Top spot up for grabs across divisions
Sole possession of first place is up for grabs in both the Premier Division and First Division when league action resumes this weekend.
Robin Hood, who failed in the defence of their Dudley Eve title when they were beaten by Dandy Town 5-2 in last weekend’s final, are now set to lose the joint lead they share with North Village after their match with Devonshire Cougars was called off by the Bermuda Football Association because they have four players on international duty.
North Village and PHC will both have their sights on first place, though after this weekend, Hood will have two matches in hand, including one against Village from September 21.
Both are unbeaten after five matches, with PHC a point behind in third place, having played a game more.
Village travel to White Hill Field to play promoted team Somerset Eagles, a former team of coach Kenny Thompson who is enjoying an unbeaten start in his return to North Village this season.
“It’s always interesting to play against Eagles, especially at White Hill Field, that’s where I was raised so I always look forward to returning,” Thompson said. “I think it will be an interesting match, Eagles have had a decent start to the season and will be confident.
“My heart will always be with the White Hill community but at the end of the day I’m a North Village coach and will go there trying to get three points.”
Village failed to qualify for this season’s Dudley Eve after finishing in eighth place with 18 points from their 18 games.
However, with striker Keishen Bean, 32, back after a season with BAA, Thompson is building a team at Bernard Park to be competitive this season.
“Things are going well so far, the team is in a good position, it’s still early days, but so far we’re really happy,” Thompson added. “I said before the season started that this season could be a lot closer than previous ones.
“There are more teams that I feel have the quality to compete with anybody in the league. It bodes well for football.”
Hood and Village are the only unbeaten teams in the league, with Bean leading their scoring with four goals in the league.
“He’s shown over the years that he’s a quality player,” Thompson said. “He’s done it with North Village and scored a ton of goals with BAA in a season that really wasn’t the best there.
“He’s important in our set-up with his experience as we have a lot of young players. He’s an example to the types of things one needs to do to be an impact player in this league. He’s still very important to the club.
“From a footballing perspective, he’s always been a player who has been dedicated to improving himself and being the best that he can. All credit to Keishen for that.”
Another interesting match will be at St John’s Field where Town, fresh off their Dudley Eve triumph, host league champions PHC, a team they thrashed 7-0 in a Dudley Eve group match back in September.
Both teams will be missing players, with Town’s Eusebio Blankendal and Jahkari Furbert away with the Bermuda team along with PHC captain Cecoy Robinson.
In the other matches, bottom teams Somerset Trojans and Boulevard will be desperate to pick up their first wins of the campaign.
Trojans are away to mid-table side Southampton Rangers while Boulevard play X-Roads at Goose Gosling Field.
Boulevard are still looking for their first goal of the season after eight league and cup matches.
The three-way tie in the First Division also looks set to be broken when two of those teams, Devonshire Colts and St George’s Colts, meet at Devonshire Rec. Vasco, third, play fourth placed Wolves at Garrison Field in another crucial match.
St George’s and Vasco are still unbeaten and with a game in hand on Devonshire Colts. St George’s are yet to concede a goal so far, winning their first five games.
In the other matches, St David’s play bottom team Ireland Rangers at home while Flanagan’s Onions take on Young Men’s Social Club at Goose Gosling Field.
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