Offside call

Unhappy start to women’s domestic football league

The Barbados Football Association Women’s League got started yesterday evening at the Emmerton, St Michael playing field in somewhat inauspicious circumstances.

Defending champions University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds’ got their 2016 season rolling with defeat to last season’s runners-up, National Sports Council (NSC). And the loss came about as a result of a deliberate forfeiture.

Barbados TODAY was reliably informed that the UWI players were not satisfied with their uniforms from the 2015 season and when they showed up yesterday they were given the same gear from last year.

“From since last season the numbers on the players’ shirts were dropping off. The girls said before hand if they were not given proper uniforms to play in they will not be playing and so said so done. In addition to that they want the players to buy their own socks and the girls said it is not fair that they won money last season from winning the championship and now have to turn around and pay for their own socks. If it was cricket that would never happen,” the source involved with the UWI squad said.

Kick Start captain Shonelle Stephen was impressive in defence.

Up until 7:30 p.m. last night only six players showed up to contest the season’s opener against NSC who were already on the field warming up in their yellow uniforms waiting to see what would develop. Eventually a UWI Blackbirds team never made it onto their home field and the BFA official blew off the match and NSC were awarded the game and points.

Barbados TODAY understands that a number of the players were not fully prepared for the start of this year’s competition and were hoping the BFA would push it back until sometime next week. Some of the players questioned why the BFA had started the women’s league simultaneous to the David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Football Classic. That kicked off yesterday at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex and some argued that to start both at the same time diminished the importance of one of them, and more than likely that would be the women’s game.

Ailsa Walcott of Kick Start is left in her tracks as Antonia Baptiste of Braddies Bar Pinelands dribbles past her under the watchful eyes of referee Kevin Bartlett. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)
Ailsa Walcott of Kick Start is left in her tracks as Antonia Baptiste of Braddies Bar Pinelands dribbles past her under the watchful eyes of referee Kevin Bartlett. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

Despite the unfortunate circumstances of that clash of the two top teams, there were two other games that were actually played. In the first showdown Mavericks took on Eden Stars and the two sides played out a goalless first half. In the second half it was Mavericks who went ahead 1-0 compliments of a goal by Felicia Jarvis in the 69th minute. But their celebrations lasted briefly as Rihanna Cyrus equalized for Eden Stars in the 79th minute to Mavericks’ mood.

In the second clash Braddies Bar Pinelands who are newcomers to the competition were outstanding but could not stop Kick Start from clinching a 1-0 win. Both sides failed to convert a number of opportunities in the opening half but began playing good football with a combination of pleasing and precise passes in the second period. It was Kick Start who finally got one past Pinelands’ impressive goalkeeper Leah Duguid.

Krystal Clarke sent in a low corner from the left side that found the boot of Rowland Kirton- Browne who finished superbly in the 61st minute. It was early days yet and Pinelands remained focused but Kick Start set up their defence excellently and never afforded the hard-working Pinelands’ ladies the room to find the equalizer.

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