Zone two leaders Empire were replaced at the top of the table after talented midfielder Rashad Jules netted a brace to give Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme a 2-0 victory and the lead at the top of that group in the Barbados Football Association’s Premier League.
However, after the match, there was an altercation between BDFSP and Empire which resulted in five players being red-carded.
Among those who received red cards after the match from referee Jamar Springer were senior national players Omani Leacock and Akeem Hill of BDFSP who is scheduled to depart tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the team for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to compete in the Windward Islands Football Association tournament.
Empire trio of Omar Primus, Zinio Harris and Renaldo Bignall will also miss their next premier league match after they too received red cards.
It was a physical game on the field in the top of the table clash, but the players decided to take matters further on the conclusion of the match by pelting rocks, throwing cuffs and kicks and jumping the fence as they made their way from the playing field.
So violent was the scene that BDFSP coach Asquith Howell and Barbados Football Association officials had to intervene and help the police to calm the situation.
Jules’ goals (now tied on 12 goals for leading goal-scorer with Shakille Belle of Ellerton] have resulted in the three-time defending champions BDFSP leading that zone with a superior goal difference with both teams tied on 32 points.
The soldiers have a goal difference of 30 having played 14 matches, won ten, drawn two and lost two with 41 goals for and conceded 11. Empire have played the same number of games, won ten, drawn and lost two with 25 goals for, 12 against and a goal difference of 13.
Captain of the senior men’s national team, Jules showed excellent form in that all-important match and reaped his reward with his opening goal in the 19th minute when he delivered a precision left-footed strike that beat Empire custodian Oba Tucker.
That goal gave BDFSP the advantage heading into the second half and just a matter of seconds into the decisive period in the 46th minute Jules and the soldiers were in celebration mode once more.
Running towards the Sargeant Village end, Jules stole possession outside the 18-yard box, skillfully took on two defenders before taking a 13-yard right-foot shot that beat Empire’s stand-in goalkeeper Zacherie Browne.
Empire were placed on the back foot at this stage when they lost seasoned goalkeeper Oba Tucker to injury in the 27th minute. They were then put at a numerical goal disadvantage and were unable to compose themselves thereafter.
While BDFSP were on a high from that win over Empire, defending champions and zone one leader Weymouth Wales were stunned by Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame in the final game of the night.
The Bayland-based Notre Dame team pulled off a thrilling 2-1 win against Wales who were without the services of their classy midfielder Romario Harewood.
Wales through Arantees Lawrence led in the 40th minute but a goal each from 22-year-old Azarel Croney in the 52nd minute and a 30-yard shot from veteran John Hawksworth in the 68th period gave Notre Dame the victory.
Meanwhile, in the other zone one match, University of the West Indies Blackbirds and Brittons Hill played to a 2-2 draw. UWI were comfortably ahead thanks to Shamari Mark (49) and Mario Harte (54), but Jermaine Forde and Omar Archer scored in the 66th and 69th minutes respectively for the equalizer.
Wales are still in the lead on 23 points in zone one while UWI are in second place on a total of 19 points and Notre Dame with that win are two points behind on 17 in third position.