By Neto Baptiste
Grenades FC completed their 13th victory in 15 matches to finish round one of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Premier Division at the top of the standings with 39 points on Sunday, beating Ottos Rangers 3-0 at the body’s technical centre.
Playing the first game of a triple-header, the championship hopefuls had goals from Vashami Allen who opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Just as it seemed as though Allen’s strike would have been the decisive one, Carl Osbourne made it 2-0 on minute 83.
Donavan Jn-Baptiste put the icing on the caked with an injury time strike to end the contest on a high.
Rangers, who still have one match remaining in the first round, remains on 19 points after 14 showings.
Meanwhile, Swetes rounded off their quota of first round fixtures with a 1-1 draw with Greenbay Hoppers who still have one match to play.
Rodney Lawrence put Hoppers ahead in as early as the second minute but Shalon Knight found the equalizer for Swetes in minute 65 as they end their round one campaign on 22 points after 15 showings. Hoppers lay 10th with 19 points after 14 outings.
Meanwhile in Sunday’s feature contest, Pigotts Bullets and Empire FC played to a 1-1 draw as well.
Tyrique Thwaites gave Bullets some hope in minute 19, taking them into the interval with a one-nil advantage. A 67th minute strike from Rakeem Joseph however secured a point for Empire.
Empire moves to 18 points from 14 showings and ninth in the standings while Bullets are on 15 points from 14 showings and 13th in the standings.
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.