Weymouth Wales are the winners of the 2016 Banks Beer Champions Cup.
Last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf, they defeated Rendezvous 4-1 in a come-from-behind display that sunk the hearts of supporters of the Christ Church side.
Rendezvous seemingly had the game wrapped up at 1-0 late in the encounter when Kemar Headley equalized in the 89th minute to force extra time. From that time until the final whistle it all went progressively downhill for Rendezvous.
The $20 000-worth grand final had the home of football buzzing from as early as the eighth minute when striker Dwayne “Schillaci” Stanford ran up the left flank and made his way inside the 18-yard box where he dribbled past Wales’ defenders Richard Maynard, Kemar Bartlett and Dwayne Peters and took a shot past Wales custodian Omario Eastmond who came off his mark.
Wales needed to counter and even though Hadan Holligan, Tristan Parris and Headley created a few meaningful chances they went wide of goal due to central defenders Roy Richards and Oscar Nero keeping them at bay. The pair also did well to cover 16-year-old goalkeeper Justin Sandiford who held his own on the big stage with a few good saves as the score remained 1-0 at half time.
Wales played Rendezvous’ style of game for close to 80 minutes led by Most Valuable Player of the competition Romano Snagg, until the men from Carrington Village made telling substitutions that brought about the type of result they needed. It all started when Rendezvous found themselves in a disadvantageous situation with Richards receiving his second yellow card in the 82nd minute. Seven minutes later Headley connected with a header off a corner for the equalizer that silenced Rendezvous’ supporters and brought excitement to Wales’ fans.
The resulting 30-minute overtime period saw Rendezvous presented with the perfect opportunity to take the lead through Stanford but he shockingly missed an open-goal opportunity.
Renico Williams came off the bench for Wales and got down to business early when he probed and darted inside the 18-yard box and was brought down by Rendezvous’ captain Rashida Williams who sat on the field for a bit in disbelief at the call made by referee Royon Small who pointed to the spot immediately. That decision did not sit too well with supporters around the ground either. Rivere Williams stepped up to take the penalty and scored easily past Sandiford in the 105th minute.
Rendezvous were kept quite busy and just when one thought things could get no worse Rashida Williams received his second yellow card for a reckless tackle on Wales’ Jomo Harewood.
The 2013 champions were definitely now in a spot of bother with only nine men on the field and Wales took full advantage through 22-year-old Williams who went on the attack once more. He outpaced Rendezvous’ defence through the middle and buried the ball past keeper Sandiford.
Three minutes later in the 117th minute Harewood put the match to rest in convincing style when he teamed up with Parris as the pair broke away down the middle with a combination of passes before Harewood executed a shot that curled to the right of a stationary Sandiford.
It was then the indiscipline of Stanford came into play when he walked angrily off the field and unknown to the referee minutes before Wales erupted in celebration on hearing the final whistle.
After the match several prizes were award to the top players. Snagg took home two other awards that included best midfielder and most goals, the latter shared among himself, Stanford and Diquan Adamson. They all scored five each. Eastmond took away the prize for most outstanding goalkeeper and his Wales teammate Richard Maynard was adjudged the best defender.
Eastmond, one of Wales’ senior members and a former national player, told Barbados TODAY that many people believed Rendezvous would have won but football was 90 minutes and it was never over “until the fat lady sings”.
He said: “The fat lady was really wobbling but coming on to the end we scored when it mattered most and drive home the nails in the coffin. I must also say I am really elated with the way the guys played. It was a total team effort.”
Earlier in the evening Wildey Masters led by captain and Most Valuable Player Gregory Goodridge defeated Wadadah 4-0. Goodridge scored goals in the 24th and 58th minutes while Ryan Grimes and Anthony Forde netted one each in the 10th and 56th minutes respectively. Anthony Pilgrim of Wildey was sent packing after receiving two yellow cards in the 35th and 55th minutes respectively.