Win for football
Two draws but a victory for local football!
A pair of goalkeeping gaffes greeted the 5 000 plus football fans who converged on the National Stadium on Sunday night for the inauguration of the LIME Pelican Challenge.
In the opening game, Scotty’s Combined Stars and Conquerors played to a 1-1 stalemate, while the feature match between Broad Street Men and Women Red Tridents and TS Strikers ended with a similar 1-1 result.
Left-sided winger Jamar Parris, who plays with the Premiership-bound Dayrells Road team, created history by scoring the first goal in the lucrative tournament, carrying a first prize of $100 000.
His firm left-foot shot slipped through the hands of experienced goalkeeper Adrian Chase to give the impressive Combined Stars a 1-0 lead after 24 minutes.
Conquerors, loaded with players from perennial Premiership kings Notre Dame, should really have taken the lead, but their lanky striker Travis Coppin first headed a Bryan Neblett corner wide and badly miss-controlled a ball which was played across the Stars’ goalmouth by Carl Joseph.
National Under-17 striker Diquan Adamson also failed to make the Stars pay for a mix-up in their defence.
At the other end, former national Under-23 striker Tristan “Fish” Parris was a livewire upfront, as he constantly threatened, while Malcolm “Buju” Marshall pulled the strings in midfield with some pinpoint passes.
Adamson got the equalizer for Conquerors in the 61st minute as he neatly tapped home a superb cross from Joseph, the ball trickling through the legs of goalkeeper Kareem Farrell.
John Stoute came into his own in the second half with some niffy moves as the Stars started to shine on the overcast night.
But Chase redeemed himself, blocking Stoute and also deflecting a goal-bound shot from Tristan Parris following a fantastic floated ball by Marshall for a corner as the ball glanced off the upright.
Veteran John Parris, who was pushed into the midfield with 42-year-old former Barbados captain Wayne “Guy” Sobers marshalling the Conquerors’ defence, also missed a volley while Combined Stars’ substitute Stefan Bowen sent his left-foot effort over the bars.
The pace and standard of the second game was more attractive even though there were a number of missed opportunities in the first half. The goal-keeping was certainly better as TS Strikers’ Omari Eastmond made some impressive saves while the long-serving Vasco “Ninja” Husbands rolled back the years.
The heavy-set Quincy Atherley and diminutive Terry Odle formed the striking combination for Red Tridents but neither buried their chances, with an Odle near-post effort going wide.
Dwayne “Boot” Griffith was also stalled by Eastmond, who brought off the save of the night, parrying a fierce shot from Rondelle Vaughan after he ran onto a lovely lob over the TS Strikers’ defence by Romelle Burgess.
At the other end, the speedy Jamal Chandler slipped past the Tridents’ defence but Husbands, always good in one-on-one situations, thwarted the young striker.
Jason “Fowlie” Blackman, who made the Barbados Digicel Cup team in 2006, displayed flashes of brilliance in the TS Strikers’ line-up, but he wasn’t able to head home a stinging cross from his fellow dread-locked teammate Cleve Boyce.
After a goalless first half, it took Chandler just two minutes into the second session to beat Husbands as he hammered home a free-kick from an Andrew Tudor pass.
Odle also made amends for his earlier misses, when he slotted home a cross from Omar Archer, much to the delight of Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler, one of several politicians who attended the game.