UWI Blackbirds are crowned football champions of the Digicel Premier League in Barbados

UWI Blackbirds are the new champions of the Digicel Premier League. The university team completed their historic rise to the pinnacle when they hammered a weak Rendezvous side 14-0 in the final round of games at the Wildey Astroturf last night.

This would be the Ricardo “Cracker” Goddard led Blackbirds first Premier League title, having gained promotion in 2014, ironically along with Rendezvous, the team they beat to become champions.

Rendezvous began the game on the back foot short of players, eight to be exact. The goals began coming as early as the fourth minute. By halftime UWI had racked up 14 goals with their captain Mario Harte, Corey Barrow and Dario Harewood all recording hat-tricks.

This is as far as the game would go. The Rendezvous manager indicated to the officials that two of his players were unable to continue and therefore could not field a team for the second half.

The goal scorers for UWI were as follows:

Corey Barrow in the 4th, 12th & 34th. Shamari Mark in the 7th, 19th. Jairo Lombardo in the 11th. Mario Harte in the 24th, 26th & 36th. Remy Samuel in the 29th. Ranaldo Bailey in the 38th. Dario Harewood in the 39th, 40th & 45th.

Mario Harte captured most goals with a tally of 29.

UWI narrowly missed out on capturing the title last year in their promotion year having being off the mark by 4 points, behind the BDF Sports Programme and Rendezvous.

Earlier in the evening, Empire needing a win to survive in the Premier League, failed to hold on to an early 1-0 lead and were relegated when they lost 2-1 to Notre Dame.

This was a crucial game for both teams, with Empire needing a win to remain in the league and Notre Dame needing at least a draw to do the same. Empire struck first when Andrew Tudor scramble a low cross over the goal line in the 30th minute, to the give the Bank Hall based team a glimmer of hope. The score remained 1-0 at half time.

This lead lasted until the 50th minute when referee Edwin Adams blew for a Notre Dame penalty having spotted a handled ball in the Empire 18-yard box. Kyle Gibson stepped up to equalize for the Bayland boys.

Kyle Gibson would become Empire’s most hated man when he returned in the 59th minute to shatter the hearts of the Empire supporters. His strike put Notre Dame up 2-1 and effectively ended Empire lone season in the Premier League. Empire will return to Division One along with Pinelands who were relegated earlier in the season.

In the other game of the night, defending champions the BDF Sports Programme, who where still in contention for the Premier League title, enjoyed a brief moment at the top of the table when they defeated Paradise 4-0.

The BDFSP knew they had to win to be in with a chance but, their fate would be in the hands of Rendezvous.  BDFSP came out with all guns blazing and were up 3-0 at the end of the first half. This was compliments of goals by Shaquille Stewart in the 1st minute, Jamal Alleyne in the 38th and Rahiem Sargeant in the 44th.

The BDFSP ended their season on 44 points, one short of the new champions UWI Blackbirds. Knock-Out champions Weymouth Wales captured third place and Paradise after an impressive season ended in fourth position.


Story Courtesy: Barbados Football Association