Grenades execute, stay atop Premier Division

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By Neto Baptiste

Grenades secured their slim but intimidating lead at the top of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Premier Division for another week after coming out at the other end of a round south derby against Old Road as 3-1 winners on Saturday.

Playing in the feature match of a double-header at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG), Grenades were all business from the start, as they hustled for every ball while proving more clinical in front of goal than their neighbours and former champions, Old Road.

Jairo Escobar put Grenades ahead on minute 22 to send the championship hopefuls into the dressing room with a 1-0 halftime advantage. Escobar was joined on the scorer’s sheet by Gregson President in the 62nd minute, but Seaqean Millington pulled Old Road within one with a 69th minute strike.

It was however meant to be Grenades’ day as former national striker, Stefan Smith, sealed the three points with an 84th minute conversion.

Coach of the Grenades FC, Derrick Edwards, commended his players for perfectly executing the game plan.

“We basically said we were going to attack their right side, and I think we really played a good game tonight [Saturday]. It was more mental for us than physical because playing against Old Road, which is a team from the same area [round south], was always going to be a tough game for us, but I think the guys were up to the challenge, and I think they understood what we needed to do to stay on top, so I have to give the guys credit because they really came out and stuck to the task,” he said.

The win moves Grenades to 30 points from 15 showings and still atop the 10-team standings, while Old Road remains on 21 points after the same number of matches.

Edwards said his cast is upbeat and enthusiastic about their chances of lifting the title.

“We have talked about creating history and being the first team from this community [Jennings] to win a Premier Division championship, and I think they are all buying into it, I think they have what it takes and that we just need to take it one game at a time,” he said.

Meanwhile, All Saints United picked up a crucial win over Five Islands in the opening Premier Division clash.

United had goals from Kwaizim Theodore in the 15th minute, Ajarnie Thomas in the 23rd minute, and Bernardo Milford in the 89th minute, to move them onto 16 points, but still third from bottom in the standings.

They are now two points ahead of Five Islands who have now dropped into the dreaded two-team relegation zone.

In a First Division match contested Saturday, Fort Road hammered Potters Tigers, 5-1, also at the ARG.

Jaumaul Semper scored in minutes 14, 55 and 63 to record a hattrick, while Omar Samuel and Alren Lewis accounted for the other strikes. Cleon Adams accounted for Potters’ only goal of the game.

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