By Neto Baptiste
Five times top flight champions Parham FC broke a 12-game winless run in the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association’s (ABFA) Premier Division on Sunday with a shocking 3-2 victory over frontrunners and championship hopefuls, Grenades FC.
In the exciting fixture played at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) Parham took the lead on the stroke of halftime when national striker Tevaughn Harriette scored in the 45th minute. Grenades also lost goalkeeper Julio Pichardo in that instant to a red card for serious foul play.
Parham’s lead was stretched just six minutes into the second half when Daryan James struck in the 51st to push the struggling squad closer to their first win.
Grenades pulled a goal back just three minutes later when Gregson President slotted home in the 54th minute, but Parham was determined to shake the money off their backs and just three minutes later, Harriette found his second strike of the match, slotting home in minute 57 to put Parham up 3-1.
A last minute effort by Grenades to try and salvage the game brought a 78th minute conversion from Kieron Richards to put them within one. They however, could not find the equaliser and slipped to their third defeat of the competition.
Despite the loss, Grenades remain atop the 10-team standings with 26 points from their 13 showings. Though a welcomed win, Parham remain at the bottom of the standings with nine points, still some four points off ninth-placed All Saints United.
Meanwhile, in another upset, Five Islands defeated Swetes 5-2 in Sunday’s second fixture.
Swetes took the lead in the ninth minute via an Ahzino Solomon strike before national player Quinton Griffith found the equaliser from the penalty spot in minute 17. Solomon then returned in the 34th minute to put Swetes back in front before single strikes from Leon Joseph, Tony Sanchez, Darien Jaime and Samuel Semper sealed the crucial win for Five Islands.
Five Islands move to 14 points and eighth in the standings while Swetes lay fifth with 18 points.
In Sunday’s opening contest, Bullets blanked All Saints United 1-0. Jorge Villalon scored the only goal of the contest when he hit the back of the net in minute 75.
Bullets move to 20 points and fourth in the standings while United slip to ninth with 13 points from their 13 showings. Teams finishing ninth and 10th in the standings will be automatically demoted to the First Division while the team finishing eighth will go into a playoff with third and fourth from the First Division. They will play for one remaining spot in the top flight.