By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
After winning the League title, President’s Cup and Knock Out Championships, Islanders will sit on the sidelines as Lion Heart put the final nail in their season with a 3-2 victory on Sunday in Greenland and advanced to face the Virgin Gorda Sugar Boys in the Super 6 Series finals.
Clive Weir put the Islanders ahead in the 31st minute, but Lion Heart hit back immediately with Stevan Williams’ equalizing goal. With goals in the 62nd and 67th Janel Ferdinand and Sheldon Brown put Lion Heart on top, before Primo Francis ensured a nervy last 10 minutes making it 3-2 in the 79th.
“To be honest, we did not play as well as we were expected to play because right now, Islanders are not playing their A game, and we came out and played really reluctant,” Lion Heart Coach Ewart Reid told Island Sun Sports. “We were too relaxed instead of pushing the game because our expectation was to score four goals. We had the opportunity but did not take it. During the game, the players played more of a relaxed game than the high pressed game we had earlier planned. As a result of that, we did not execute our game plan as we had planned.”
With injuries and red cards, Islanders Captain Andy Davis told Island Sun Sports that it wasn’t his team’s day.
“That hampered us from putting a team that we’d like on the field, but nonetheless, the guys that we played, they played well, they played with a lot of heart,” Davis pointed out. “We got goals from sometimes unlikely sources—nonetheless they’re welcomed. I think we had an opportunity in the latter part of the first half to equalize, maybe even go ahead. Lion Heart played a good game. They controlled the ball a lot, took advantage of their chances, but all in all, I think we did pretty well under the circumstances.”
In the other match, goals from Derrol Redhead in the 55th and German Gonzalez in the 90th minute secured all three points and guaranteed the Sugar Boys their place in the final, after a 2-0 derby day win over Virgin Gorda United, at the Valley Recreation Grounds.
The Panthers FC Women were held to a 0-0 draw by the shorthanded table topping Avengers in Greenland on Saturday.
“The Panthers did everything but score,” Coach Wayne Phillips noted. “We were unable to capitalize on them being short of players as they held their heads high and played a good game.”
In the other match, Kezia Gumbs scored a late winner for Virgin Gorda United as they beat the Wolues, 1-0, on the Virgin Gorda Recreation Grounds.
“The Wolues dominated the game,” Coach Thomas “Manly” Albert stated. “Ana French saved about 12 shots, but when we got our one chance, Kezia buried it.”
In the U13 Division, the Panthers beat Wolues, 3-1, with goals coming from Myles Penn, Lashawn Gibbs and Christian Vanterpool, while Oakley Hodges found the net for Wolues.
“Our goalkeeper, Akeem Paddy was on fire to keep out the Wolues strikers and it was a great game,” Phillips said. “We bounced the ball around a lot to create our chances against a well-organized opponent.”
The Sugar Boys then beat One Caribbean, 3-0, in the other match.
In the U18 Division, the Wolues cruised past the Rebels, 4-0, under the newly installed lights in Greenland, as after a slight delay to sort out a clash of shirt colors. Sam Potgeiter netted twice inside 10 minutes to put the game out of reach of the Rebels, then finished with a hat trick. Michael Palladino scored the other goal from a free kick.