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St Joseph reach semis

Ezra Stuart

St Joseph reach semis

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HOW DARE YOU tell the St Joseph footballers they are minnows and that the parish is the only one which never had a Premier League or Division One team?
But after Friday night’s 2-1 victory over St Michael Central, their parochial supporters can boldly reply that they are among the best four teams when it comes to constituency football.
The unfancied St Joseph footballers have now joined rural neighbours St Thomas and The City in securing semi-final spots in the inaugural David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Classic.
Playing at the fair-sized Hilda Skeene playing field in St Philip, St Joseph, with the black-gloved Jacques Mayers pulling the strings in midfield, they started brightly and were rewarded as early as the eighth minute.
Former national youth selectee Michael Young was set free down the right flank by Beon Hackett and his cross was met by a tricky flick from Andrew Layne which deceived goalkeeper Dario Weir as it sailed over his head and into the far corner, much to the delight of the St Joseph fans.
It became 2-0 in the 24th minute when Young – who no longer plays in any of the Barbados Football Association’s competitions but instead represents Goodwill Cavaliers in the Barbados Cricket League – showed that he has truly come of age.
After twisting and turning past his marker, he took the ball to the edge of the by-line before sliding it across the goalmouth for MTW cricketer Raymond “Ragga” Kellman to stroke home at back post. 
St Michael Central had come back from a similar position to beat Christ Church West at Eden Lodge the previous Friday, but there was to be no fairy-tale finish this time.
Neither Damien Trotman, who couldn’t get any of his free kicks on target, nor Shawn Hackett could find a way past the solid St Joseph defence marshalled by Kevin Massiah.
Just after Kellman slipped the offside trap and kicked wide, St Michael Central pulled back a goal in the 78th minute when Dario Grosvenor broke free on the left, eluded two retreating defenders and avoided the challenge of advancing goalkeeper Marco Clarke to take the ball over the line.
The final ten minutes were gripping as the St Michael side sought the equalizer but Dwayne Holloway inexplicably sent his shot over the crossbar from ten yards after Trotman handed him a goal-scoring opportunity on a platter.
In the dying moments, St Joseph lost the services of Nicholas Nicholls with a neck injury but held on for a well-deserved victory.
The fourth semi-final berth was scheduled to be decided last night between St Michael West and Christ Church East at the same venue.