Hoppers, Parham Off To Winning Starts In ABFA Top Flight

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Defending Premier Division football champions, Cool & Smooth Greenbay Hoppers, successfully launched their 2018/19 top flight campaign on Sunday when they beat former champions Old Road 2-1 at the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG).
Contesting the opening match of a double-header on what is being described as an excellent turf, Hoppers had strikes from veteran and former national defender George “Sowa” Dublin and Eugene Kirwan.
Alickson Montoute scored the only goal for Old Road.
Coach of the Hoppers team, Rolston “Lexy” Phoenix, credited his players for seeing through the game plan.
“The guys stuck to the game plan because they knew Old Road was going to come and try to hit us down the flank all the time so we tried to block the long pass, played them high so they didn’t get any time on the ball to lay direct because that is what they were trying to do,” he said.
“In the second half they [Old Road] were coming down the hill so there was a little pressure on us and we were giving away the ball easily in the second part of the game,” Phoenix added. 
Meanwhile, in Sunday’s feature contest, former champions Asot’s Arcade Parham upstaged Sandals Grenades 2-1.
Kimon Harrigan put the victors ahead in the eighth minute before Ashani Lawrence drew Grenades level on minute 48.
The winner came in minute 62 when Rakeem Joseph struck from close range to give Parham an opening victory.
Coach of the Parham team, Rowan Isaac, said things started slowly where the season is concerned but gradually gained momentum leading into their opening victory.
“When we started to train the attendance was pretty slow and leading into the … games we started to get full participation and we had a very good week of preparation for the game. I take away the fact that we won the game against, what you could say is a rival because Grenades and Parham, whenever there is a match-up it is always a high intensity game and everybody, the players and coaching staff are looking to do their utmost best,” he said. 
Hoppers and Parham joined PIC Liberta Blackhawks as the teams to have picked up full points over the weekend.
The competition is expected to continue on Saturday when SAP face Blackhawks at 5 p.m., and Tryum take on Parham at 7 p.m.

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