Akeem Maloney of Weymouth Wales (left) keeping a close eye on Brittons Hill's Romario Small during last night's nightcap.
All three teams taking wins when Premier League kicked off at the Empire Ground yesterday kept fans waiting to exhale as they did so with 11th-hour goals. Abrahams United Silver Sands, Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme and 2017 champions Weymouth Wales were the first to pick up points this year after scoring their goals late in their clashes.
Silver Sands were first to break the ice as they came up against Empire Club. With the two sides not meeting up since last year in Division 1, they took most of the game to feel each other out. The Christ Church side came over as more hungry and their persevearance paid off as Derrine Gale-Ford found the nets in the 77th minute the 1-0 win.
The story was similar for the Sports Programme as they faced Crane and Equipment Ellerton for the third time in recent weeks after having two games in the semifinal round of the Williams Equipment Preseason Cup. The two slogged away at each other but Rashad Jules, fresh off his stint in Antigua, gave the soldiers the go-ahead goal in the 88th minute of the game with a jumping left-booted volley off a cross from the right. Ellerton were unable to pull anything back and went down 1-0 in their first game of the competition.
All eyes were on the nightcap game which featured Wales and the Preseason Cup runners-up Brittons Hill United. With Brittons Hill looking the strongest they have in recent times, they came up against a full-strength Wales who pulled out all their big guns for the first time this season.
After a muted appearance in the Preseason Cup where they played a second-string team, the CONCACAF Caribbean Shield debutantes looked solid but were matched by the new-look Brittons Hill who were still without the services of playmakers Curtis Odle and Dwayne Stanford. On both ends attempts at goal were made but all thwarted as the two teams were well aware of what a win would mean as two of the stronger clubs in Zone 1.
It was a substitution in the 86th minute that was the game-changer as Riverre Williams came in for Hadan Holligan. No sooner than he was in, the nets were rocking as he was able to find himself in the right place at the right time to put the ball away off a corner kick from Kemar Headley in the 87th.
The late strike daunted the lads from Valerie, however, just minutes after Man of the Match Romario Harewood drove the final nail in the coffin. With Williams getting a pass from the right to meet him in the middle of the 18-yard box, he turned and dished off to an inbound Harewood who finished the play with a powerful left-foot shot to beat the keeper Shaquille Frank in the 90th.