A brace from striker Thierry Gale ensured St Leonard’s Boys’ reached their third consecutive Under-16 Coca Cola Barbados Secondary School Football Knockout final.
The boys from Richmond Gap advanced by trouncing Alexandra School 3-1 this afternoon at the Bridgefield Ground in St Thomas.
They will come up against Combermere next week Monday, May 8th in an effort to add a third consecutive title at this level to their already heavily laden trophy cabinet.
St Leonard’s took the advantage 13 minutes into the contest when Shakielle Beckles made a fast break down the right flank where he met with Alexandra’s three-man defence team of Je-Dane Griffith, Shakerr Edwards and Jaylan Gilkes who did well to dispossess Beckles but failed to keep an eye on Gale just outside the perimeter of the 18-yard box as he took possession with a strike to the left side of the goal bars past Alexandra goalkeeper Nathanial Knight who was unmoved.
Gale almost added another goal seconds later after being left unmarked yet again but keeper Knight did well on that occasion to deny him.
The lads from St Peter began to steady themselves and appeared more attentive with relatively decent passes through St Leonard’s defence. It was plays like those that eventually earned the boys in blue a chance to equalize when Zavion Nurse tried to avert a dangerous looking Aaron Cumberbatch of Alexandra and in so doing committed the foul that resulted in a free kick. This was taken by Jaylan Giles who scored a lovely goal from at least 25 yards out.
At this level it is 35 minutes a half and the score remained even at half-time.
The second half commenced with St Leonard’s being the more assertive of the two teams and they eventually went on to secure that all-important goal in the 56th minute when Gale drove a powerful shot past Alexandra keeper Knight who had no reason whatsoever to leave his mark.
Three minutes later St Leonard’s scored goal number three when Tyreke King left unmarked in front the goal bars buried a simple shot after making connection with the ball that came in from the left flank.
Alexandra made a number of substitutions during the second half but that did not make much of a difference. Not even Joshua Johnson, a former outstanding player for St Cyprian’s Boys’ in the BICO Primary Schools Football Competition, was able to shake the nets. Credit must be given to St Leonard’s defence team led by their captain Shaquanne Phillips who did an excellent job at the back.
Alexandra sought to make a last minute run when Gilkes penetrated St Leonard’s defence and should have taken a one-time shot but instead passed to Je-Dane Griffith who also should have converted an easy goal from inside the 18-yard box but instead was denied by St Leonard’s goalkeeper Coshon Scott who made a diving save to his left.
The other semifinal match was played last term when Combermere defeated The Lodge School 2-1.