By Neto Baptiste
The Liberta Blackhawks picked up their first victory after 13 showings in the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Premier Division when, on Wednesday, they beat Cedar Grove Blue Jays 2-1 at the FA’s technical centre located on the Sir Sydney Walling Highway.
Both goals for Blackhawks were scored in the second half with Makhai Browne putting the Liberta team ahead on minute 56 before Genius George secured the team’s first points in the competition. Keon Greene scored the lone goal for Blue Jays in minute 39.
Blue Jays’ Ajani Matthew was red-carded in the 60th minute for abusive and insulting language.
Despite the win, Blackhawks remain at the bottom of the standings with negative one point, while Blue Jays are third from bottom with seven points.
Blackhawks were docked six points in January as part of sanctions imposed by the ABFA after the club opted not to turnout for scheduled matches in protest of what they called a lack of clarity regarding a proposed reimbursement/insurance agreement with the ABFA.
The FA also ruled that the team would forfeit their first two matches to Willikies and Ottos Rangers, losing three points and three goals in both instances.
In December last year, the FA announced the body’s insurance policy was being overhauled and that in the interim, all claims pertaining to injuries would be handled by the association. There has been no public update since then.
Following the completion of the first round, the 16 teams will be grouped in four groups of four with each team playing three matches within their group. Points accumulated during the group stage of the completion will be added to points accumulated in the first round.
At the end of the group stage, the team with the most points will be declared winner of the competition while the team finishing 14th will go into a playoff with third and fourth from the First Division. The winning of the playoff will play in the Premier Division next season.
In other matches played Wednesday, Jennings United and Attacking Saints played to a 1-1 draw in the Second Division.
Roger King put Saints ahead in minute 21 before Shaquille Watkins leveled the scores at 1-1 in minute 32.
Jennings maintains their spot at the top of the standings with 36 points while Saints are second with 31 points.
Also on Wednesday, Real Blizzard defeated ABAYA 2-1 to move to 25 points from 14 showings.