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Crane lift title

Joshua Hope (right) of the Crane Resort team collected the champions’ trophy from Sharron Alleyne-Elcock, marketing manager of sponsors United Insurance. Captain Paul Archer (left) was also voted MVP of the tournament. (GP) Crane striker Mustafa Haqq, also a Paradise Premier League 1 player, shields the ball under pressure from a BS&T defender in their 3-1 win. (GP)

Wed, September 11, 2013 - 12:03 AM

Soccer-playing staff of The Crane Residential Resort have done it again.

For the second year running, they lifted the Division 1 title in the Barbados Commercial Football Association’s six-a-side tournament with a 3-1 win over Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T).

In the recent final, on a wet and slippery Bagatelle ground in St Thomas, Ryan Forde, Barry Skeete and Mustafa Haqq all found the net with second-half strikes that crushed BS&T’s ambitions.

BS&T managed to shut out the defending champions in the first half with good marking and timely interceptions but fell behind in the 30th minute as Forde was put through on the right and beat the advancing goalkeeper.

Lamar Holligan kept BS&T in the game five minutes later, equalizing 1-1 with an impressive overlapping run down the left and a clinical finish to the far corner.

However, sensing the need to stay ahead of the opposition, The Crane then pressured the BS&T defence for a sustained period and made it 2-1 as a free-kick was deflected by Skeete in a crowded defence and peeled off the glove of the BS&T goalkeeper.

The match was later signed and sealed in the 45th minute, the final minute of a game that featured two halves of 22 minutes, as the dangerous Haqq, who had earlier drawn two saves from the BS&T keeper, was sent clear by captain Paul Archer and buried the third goal.

That set off celebrations among the men from the East, similar to when they registered a 2 to 1 extra-time win over SBI Distribution in last year’s final.

BS&T “B” ensured that they had something to celebrate on the night as they routed Rotherley Construction 5-1 in the play-off for third place.

Following the exciting play-off, watched by a modest crowd and representatives of the sponsors, Sharron Alleyne-Elcock, marketing manager of main sponsors United Insurance, praised the players and organizers for a successful tournament.

Even in these challenging economic times, she said, United Insurance was proving itself to be a good corporate citizen and intended to continue its support for football and other endeavours that allow citizens to get involved in wholesome activities and create outlets for the expression of excellence.

Tournament coordinator Trevor Thorne said this was the second year in the 25-year existence of the Commercial Football Association that the six-a-side festival was staged and 45 matches were played over a four-week period.

Twenty-four teams took part in the festival and over 200 goals were scored in the competition, which was also supported by Jewellers Warehouse, Armstrong Agencies and RMJ Agencies.

HONOUR ROLL

Best Goalkeeper: Dale Blackman (BS&T)

Best Defender: Ryan Holder (Crane A).

Best Midfielder: Paul Archer (Crane A)

Best Striker: Ronley Holder (Rotherley A)

MVP: Paul Archer (Crane A).

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