The Christmas celebrations provided lots of cooking, baking, roasting, and BBQ-ing never-the-less it still could not produce as much heat as the ongoing battles in First Division. It has definitely been a fierce bout among the twelve, having endured 14 rounds of jaw-breaking jabs, unstoppable uppercuts and rib-wrecking shots to the body.

Each team has conceded three or more defeats. Coaches’ reputations have been bruised; fans’ expectations have been battered. Let’s take a quick walk through the BUSH and examine the outcomes.

In 1st position is the youthful Ottos Rangers FC who ran undefeated after seven rounds before they were eventually cut down by Lion Hill FC when the match ended 1-0. During an impressive winning streak of 7 without loss, they recorded the highest margin of victory in the competition on Seaview Farm FC, 6-1. Rangers are currently on 27 points from 14 matches with a record of 8 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses. Junior “Eto” Benjamin leads the pack with 8 goals for the club.

Occupying the 2nd placed spot is Golden Stars Urlings FC, who recently advanced with 26points from 13 matches. With a standing record of 8 wins, 2 draws, and 3 losses, Urlings have conceded the least amount of dropped points (13) among the twelve and still have a game in hand.

Their last five matches (DWWDL) produced 8 points from a possible 15, including a 4-0 defeat to “Locked and Loaded” Bullets SC. A disgusted Bo Matthews spoke on the Good Morning Jojo Show apologising to the Urlings community and fans for the poor performance, promising that it would never happen again. The setback now places their closest rivals English Harbour FC one point within touching distance. Matthews and company will have to make sure that their squad stay on course despite the distracting holiday festivities. Even with a game in hand Urlings cannot take any team for granted or they might face more humiliating defeats.

Occupying the 3rd spot is National Parks English Harbour FC on 25 points after 14 games. Having been promoted to the 1st Division last season it’s commendable now to see them knocking at the doors of the Premiership. However it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the yacht thriving community as they have won 8, drew 1 and lost 5 of their past fixtures. Their worst nightmare to date would be losing twice to rival neighbours Liberta SC who also gained promotion last season. Hopefully Harbour will remain in the reckoning as the season wears on.

Newly promoted Liberta is in 4th place on 21 points. Having played 14 matches their record stands at 6-3-5. Despite being in the top four Liberta’s run of form has an amazing twist. They began the season with a series of losses and draws (LDLDLWLDL). Their only victory then was the derby match against rivals English Harbour 1-0, and then they went back to losing and drawing.  After nine matches they compiled a meagre 6 points. They then went on to record five straight victories including a second beating on English Harbour by the same margin. The top three teams will have to be cautious of Liberta especially if they continue to be this consistent.

Empire FC and Celtics FC are 5th and 6th respectively. Both teams sit on 20 points each but Empire has a game in hand. Newly regulated Celtics had a not-so-good start but have verbally indicated making a comeback.  Another twist in the plot shows that Celtics beat English Harbour 4-2 only to receive the same beating 4-2 by big brother Liberta the following week. Looking at their track record of 5-5-4, if Celtics can get one more loss, they will be even in all departments.

In the bottom half of the table, 7th placed Five Islands are 19 from 13 matches. Nothing extravagant happening in that part of the BUSH. Their aim now is to avoid falling into the relegation zone. See standings for more details.

In 8th place is “Locked and Loaded” Bullets SC who many thought were firing blank shots. They surprised everyone when they unleashed a pair of double barrels (4-0) on top-flighted Urlings FC, then a 1-0 silencer on Seaview Farm. The back to back wins elevated them from the cellar in 10th to their current position. Happy New Year to them.

In the 9th and 10th place respectively, Lion Hill FC and Villa Lion FC have been locked in a serious cat fight since competing against each other in week three. Villa however, had the upper paw and came out 2-0 victors. Presently they both have identical standing records of 19 points from 13 matches, with a track record of 4-3-6. The only difference that separates the two is Lion Hill’s superior goal difference of -4 versus Villa’s -6. That’s something to boast about.

Entangled in the 11th position is Freemansville FC who appears to be having difficulty freeing themselves from bottom of the table. They are one of two teams to have accumulated fewer points than games played.

Finally at the bottom of the table and sinking deeper below sea-level is Seaview Farm FC on 8 points from 14 matches. Their solitary celebration came when they hammered Villa FC, 3-0. Between the 2010 – 2012 season, Farm made a very impressive uphill stride by gaining promotion to the 1st Division then to the Premiership. Since then they have done the total opposite. Hopefully they can pull something out of the hat before they sink any further.

Courtesy of the Tryum Football Club … Never Stop Trying