by Wade Gibbons
Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary painted the Trents, St. James field yellow today as they defeated West Terrace Primary 3-0 to capture the 2013 Bico-sponsored National Sports Council’s Primary Schools Football Championship.
It was perhaps a shock to the system of supporters of West Terrace Primary who, after all, entered the final with an unbeaten record.
But from the first whistle to the last Wilkie Cumberbatch played outstanding football with their captain Donte Greenidge marshaling his troops with great aplomb. While Greenidge controlled the mid-field, Wilkie Cumberbatch’s defence was controlled by the tenacious Kenny King, undoubtedly the best defender seen in the competition this year.
West Terrace also had to contend with Jayden Blanche in the Wilkie Cumberbatch goal, who though not frequently threatened, was always in position whenever West Terrace made any speculative runs on his goal area or taking free-kicks.
The action during the early part of the game was frenetic with Khamal Cumberbatch trying his utmost to make an impression up front but having to contend with King who appeared to be everywhere in defence. With both teams searching for that opening goal, it came just before the half-time break with a lovely long range strike from Amir Alleyne that sent many in the huge crowd into rapture.
On resumption West Terrace went in search of the equaliser and despite a few scares for Wilkie Cumberbatch, their defence repelled most of these forays.
Then it was time for Greenidge to turn on the skills. A deep run from mid-field resulted in a goal off an initial rebound off the post for the youthful talent. He would return late in the game to blast a free kick past West Terrace’s custodian Ishawn Babb.
For Wilkie Cumberbatch it was their first title in 12 years and their third overall.
After the game Greenidge told Barbados TODAY he was very happy to win the championship. “I was looking forward to the final and I am glad that we won. My team was confident during the entire tournament and played good football,” he said.
Greenidge, who will be entering St. Leonard’s in September, said he was also a member of the Kick Start Team and played football “all the time”. He said he intended to continue playing the game when he entered secondary school. Greenidge’s double strike today brought his tally for the tournament to 17.
Parents Jason Greenidge and Charmaine Shorey were elated with their son and the team’s success with Jason informing that he had also played club football for Beverley Hills and for St. Leonard’s where his son will be entering.
The NSC’s Adrian Donovan, the main organising force behind the tournament, told Barbados TODAY he was happy with the overall tournament and the talent which he had witnessed over the past weeks. He thanked Bico for their continued support as well as the NSC staff that had contributed to the competition’s success.
He said the behaviour of players and fans attending the games was exemplary and noted that the Trents, St. James venue had proven to be a success after requests from many people to move the final from St. Michael.
Among those receiving awards at the end of the competition were: Greenidge (Man-of-the-Match, Tournament MVP, Best mid-fielder); Best goal-keeper — Kyle Gittens (Hilda Skeene); Best defender — Kenny King (Wilkie Cumberbatch); Most goals — Niall Reid-Stephen (Arthur Smith) 19; Best female player — Tiana Sealy (Society) 2 goals. Cuthbert Moore won the third-place play-off against St. Bartholomew’s on penalty kicks after the game ended 2-2.