UWI Blackbirds into Premier at Last
Football into the 2015 BFA Premier Division
Team huddle before the match (Photo by: Shane Leacock)When the final whistle blows on the 2014 Barbadian football season, few clubs will have as much reason to celebrate as UWIFC, who successfully navigated their way to next season’s top flight after a rewarding season in the second-tier Banks Division 1. UWIFC enjoyed a consistently good league season, with a 10-game unbeaten streak from March through to May, setting the tone for what would be their most productive season to date.

However, the tail-end of the season provided a few hiccups as some unsavoury results threatened to derail their campaign. UWIFC’s league game after the ousting of defending champions Rendezvous from the KFC Champions Cup pitted them in an away encounter against Parish Land FC which ended in a painful 1-0 loss.  Once again Christ Church appeared to be a hard place to go for UWIFC as a couple days following they endured a flat 0-0 draw at Maxwell FC.

A return to winning ways was needed for UWIFC and they did exactly that against Crompton FC, with Gregory Applewaithe scoring a brace and top-scorer Riviere Williams also getting on the score sheet for a 3-0 victory. The rejuvenated Blackbirds’ travels continued to Bagatelle FC, where they managed a hard-fought 1-0 win over the hosts with Peter Sealy nicking a late winner, an unstoppable volley into the top corner of the net.

By the time the home game against Clarkes’ Hill FC rolled around, UWIFC needed just 3 points to secure second-place and the final promotion spot in the league and with a 3-0 triumph featuring goals from Carlo Perry, Reno Shepherd and Riviere Williams, UWIFC emphatically confirmed their status as a Premier League team for next season to the absolute delight of supporters and players alike. 

The joy of promotion did not take the spark out the UWIFC team fortunately, as they continued their fine season with a comfortable 2-1 win over Empire Club at Passage Road with Chad Bynoe and Ramon Manning scoring. UWIFC will finish off a stellar league campaign with home fixtures against Porey Springs FC and St John Sonnets.

The Blackbirds also had a decent showing in the KFC Champions Cup this season. Prior to their third round elimination of Rendezvous, they comprehensively beat Benfica SC 3-0 in the second round with goals from 
Daniel Rowe, Jamar Harewood and Corey “Santa” Barrow. They registered the biggest margin of victory in this season’s competition, winning 8 goals to nil against a poor Beverly Hills FC in the fourth round.  They would fall eventually in the quarter finals at the feet of Premier League stalwarts Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame, losing narrowly by a score line of 1-0. Despite this, UWIFC still had an admirable Cup run in many ways and will certainly have renewed vigour for next season’s edition.

By: Nicholas Maitland
Photo: Shane Leacock