University of the West Indies Blackbirds earned themselves $5 000 after registering a 2-1 victory over Mackeson Brittons Hill in the third- place game of the Banks Beer Champions Cup played last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
For their fourth place Brittons Hill took home $3 000. The university rested most of their star players in captain Mario Harte, Jario Lombardo and Corey Barrow. Centre-back Renaldo Bailey had his first outing for the UWI last night since returning from Trinidad and Tobago where he played professional football for Morvant Caledonia United.
Jomo Harris wore the captain’s arm band and led UWI on to the field around 7 p.m. for the match against coach Fabian Wharton’s men who were put on the back foot as early as the third minute when Nathan Worrell’s volley, received from a corner kick, found the back of the nets.
Then Brittons Hill gave away an unnecessary goal when goalkeeper Jwan Prescod left his mark and tackled UWI striker Dario Harewood who was on the hunt from the left side and that resulted in referee Mark Moses blowing his whistle and pointing to the penalty spot. Harewood buried it past Haynes in the 20th minute to give UWI a 2-0 lead.
Two minutes before half-time Brittons Hill striker Mustafa Haqq who also played a role in defence, almost pulled one back with a clear chance from inside the 18-yard box when he took a powerful shot at goal but was superbly denied by a great save from UWI custodian Kwame Haynes.
UWI spread the ball wide and dared Brittons Hill to run at them on the flank which they did and the men in white applied the necessary pressure by taking possession and pushing the ball through the middle in search of a goal. However UWI were good on defence and to make things worse Brittons Hill had to contend with Bailey who came on in the second half to replace Trey Hart who had picked up a leg injury.
Brittons Hill’s persistence however paid off as they managed to pull one back when Rommel Bynoe was fouled inside the danger zone and referee Moses again pointed to the spot. Bynoe took the shot himself and scored to the left of UWI keeper Haynes in the 82nd minute.
Next week Sunday at the Turf starting at 8p.m. it is left to see who will capture the $20 000 cash prize at stake between Weymouth Wales and Rendezvous.