Brittons Hill take Super Eight
IT WAS A STOUT Sunday night for soccer at the National Stadium.
And it was surely sweet stuff for new Guinness Super Eight kings Mackeson Brittons Hill.
But it left a bitter taste in the mouth of dethroned champs Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame.
After a goalless final in regular and extra time, Brittons Hill were spot on and prevailed over their St Michael arch-rivals 3-1 in the penalty shoot-out.
Goalkeeper Kerry Holder was Brittons Hill’s hero with two magnificent saves to deny the usually spot-on Dames captain John “Nobby” Parris and youngster Giancarlo Cobham.
Parris stepped up first and opted for placement rather than power, and the 27-year-old former Barbados Defence Force custodian moved smartly to his left to push away the shot.
Opposing captain Gregory “Lalu” Goodridge then made it 1-0, lashing a low left-foot shot into the far corner, giving the Dames’ keeper Morrison Taylor no chance.
When Holder dived to his right to collect Cobham’s tame spot kick, it meant the Dames had missed their first two attempts.
Teenaged midfielder Zidkigah Samuel showed no nerves as he made amends for a first-half miss by calmly and confidently beating Taylor to his right with his penalty, to make it 2-0.
Donovan Lavine gave the Dames a glimmer of hope when he drilled his spot kick in the right corner.
There was a buzz around the Stadium as Omar Archer took a long run-up and the national defender delivered, combining power and placement as he put his shot, high to Taylor’s right into the nets.
The Dames had to score their fourth kick, but the pressure was too much for experienced Barbados wing back Bryan Neblett and he scooped his left-foot effort high and wide of the right post.
Earlier, neither side could find the nets in 120 minutes. Holder, who should surely get an invitation to national training for the Digicel Caribbean Championships later in the year, also made a few timely saves, especially in the second period of extra time.
Holder had kept his position to twice block Ricky Barnes, who twisted and turned and tried to score, with the goalkeeper cutting down the angle instead of passing.
The ’keeper also had to deflect a shot by Cobham and pushed away a Parris header at his near post.
He didn’t have to move, though, as an unmarked Neblett kicked over the bars after Lavine played a delightful ball over the Brittons Hill defence. That chance came back to haunt the Dames.
“We are overjoyed. After giving away our League title to the Dames, we sat down after and decided to give it our all [to] win the two remaining cups,” Goodridge said amid the celebrations.
“It was also a great achievement to win the Second Division title as well, so we now want to win the Knockout Cup,” he said.