have to make adjustments and we had to do that today. We didn’t expect to have 10 (players) , normally 16 come and we have options.”
Panthers Coach Stany Francis Jr., said they started the game off “very well” and in the first 10 minutes, they were in charge. “We had a goal, we were up and Sugar Boys just couldn’t break us down,” he noted. “Basically, it was us slacking up at the back, just a few defensive mistakes and they capitalized on it. Basically that’s it.”
In other matches, One Love walked off 2-1 winners over Lion Heart. Niccain Plunkett gave One Love the lead in the 31st, but Shavaughn Thomas leveled for Lion Heart in the 52nd minute. It took until almost the final kick of the match for One Love to find the go-ahead goal when Collin Lavia netted the winner.
“We played a great game tonight,” Manager Marc Savage noted. “We were playing their game at one point—kick and chase, kick and chase—and we realized that wasn’t working and decided to keep the ball on the deck, hence we came out victorious.
Hosts Virgin Gorda United and the Wolues battled to a thrilling 2-2 draw, as they came from behind twice to earn a share of the points. Wolues’ Luca Reich took advantage of a high defensive line to slip through one on one with the VG keeper to open the scoring in the 3rd minute, but it took VG until just part the quarter hour mark to equalize when Bernard Cumberbatch was on hand to finish a fine cross field pass, making it 1-1. Despite creating further chances, the hosts were unable to get ahead and in the 65th minute, the Wolues, having changed their formation, took the lead through Carl Morgan.
Jaden Abrams then secured a share of the points with a last gasp free kick that sent the vocal home crowd into wild celebration, with the official time showing the goal came in the third minute of added time at the end of the game
Eight time champions Islanders rounded out the weekend, bouncing back from last week’s defeat at the hands of the Sugar Boys, to garner all three points against Old Madrid, 3-0. Robert Browne opened the scoring in the 25th minute, Roger Noel doubled the lead in the 59th and Rohan Lennon glossed out the win with an 87th minute goal.