By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Following an ‘awesome game’ Bregado Flax and Robinson O’Neal will decide which is the best team on Virgin Gorda on Wednesday afternoon, in a one game winner takes all, in the Virgin Gorda leg of the Dept of Youth Affairs and Sports Double Elimination Primary Schools Softball Tournament.
Bregado Flax, after blowing a 9-0 first inning lead in the game at the Valley Recreation Grounds, needed extra innings to fend off Robinson O’Neal and force a deciding game, following a thrilling 17-13, Saturday afternoon victory.
The buildup began after Robinson O’Neal opened the tournament that was rain affected early on, with a 7-2 victory over Cornerstone, while Bregado Flax had a 7-0 triumph over Ciboney.
With the winners meeting, Robinson O’Neal used DeShawn Richardson’s three run homer for a 5-3 lead then hanged on to beat Bregado Flax, 5-4.
Meanwhile, Ciboney used back to back homers and five hits to take a 6-2 lead over Cornerstone, before going on to a 9-6 victory and putting Cornerstone out of the tournament.
Bregado Flax eliminated the spirited Ciboney team from the competition with an 8-0 triumph.
In their next matchup, knowing that a loss would send Robinson O’Neal on a trip to Tortola, Bregado Flax wasted no time in batting around and jumping out to a 9-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Robinson O’Neal began clawing their way back after scoring three in the bottom of the inning. Bregado Flax added two in the top of the second but Robinson O’Neal scored five and pulled within 11-8, before holding their rivals scoreless in the top of the third, then tied the game at 11-11, forcing an extra inning.
Bregado Flax came up with six runs for a 17-11 advantage and Robinson O’Neal’s rally came up short in their last at bat, as they fell 17-13, setting up a deciding game, which will be played at 4 p.m. on June 21. The winner will face Tortola Zone champ Ebenezer Thomas for the overall title on June 24.
“The game was awesome. We came and had in mind that we were going to win and we did it,” Bregado Flax’s coach Jackiesha Vanterpool said. “We have to continue to work together, play hard and we’re going to get it done.”
Robinson O’Neal’s coach Akima Powell said she thought the games were quite well.
“I knew after we beat them the first time, I knew they were going to come back with a vengeance and they did come back with a vengeance but, it was still good,” Powell said. “We’re looking towards meeting them again and we’ll see which is the better team.”
Cornerstone principal Michelle Fergus said it was a new venture for her school.
“We’ve never played before, this is our first time and don’t have a coach really,” she explained. “We really tried our best and came out and performed to the best of our abilities.”
Despite the rain that interrupted the early game, Ciboney’s coach Josh Ridgway said every single child was still excited to play.
“The spirit of everybody, from the children, adults, volunteers, was encouraging to see for a sport that’s not been celebrated on Virgin Gorda at the moment,” he said. “To see the participation, the amount of kids that came out and the parents that supported is just encouraging. I think there’s a lot of potential for the sport to grow here. For a lot of my team, it’s the first time they were out on the field but I think they learned that this is a great sport. They can have a lot of fun, learn something about being a good teammate and cooperating with each other. We just hooked about 14 kids who want to come out next Saturday and play again.”
Anegada who was to play in the zone, pulled out of the tournament two days before the competition.