Grenades stun defending APL champs

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Defending Premier Division football champions, Cool & Smooth Greenbay Hoppers, suffered their first loss of the season when they went under 2-1 to Sandals Grenades in the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association’s (ABFA) top flight on Sunday. 
Playing in the feature match of a triple-header, Grenades dominated the first half and part of the second half, scoring in minutes 31 and 50 respectively. Both goals were scored by striker Rakeem Henry. 
Eugene Kirwan scored what would turn out a consolation goal in added time. 
The victory provided some relief for the Grenades team however as they had a slow start to their 2018/19 campaign, losing to FC Aston Villa in the President’s Cup before losing their opener in the Premier Division by a 2-1 margin to Asot’s Arcade Parham last weekend. 
Coach of the Grenades team, Derrick Edwards, responded to claims his job was on the line going into Sunday’s match while crediting his players with putting on a good performance. 
“In this business there is no such thing as a cold seat. If you are in the business of coaching, people want results and people want to see championships so I don’t really worry about people saying that it is time because nothing happens before its time and that’s what I know in life,” he said. 
“I think that the team is gelling slowly, the guys have started to understand each other and I think that we should have a pretty good chance of capturing the championship this year,” he added.  
The victory pushes Grenades to three points and sixth on the 10-team standings while Greenbay Hoppers remain on three points and fifth on the standings. 
Also on Sunday, Swetes shocked last year’s runners-up Five Islands 4-1 in the day’s opener. 
Azinho Solomon netted twice while Tnoy Andrew and Kimoi Alexander both scored once in the commanding victory as Swetes moved to three points and third on the standings. Rodney Lawrence was the lone goal scorer for Five Islands who only have one point from their two matches. 
Coach of the winning team, Steveroy Anthony,  was happy for the win  despite what he is calling a slow turnout to training sessions. 
“More should be seen but I am just waiting because some of the guys started training late but as time goes on, hopefully by the next game, we should have everything locked. I can’t really go off and not commend the whole executive staff for the Swetes Football Club, the community and Mr. [Jamal] Pringle and the players on a whole,” the former national player said.  
In Sunday’s other contest, Old Road welcomed FC Aston Villa to the Premier Division with a 2-0 defeat. Jairo Escobar (minute 36) and Alickson Montoute (minute 39) found the back of the net as Old Road moved to three points and fourth on the standings. Villa is yet to get off the mark. 
Coach, Vincent Samuel, said the synergy between his players is already at a high level despite the early stage of the competition.  
“We did our research and we brought in players that we really needed or had from last year’s season and I am pretty happy that we have some good players, quality players that fit nicely into our system. We have one or two young players who have now come into the fold and to be quite frank with you, from the previous years I was there I had begun working on some players I had mandated to be the future and they are definitely coming to the fore right now,” he said.  
Meanwhile on Saturday, Asot’s Arcade Parham defeated Tryum 1-0 with the lone goal coming from Novell Francis while PIC Liberta Blackhawks beat SAP 1-0 with Lennox Julian hitting the back of the net.

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