The Under-19 Barbados Secondary Schools Football Knockout title will not be heading to Richmond Gap, St Michael this year.
That’s because last year’s champions St Leonard’s Boys have been denied a final spot by Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) who were victorious 5-4 on penalties when the two sides met Wednesday afternoon in the semifinal played at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.
It was a highly anticipated encounter that lived up to expectations with SJPP coming from behind to equalize 2-2 in the dying stages of regular time to the dismay of St Leonard’s players and their supporters. In fact St Leonard’s had their sights set on being double crown champions but that was not meant to be. Both teams failed to score during extra time and that forced the game into a penalty shoot out which went in favour of the boys from the Pine.
St Leonard’s with a number of national under-17 players in their squad were on the attack from early with striker Dishon Eto Howell who ran onto a ball that was passed from the middle up the field. He made his way inside the 18-yard box and executed a brilliant finish past SJPP custodian Christian Cadogan.
The SJPP team had quite a few former St Leonard’s players in their line-up and knowing how important a game it was began to apply pressure in search of the equalizer that eventually came off the boot of striker Demar Linton who scored both goals for his team.
Poor judgment on the part of St Leonard’s goalkeeper Bradley Carrington allowed the opposition to tie the score 1-1 when he ran off his mark in an effort to clear the ball away from Linton and missed it which allowed Linton to do what was expected and finish the job.
St Leonard’s again took the lead through Rashad Phillips, this time as he broke through SJPP’s defence with ease, dribbling three defenders and ending with an excellent shot at goal to give his side a 2-1 advantage.
As the game drew near to an end the boys from Richmond Gap began to relax somewhat and SJPP capitalized with two minutes to go with Linton becoming the hero after scoring the goal that proved to be the undoing of St Leonard’s.
SJPP will now face Barbados Vocational Training Broad (BVTB) who defeated St George Secondary 6-1 at the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey AstroTurf. Scoring for BVTB was Kavian Innis with a hat-trick along with one goal each from Trevere Allen, Zidan Harewood and Christopher Shepherd. St George’s lone goal came through Winston Maynard.