The Under-13, 15 and 17 trophies for the inaugural Barbados Football Association National Youth Cup Tournament have gone to National Sports Council, White Hall and Pro-Shottas.
A developmental squad comprising of players from the National Sports Council and BFA trounced Gall Hill 5-1 when the Under-13 final kicked off this morning at the BFA’s AstroTurf in Wildey, St Michael.
Then after 80 minutes of regular time, White Hall were celebrating as champions as they took the Under-15 trophy to their home parish of St Peter with a comfortable 3-1 triumph against Mavericks.
And just when many had anticipated an exciting showdown in the Under-17 Division between Pro-Shottas and Kick Start, two of the largest football clubs in Barbados, it became a one-sided affair as early as the fourth minute when Niall Reid-Stephen gave Pro-Shottas a 1-0 lead. That was the first of three for his hat-trick which eventually earned him most goals of the tournament –– nine –– and the Most Valuable Player award.
The other two goals by Reid-Stephen were netted in the 56th and 79th minutes respectively. Meanwhile, Kobe Shepherd in the 62nd minute, Shakiel James in the 88th minute and Seth Thorton in the 90th minute all scored as Pro-Shottas buried Kick Start.
The Under-15 final was more flavourful between the victorious White Hall and Mavericks. In fact, Mavericks got the ball rolling through their ace marksman Raequan Clarke who ran with pace towards the left field, timed the ball and controlled it beautifully before shooting it past White Hall goalkeeper Careem Spencer, 18 minutes into the contest.
On an extremely hot day where the sun beat down in all its glory, it did not take White Hall very long to respond as Tyreke King ran down the left flank with speed past Aaron Agard of Mavericks, broke inside the 18-yard box where he created the perfect opportunity for Jamali Kelly to finish the job one minute later in the 19th minute. King ended with the most goals – 16 – and was also adjudged most valuable player
Four minutes before halftime Sharad McCallister gave White Hall a 2-1 advantage and earned himself a brace in the 70th minute for a 3-1 victory. The game ended in controversial fashion because the linesman signalled off side as the ball was played through by the attacker but unlucky for Mavericks it was poorly handled by the defender which erased the offside decision and the ball rolled into the back of the nets with Mavericks goalkeeper Nathaniel Knight no where in sight to prevent it from scoring.
Mavericks was reduced to ten players as Knight, who was given the award for best goalkeeper, was sent off for arguing with the referee.
Speaking after the game, coach of White Hall Academy, Duane Williams, said for him it was a hard game knowing that Mavericks were a powerhouse team but his players followed the instructions given and they were able to come out on top.
“They [White Hall] followed instructions. Things happened during the game, calls happened for both teams and that is how football goes. People make mistakes, referees make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes, but other than that Mavericks were good opposition, they played us out to the end, the game ended 3-1 but the score might not define the game because the game was tighter than 3-1.
“Before this year we were not well known but this year we came third in the Guardian General Tournament and earlier in the Banks Tournament we came third, beating Kick Start. The Barbados Cup, we won that and now we came first in this, so this is our first main year that we really progressed due to our coaching staff and we brought on more players that actually put a lot of ground work in St Peter,” Williams said.
Meanwhile, in the Under-13 category, National Sports Council dominated thanks to Dean Greaves with a brace and one goal a piece from Jonathan Sealey, Kishmar Ramsey and Sachen Marshall, while Richen Atherley scored the lone goal for Gall Hill. Greaves was named most valuable player and best midfielder while teammates Ramario Carter and Maliq Rawlins were named most outstanding goalkeeper and best defender respectively. Kari Walcott of Gall Hill had the most goals – eight. Meanwhile, in the Under-15 age group, best midfielder honours went to Jaheim Neblett of Mavericks and the top defender was Zenico Browne, captain of the victorious White Hall team.