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Rehearsal for cup final clash | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda Soccer

Lawrence Trott

Published Apr 4, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 4, 2019 at 12:12 am)

Timely return: John Barry Nusum, Robin Hood coach

Timely return: John Barry Nusum, Robin Hood coach

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Robin Hood and X-Roads will get one last opportunity to scout each other when they meet tonight in their final Premier Division match that will serve as a prelude to next weekend’s FA Cup final.

The two teams won their semi-final matches on the weekend when Hood, the holders, beat BAA and X-Roads got by Dandy Town 4-2 on penalties after the game ended 3-3 after extra time. Next weekend’s final will be the third FA Cup final for Hood in four seasons and the first for X-Roads.

Tonight they’ll get a chance to look each other up and down one last time.

“We’ll be feeling each other out and see what’s happening. The last time we played, it was a close game, 2-1,” said Timmy Figureido, the Hood assistant coach who was in charge of the team on the weekend when coach John Barry Nusum was off the island.

Nusum was on a school trip with Saltus Grammar School where he is a teacher and was due back yesterday.

“We’ll see who is fit and who is not suspended and go from there, we don’t have a big squad,” Figureido added.

Prolific frontman Antwan Russell has been playing in defence the last couple of games for Hood as they changed things around a bit for the semi-final. “He played at centre back the last two games but he’s capable of playing there,” Figureido said.

“It’s kind of hard to keep anything close anyway because they know what players we have, Bermuda is small. We’ve only lost one [league] game all season so we want to make sure that stays intact. The only problem we had this year was too many draws.”

Tonight’s game was brought forward by the Bermuda Football Association because a shortage of officials did not allow the ten Premier Division teams to all play their final matches on the same day as is the custom.

All the league honours have been decided, with PHC winning the league, Hood finishing second and X-Roads qualifying for a first Dudley Eve Trophy spot next year to go with their first appearance in the FA Cup final on April 14.

This is an historic second season in the Premier Division for X-Roads who joined the BFA First Division in 2004, the same season that PHC and Somerset Trojans were promoted back to the top flight after a season in the First Division.

Fifteen years on, PHC are champions again, Somerset have suffered another relegation and X-Roads need a point to be certain of a top-four finish. They have a far superior goal difference than both Devonshire Cougars and BAA who trail them by two points and play each other on Sunday.

Paul Simons, who was brought back from college to play in the semi-final, has returned to school but is expected to be return for the final.

A First Division match has also been brought forward to tonight, with Flanagan’s Onions looking to close out their season with a third straight win against St David’s in the opening match.

Onions netted nine goals in their two make-up matches against Hamilton Parish and Young Men’s Social Club in the last week to make it 13 goals scored in their last three matches. They will move into fourth place ahead of St George’s on goal difference if they win again.

Sunday’s other matches will see North Village hosting Boulevard at Bernard Park, Dandy Town playing relegated Somerset Trojans at St John’s Field and league champions PHC taking on Paget at PHC Field, after which they will be presented with the league trophy to mark a record eleventh league title.

The title will be up for grabs in the final First Division match when promoted sides Somerset Eagles and Southampton Rangers meet at White Hill Field. Just one point separates the teams, with Rangers reaching 50 points for the season in their last match.

Eagles remain the only unbeaten team in the league in either division, but need a victory in order to climb ahead of Rangers. The previous league meeting between the teams ended in a 2-2 draw.

Young Men’s Social Club welcome Hamilton Parish to Police Field, St George’s take on Vasco at Wellington Oval and Ireland Rangers meet Devonshire Colts at Malabar Field, hoping for a win to finish off the bottom of the tables.

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