By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The curtains came down on the BVI Football Association Women and Men’s 9 a-side Football League on Sunday in Greenland, with the Lady Ball Starz and the Virgin Gorda Sugar Boyz,securing the respective titles.
“Trust me, it’s very special to win this title,” Ball Starz’s coach Morris Mark said. “After last year when there was so much controversy, we got some young players from the U17 team and said we’d go unbeaten and no one would beat us and we came out victorious today. The girls fought and fought and fought the whole season.”
Ball Starz—who raced to a 2-0 lead on goals by striker Philia James that they carried into halftime—saw the Lady Panthers coming back to knot the score at 2-2 sending it into overtime before they regrouped and went on to a 4-2 victory, in the Nine A Side Tournament championship.
Just as the second half began, the Panthers’ Jacinta Weekes wriggled her way through the Ball Starz’s back line and put the ball in the nets cutting the deficit to 2-1. Within ten minutes it was all squared when again the BallStarz’s defense failed to deal with the ball and Kimone Mills fed Weekes who took a touch and made no mistake, shooting low past the keeper.
“I think what happened is that we just got a bit too relaxed in the defense and we made some technical mistakes,” Morris explained. “I spoke to them and said they can’t take chances with these players because I knew the fight of the Panthers’ veteran players. I told them we had to keep fighting until the whistle blows.”
Aubrey Liburd said before the start of the game, his Panthers were missing key personnel. “That’s what made the difference,” he said. “But, we still knew we could have done it, but just came up short. Simple mistakes they made in extra time and that cost us the game.”
Weekes walked off with the MVP award with the Golden Glove going to the Avengers’ Brittney Peters and the Golden Boot to James.
In the men’s championship, the Sugar Boys beat the Islanders 2-0 with second half goals coming from Derol Redhead and McGraw Baptiste.
Redhead scored on a header leaving Islanders’ goalie Monty Butler stranded and then Butler failed to deal with a long range free kick and could only watch as the ball rebounded off the bar and into the path of Baptiste who fired home.
Derol Redhead won the MVP award. The Golden Gloves was taken by the Wolues’ Andre Gaymes and Golden Boot was earned by the Sugar Boyz’s Roger Roberts.
The Panthers claimed third place with a 3-2 victory over the Wolues, who not only had lost key players through suspension, but saw their 2-0 lead evaporate, when Gaymes got injured and was unable to finish the game.