Respectful Spence plots smoother final path
PHC and North Village will have plenty to play for tonight despite already having qualified for the semi-finals of the Dudley Eve Trophy.
Both teams won their opening match against Dandy Town to reach the last four, but now PHC and Village are keen to win group A and avoid a semi-final showdown with Robin Hood, who look set to finish top of group B.
Randy Spence, the new Village coach, has had a 2-0 start with wins against Dandy Town in the cup and Paget in their league opener. “It’s always good to get a good start out of the blocks but we have to remain focused,” he said. “We have to remain organised and we have to remain humble.
“The goal is one game at a time, but the team is feeling good and the confidence is growing. However, I do have a lot of respect for the organised football that the Zebras are bringing to the table. It is good for them and good for the island.
“I’m trying to manage our team so that the team is balanced; that’s my aim. All I ask is that the team comes and plays as a team and gives 110 per cent.”
PHC, already with three wins under their belt in three different competitions, will look to reach a fourth straight Dudley Eve Trophy final at Village’s expense. That is something only Village have achieved since the competition was renamed from the Martonmere Cup for the 2009-10 season. Village reached finals between 2009 and 2012, winning the first two against PHC and Devonshire Cougars, and then losing the next two to Dandy Town and Somerset Trojans.
Tonight’s opening match at Goose Gosling Field will feature Devonshire Cougars taking on Robin Hood, who thrashed Somerset 7-1 in their opening match and then suffered the devastating loss of one of their best young players, winger Mazhye Burchall, to a bike accident a couple of days later.
Cougars have qualified for the semi-finals on goal difference in the past two years and would do so again with a win over Hood, who were unstoppable in that victory over the Trojans last week.
Somerset, who beat Cougars in their opening match, will still advance, however, if Cougars fail to win. A Cougars win by any margin will take them through. Cougars have met PHC in the past two finals, winning 1-0 in 2016, while PHC won 3-0 last year.
• Because of the funeral of Mazhye Burchall on Sunday, the Bermuda Football Association announced yesterday that the league matches involving PHC and Robin Hood have been postponed. PHC, Burchall’s former club, were due to play Devonshire Cougars, while Robin Hood were scheduled to meet Somerset Trojans.
In the lone match on Sunday, North Village play X-Roads. The two other Premier Division matches are scheduled for Saturday, involving the two promoted sides. Paget will play Dandy Town at 3pm at Southampton Oval and BAA will play Boulevard at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday night at 9pm.