After several chances were denied thanks to sensational goalkeeping during the regular and extra time, Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) finally overcame Brittons Hill 7-6 during a penalty shoot-out to hoist the inaugural Williams Equipment Preseason Cup last night.
Played at the famous Empire Cricket Ground, the match-up between two of the oldest Barbados Football Association Premier League teams did not spark the kind of fireworks anticipated as both sides proved strong in the final third.
The eventual shootout went into a sudden death situation tied 6-6 and Barbados’ and BDFSP’s number one goalkeeper Kishmar Primus came up with a brilliant save to deny Jabbary Greenidge of Brittons Hill. That magnificent effort earned BDFSP yet another championship trophy and a cash prize of BDS$4, 000.
The seven successful penalty takers for BDFSP were Primus, Shane Codrington, Ricardo Morris, Darico King, Rashad Smith, Terrell Gibbons and T’shane Lorde.
Speaking after the match, national defender and BDFSP captain Ricardo Morris told Barbados TODAY the playing conditions had not been the best for his team throughout the season but was pleased with the end result even though they were looking to avoid the penalty phase.
“I thought coming into the game we had the upper chance from the start because coming to warm-up we were out warming up and the [other] team came out to warm up like five minutes before the game started, so I said these guys don’t really want it, so we went out and played.
“Unfortunately we created several scoring opportunities but things didn’t go our way and we had to play to the situation of the game. The conditions that we played in for the whole preseason tournament did not benefit the BDFSP team because we are accustomed to the smooth ground where the ball moves smoothly through the middle. So we had to mix it up,” Morris explained, as BDFSP now look to recover in time for the upcoming Premier League scheduled to start next month.
BDFSP topped zone three without dropping a single game as they drew 1-1 against Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre in the opening match, they were then victorious 2-1 against Home Improvement Hardware Compton in the second en route to the semifinal where they faced off and won 2-0 against Ellerton in the two best of three semifinal contest.
Brittons Hill captain Rohan Hall did a good job at the back and was well supported by Omar Archer and Jabbary Greenidge who were just as equal to the task as BDFSP’s solid backline led by the experienced Morris along with Renaldo Bailey and Shane Codrington.
During the last 90 seconds of regular time, Terrance Coppin made a meal of what could have been his moment of glory for zone one winners Brittons Hill.
A 25-yard free-kick opportunity taken by Jermaine Forde of Brittons Hill was met with a diving save by BDFSP goalkeeper Primus who failed to keep the ball in his gloves and there was Coppin based inside the six-yard box for the kill gong after the rebound but completely mistimed the ball.
That certainly made Brittons Hill coach Wayne William and the other black shirts on the field hold their heads in disbelief as referee Jamar Springer who was kept busy being a peacemaker at times, sounded his whistle to signal the end of regular time.
The game went into 20 minutes of extra-time and that did not make a difference as none of the two teams managed to secure the winner.
Seconds before the whistle went to conclude extra time coach Williams made a swift strategic move when he brought on Akeel Smith in place of the tall man Coppin in anticipation of the penalties.
It was a good move and Smith was among the six penalty scorers with the five others being Kemar Smith, Omar Archer, Henderson Richards, Romario Small and goalkeeper Shaquille Frank who was just as outstanding as Primus but in the end, it was the fluorescent green that stormed onto the field in celebration.
A goal by Mario Birkett in the opening minute of the third-place game saw Abrahams United Silver Sands with a 1-0 victory over Ellerton.