FA Cup Preview, Analysis, And Predictions

January 18, 2019

[Written by Patrick Bean]

The treasured Bermuda Football Association [BFA] Challenge Cup occupies centre-stage this weekend as eight contests are slated at points across the island. Three match-ups involve all-Premier Division clubs, while there is one all-First Division affair and the remainder a mixed bag of teams from rival divisions. Robin Hood are the defending champions, having beaten Southampton Rangers in last season’s final.

Somerset Eagles v Robin Hood, Saturday, White Hill Field, 2.30 p.m.

Somerset Eagles are unbeaten in league play and among the top two clubs in the First Division, which says a little for their formidable status. However, Robin Hood are at the top of the Premier Division and their game, and the expanse of White Hill Field could well allow Hood captain Antwan Russell and his band of merry men to demonstrate their destructive tendencies toward lesser squads such as Eagles.

Prediction: Robin Hood 3-1

PHC v North Village, Sunday, PHC Stadium. 2.30 p.m.

With the Friendship Trophy already in their possession, PHC continue their mission toward claiming the traditional Triple Crown – FA Cup, Friendship Trophy and League – when they play host to tradition-rich rivals North Village.

Zebras, with Robin Hood, are among the unquestioned best on current form, while Village have struggled with inconsistency all season and will be hopeful of success on the day that they remain in with a chance at any form of silverware.

PHC coach Scott Morton has had his squad wound and ready all season and on Sunday Village will have a tough task unraveling themselves from the captive web presented by the home team.

Prediction: PHC 2-1

Dandy Town v Paget, Sunday, St. John’s Field, 2.30 p.m.

A battle not likely for the faint of heart looks likely to take shape at St. John’s Field, where Dandy Town host Paget for the second Sunday in a row.

Hornets were fortunate to escape with an outright victory, needing goals from talisman Angelo Simmons in the dying stages to pull out the result after Paget had matched them throughout.

Prediction: Dandy Town 2-1

Boulevard v BAA, Saturday, Goose Gosling Field, 8.00 p.m.

Boulevard have been in an extended funk of poor form and results and would dearly desire a breakout performance against BAA as a means of sparking a return to relevance.

Lead man and striker Ian Coke is overdue for an impact outing after being closed down more than has been common custom. BAA coach Andrew Bascome would also want to be able to forward the reputation and confidence of his Greens with progression in the cup.

Prediction: Draw 2-2

St. David’s v Southampton, Saturday, Lord’s, 2.30 p.m.

The lone all First Division match-up should provide little difficulty for Southampton to advance toward another FA Cup final appearance, with St. David’s clearly not among the same class as Rangers, who are unbeaten in all manner of competition play thus far this campaign.

If there be a puncher’s chance for the Islanders, it will be an extremely thin opportunity.

Prediction: Southampton 3-0

Hamilton Parish v Somerset Trojans, Sunday, Wellington Oval, 12.00 noon.

Despite this being a supposed uneven match-up of teams from different echelons, Somerset, supposedly of the higher force, appear evenly matched by lower stratum club Hamilton Parish. Adding to the hopes of Parish is the fact that they will be performing at home before their own crowd.

Prediction: Hamilton Parish 3-2

Wolves v X-Roads, Sunday, Garrison Field, 2.30 p.m.

X-Roads should have little difficulty engaging Wolves, who will be without player/coach Vince Minors after he was red-carded during their last match. Even with Minors, the X-Roads proposition would be a momentous task for Wolves; without that vital cog, the potential outcome is bleaker still.

Prediction: X-Roads 5-1

St. George’s v Devonshire Cougars, Sunday, Wellington Oval, 2.30 p.m.

St. George’s promise to bring their lunch-pails and hard-hats to this contest, which may make for a competitive affair, however Premiership side Cougars have demonstrated a greater fight as of late and should be able to overwhelm Colts, who are struggling in the middle region of the First Division.

Prediction: Devonshire Cougars 2-1

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