Jean-Luc Stoute’s match-winning touch in the dying stages of the National Sports Council’s BICO-sponsored Primary Schools Football final led Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary to a thrilling 1-0 victory over Sharon Primary Thursday at the National Stadium.
The victory marked Wilkie Cumberbatch’s fourth overall title, which they last won in 2013. Four years later they are once again champions having played unbeaten throughout the competition with eight victories and two draws. Kudos have to be given to Sharon Primary for a great performance this year, reaching their maiden final having won five games, drawn two and suffering one loss.
Victorious captain, Amego ‘John Terry’ Jordan took home three of the top prizes. The 11-year-old who will be attending St Leonard’s Boys – the titans of secondary school football – come September was named Best Defender, Player of the Final and Most Valuable Player.
The final, watched by many football enthusiasts, almost went into extra time after a goalless 20-minute opening half and seemingly the same result for majority of the second half. Wilkie Cumberbatch played a more attacking game compared to Sharon Primary who concentrated a lot on keeping the ball out of their back half rather than attempt to stamp their authority on their first final.
In the 39th minute with one more minute to go before referee Kenville Layne blew his whistle to conclude regular time, Wilkie Cumberbatch attacking from the Lumber Company end found the winner when Jordan took a shot that deflected through Sharon Primary’s defence and there was Stoute to run onto the ball and finish past goalkeeper Zachary Carter.
It was from that moment on the celebrations began with Wilkie Cumberbatch’s supporters knowing full well time was against Sharon Primary and it would have taken a miracle for them to equalize. Nevertheless with just seconds to go Renako Thompson showed Sharon Primary did believe in miracles when he executed a wonderful shot from the right flank that almost found the back of the nets but credit to Wilkie Cumberbatch for brilliant defensive work.
Zachary Browne, coaching Wilkie Cumberbatch for the first time, told Barbados TODAY the players were hungry to win having played the pre-season unbeaten, winning the semifinal 3-1 on penalties against St Jude’s Primary and returning Thursday to finish the job.
Browne, just 19 years old and one of the youngest coaches on the island, and working mostly with Pinelands Youth Soccer Academy, has won two Under-11 titles in the Banks Tournament and the Barbados Cup and now the BICO title.
He said Wilkie Cumberbatch worked a lot on drills and for them it paid off in the end even though his players missed a lot of opportunities.
“We worked a lot on passing drills. When you pass the ball to another man, get to the man, receive it and when we attack, knock around the ball. We defend as a team, attack as a team and that is how we work. I told them [Thursday] if they don’t score they will get scored on, so I had to switch my two wingers and tell them attack, so my centerback Amego as captain took up the ball, took a shot that deflected and Jean-Luc ran onto the ball and scored,” Browne said.
St Giles Primary won the third place game over St Jude’s Primary 2-1. Scoring for St Giles were Reviera ‘Messi’ Cottle and Thierry Chauzel. Meanwhile Donte Gill netted the lone goal for St Jude’s Primary.
There were other outstanding players rewarded and they were Tijah Bishop of All Saints Primary for most goals – 13, St Jude’s captain Shamario Harewood was named best midfielder, best goalkeeper went to Terrell Sargeant of St Martin’s Mangrove and Shelanie Augustin of Sharon Primary, the lone female participant in Thursday’s final, was adjudged the most outstanding girl.
Sharon were the Most Improved team, the Most Disciplined title went to St Giles and St Jude’s were given an award for fair play.