A well-placed penalty kick taken by national Under-14 striker Khimani Cox led Coleridge and Parry to their maiden championship title with a 2-1 victory over the St Michael School at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex yesterday.
The St Michael School took an early lead in the eighth minute of play compliments young sprinter Jaquan Pilgrim who brought some of his attacking pace to the turf. It was a much-welcomed advantage for the boys from Martindales Road, as they began their quest to capture the coveted Coca-Cola-sponsored Barbados Secondary Schools trophy.
However, three minutes before halftime Rivaldo Massiah answered Coleridge and Parry’s prayers when he produced the equalizer to tie the scores 1-1 in the 22nd period of the allotted 25 minutes of the first half.
The teams were locked in a midfield battle with their individual struggle for supremacy ebbing and flowing. And just when the game seemed headed for overtime, referee Nigel Marshall decided the outcome of the game in the 53rd minute. Marshall made a questionable call and proceeded to reward Coleridge and Parry a penalty which was taken by Cox – son of former Barbados midfielder Kirk Cox – who hammered home the winner.
Not only did spectators witness an exciting championship game, but they also got a chance to see twin brothers Don and Dave Small coach from opposite sides of the field.
But when the final whistle sounded, Don R. Small was the one celebrating what he described as a long time in coming. According to Small, this was the only title that had eluded the St Peter-based institution. “I started at the school in 1999, we had some good results in what used to be under-15 at that time. But the last time we played an Under-14 final it was a long time ago, and we lost, so this is the first time since I was at Coleridge and Parry that we have won.”
During the second half, Coleridge and Parry had a fair share of ball possession as they worked the flanks to their advantage especially with right attacking winger Joshua Husbands who caused the St Michael School defence plenty trouble all afternoon.
According to Small, Coleridge and Parry have always had a good football programme from the days of Pedro Hinds and himself but since that time have not been able to reap that success in recent years in the Under-14 Division.
Small said that it came down to belief and a desire to win and explained: “It took a long time before we believed, and it was a case of you’re playing, and we were not getting the favorable result. But I think even with the games that we did not win, we did not lose games badly as such. We could have seen where we could have done a little better and with a little more effort we could have had a little more success.”