Grenades get close win to stay atop Premier Division

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By Neto Baptiste

Grenades FC kept their slim lead at the top of the Premier Division intact with a close 3-2 victory over former champions Greenbay Hoppers in the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) competition on Sunday at the FA technical center on Sir Sydney Walling Highway.

The championship hopeful team from Jennings were ironically aided by two own-goals, the first of which came on the cusp of halftime when defender Chad Williams inadvertently put the ball into the back of his own net.

Grenades benefited from a second own-goal just nine minutes after the restart, this time off the boot of Akeem Christian in minute 54. The mishap drew Grenades level after Rodney Lawrence and Javorn Stevens had given Hoppers a two-nil advantage with strikes in minutes 26 and 31 respectively. Barrington Blake secured the three points for Grenades with a 56th minute conversion.

The win carries Grenades to 36 points from 14 showings while Hoppers remain on 18 points after 13 matches.

In Sunday’s feature contest, All Saints United beat Willikies FC 2-0 to remain in the hunt for a top flight title.

Second half goals from Shafeeq Joseph in minute 57 and Daryan James in minute 77 moved the All Saints men to 35 points, just two adrift of Grenades, also from 14 showings. The loss was Willikies fifth in 13 matches as they remain on 20 points in the top half of the 16-team standings.

In Sunday’s other fixture, Sap FC came out of a 12-goal thriller 8-4 winners over Liberta Blackhawks. Tyrique Tonge led the way for Sap with a quadruple of goals. The player netted in minutes 30, 60, 81 and 87 to lead Sap’s charge.

Veteran striker Peter Byers performed some magic of his own to record a hattrick with goals in minutes 73, 77 and 90. Danneil Osbourne scored the other goal with a 42nd minute strike as Sap pushed to 19 points from 13 showings.

For Blackhawks, Shavorn Phillip scored a double with goals in minutes 28 and 61, while Louron Anthony and Malique Martin netted in minutes 31 and 89. Blackhawks remain at the bottom of the standings with minus four points.

The 2019/20 champions were docked four points by the FA for boycotting matches at the start of the season over insurance concerns. They are yet to win a match in 11 showings.

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