It was celebration time all around as various champions were crowned in the Under-13, 15 and 17 age groups of the 2018 Scotiabank National Youth Cup which concluded this past Saturday at the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
With the Under-nine and 11 Divisions already decided two weeks ago, it was the turn of the older boys and Pro Shottas emerged as kings of tier one in the Under-17 category as they defeated Mavericks Fire 3-2 in a ‘Niall-biting’ contest.
Just on the stroke of half-time in the 35th minute, Mavericks were hugging in jubilation thanks to Jamali Hutson with a goal to give his team a 1-0 advantage. It didn’t take long for Pro Shottas to respond as they did so in the 40th-minute compliments captain Niall Reid-Stephen, later named best midfielder and most valuable player.
Reid Stephen and his St Leonard’s schoolmates Dishon ‘Eto’ Howell and Thierry Gale got on the scoresheet in the 41st and 58 minutes respectively. Both Howell and Gale are senior national players and caused lots of problem for Mavericks in the final third. A minute after Gale gave Pro Shottas a comfortable 3-1 advantage and seemingly put them on course to capture the title. Then Dejuan Walcott struck for Mavericks in the 59th minute to bring the match alive and cut the deficit by one at 2-3. But despite his effort and his team’s motivation and desire to equalize, Mavericks were unable to stop Fabian Massiah and his squad from securing another trophy.
In tier two of the Under-17 final, Fitts Village West Coast defeated Whitehall Titans 1-0 thanks to Keshawn Haynes in the 39th minute.
Having won both the Under-11 and 15 titles recently at the annual Barbados Cup competition, KFC Pinelands Academy were yet again unstoppable as they emerged champions of the Under-15 tier one in the Youth Cup.
Shawneko Moore pulled off a brilliant header in the 17th minute off a free kick taken by Jaydon Sealy just outside the 18-yard box. Sealy then turned around and added his name to the scoresheet ten minutes later in the 27th minute as Pinelands took an easy 2-0 lead and never looked back.
Tier two of the Under-15 final was won by Cosmo Football Club as they registered a 2-1 result against Unity Stars Alliance. Marcus King and Teshawn Brathwaite both netted a goal each in the 17th and 34th minutes respectively to give the St Peter-based Cosmo a comfortable lead. Alliance kept probing and eventually, they earned themselves a goal in the 60th minute but by then the fat lady had already begun to sing.
Earlier that morning the Under-13s were in action and National Sports Council Blenheim Ballers lifted the tier one trophy against Kick Start Hammers thanks to a brilliant hat-trick from Coleridge and Parry schoolboy Khimani Cox with goals in the 18th, 19th and 27th minutes respectively. Khalil Vanderpool- Nurse and Ethan Squires gave Kick Start a bit of hope with a goal each in the 24th and 45th minutes respectively but could not find that much-needed equalizer.