Blaze of glory for Foundation
Sometimes a little is just enough.
Christ Church Boys’ Foundation crowned themselves in schools football glory yesterday, winning the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Coca-Cola Under-16 title with a 1-0 victory over Garrison Secondary at the National Stadium.
In a game that was devoid of proper midfield play, the new champs did just enough to eke out a win.
For sure, they’ll take it.
Da-quan Marshall emerged as the hero, with a first-class goal after 55 minutes. Marshall collected a loose ball in midfield, turned on a dime, and from 28 yards, calmly curled an unstoppable shot into the top right-hand corner.
What followed was far from calm. Marshall started a celebration sprint to the sidelines, was mobbed by his teammates, and even prompted a few schoolmates to forget where they were and join in the happy time.
The students ran on to the pitch to join the Foundation mountain at which Marshall lay at the base, having provided his school with all it needed to earn the title.
Coach of Foundation, Anderson Bovell, could hardly catch his breath after the match. “These are a great bunch of kids,” he told NATIONSPORT. “They worked hard for this, and they deserved it. They got a lot of help from other coaches along the way, and they came out and played hard. They really deserve to be champions.”
Garrison coach Enrico Ramsay, expectedly, was not a happy man after the final, but did admit his charges played their hearts out.
“I’m being very honest in feeling we lost this match because the referee (Mark Moses) didn’t make an important call when he should have. We had a player on the ground who had been fouled, and play was allowed to go on, and we gave up a goal right there and then. If that had not happened, we would have probably gone to penalties, and then the true character of our team would have been seen,” Ramsay noted.
Foundation did produce the most chances in a sub-standard first half, with three clear-cut opportunities in the first 20 minutes, but somehow they were unable to get the ball past the goal-line.
Garrison, on the other hand, had just two shots at goal, both coming on 30-yard free-kicks which sailed harmless over Foundation keeper Paul Doughty’s head.
The first 12 minutes of the match were a nightmare for even the part-time football fan, as neither team was able to put together three passes, a period when kick-ball could have replaced the true name of the sport.
Still, Foundation appeared to take the ascendency after that poor period, behind the play of Mottley. The tallest player on the Stadium pitch was guilty quite a few times of holding onto possession too long, even attempting to walk the ball into goal, but was the best player in the game nevertheless.
He created the first buzz for Foundation after 17 minutes, with a brilliant pass behind the defence that set Marshall free, but his team-mate blasted over the goal.
Five minutes later Mottley had his own chance on a return pass from Marshall, but completely muffed in front of goal.
Foundation kept the pressure up, but the game remained goalless at the break.
In the second session, not even a substitution after five minutes, or the arrival of principal Matthew Farley down to the base of the Jim Wedderburn Stand could light a fire under the Garrison team.
Their passes remained errant, their midfield play non-existent, and their chances the same.
Their best player, T’Shane Lorde, who excelled in the semi-final two days earlier, was a complete no-show in the most important match of the season, and it wasn’t that Foundation were double teaming him or even paying special attention. The talented midfielder was left a frustrated star, constantly holding his head in his hands after his attempts to take over the game backfired because of wasted possessions.
In a much more exciting match preceding the final, dethroned champs Lester Vaughan earned third place, withstanding a horrid 15 minutes of pressure before a much-harder-than-it-looked 3-1 victory over Harrison College.