Scholars finish strong, have title in sight

Scholars International can seal the Premier League title this weekend if they beat Roma United at the TE McField Annex.

With 37 points from 19 games and only two remaining, a Scholars win in the 5 p.m. match would be enough to capture the title for the West Bay team even if second place Elite Sports Club win their last three.

Elite are six points behind and Scholars have a far superior goal difference of 19 compared to Elite’s 10.

Scholars have been Cayman’s most consistent team for decades thanks to their team spirit. Rolly Bodden joined Scholars in January and has scored prolifically since, including three hat-tricks. Influential skipper Oneil Taylor returned to Jamaica three months ago, but he helped lay the foundation for their success.

Scholars defenders Tom Elliot and Bob Connor also deserve credit, as well as Damalay Howell in midfield. Carson Fagan has been a super sub for Scholars in recent matches and really made an impact.

Elite plays reigning champs Bodden Town at Ed Bush on Sunday at 5 p.m. Bodden Town are way down the table, in fifth place on 24 points. They never really regained their form of the past two seasons throughout this campaign, partly distracted by a trip to New Zealand last November.

Cayman Athletic’s youngsters were league leaders for a while, but with such a small and inexperienced squad it was inevitable they would drop off. They are now third with 26 points, ahead on goal difference from Sunset, another side that has surprised this season after a stuttering start.

Roma (24) are sixth, George Town (18) are seventh and Cayman Brac (17) bottom.

The two bottom teams play each other on the Brac on Sunday at 4 p.m. and have everything to play for because the team that finishes eighth is automatically relegated to the First Division. The seventh-place team has a fighting chance of survival if they can beat North Side – the First Division runners-up – in a two-leg playoff.

Academy, relegated from the top flight last term, have cruised to First Division glory, winning the title with ease. Ten victories from 13 games with only one loss has secured Academy 32 points so far; they scored an impressive 41 times with only nine conceded.

Academy’s top scorer is Andres Ruiz with 10. Richard Clarke (Future) has scored eight, and on seven are Dwayne Wilson (North Side) and Academy pair Corey Ferguson and Fabio Gall.

It was the FA Cup quarterfinals last weekend. Cayman Athletic beat Cayman Brac 4-0 with goals from David Connolly (38th and 56th minutes), Jamaal Seymour (penalty 41st) and Martin Webb (72nd).

Elite beat North Side 3-1. Dwayne Wilson (4th) scored North Side’s goal before Mark Ebanks (37th) and Jessus Ebanks (50th pen and 74th) replied.

George Town have a proud record in recent seasons in the FA Cup and despite their poor league form, they raised their game again to beat Roma – last year’s FA Cup finalists – 3-1. George Town strikes came from Kevin Moore (30th and 58th) and Ian Lindo (50th). Kiegel “Stamma” Atkinson (80th) got Roma’s. Cayman Athletic’s brilliant youngsters are top of the Under-23 league with 22 points from 11 games. Academy are second with 17 points from nine games.

In the women’s league, Sunset are coasting to another championship, having accrued 22 points from nine games, with Alliance in second place, claiming 13 points from 10 matches.

Janel Ebanks of Alliance is the league’s top scorer with seven goals. and Sunset’s Elena Testori has hit six.