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Action-packed Champions cup


EZRA STUART

Action-packed Champions cup

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LAST SUNDAY’S?three quarter-finals in the KFC Champions Cup were loaded with non-stop action and the referees came under the microscope with a number of their decisions being scrutinized.
Before a crowd of over 2 000 spectators at the Wildey Football AstroTurf, Ellerton, Mackeson Brittons Hill and OKG Rendezvous all secured semi-final berths.
There were 11 goals, three players were red-carded and three penalties were awarded, two of which were converted as Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame goalkeeper Kareem Farrell brought off a magnificent save to thwart the competition’s leading goalscorer, Shandel Samuels.  
The identity of the fourth semi-finalist will have to await the resolution of the dispute over the non-playing of the May 18 third round knockout match between Pride of Gall Hill and Blackspurs. The Barbados Olympic Association has been asked to arbitrate in the matter.
Gall Hill have appealed the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) decision to award Blackspurs the match on the grounds that the Christ Church side breached a tournament rule on the use of players’ identification cards.
Whatever the outcome, the winner will have the unenviable task of facing the Barbados Defence Force in the quarter-final. Then, whoever wins, will play the star-studded Division 2 outfit, OKG Rendezvous, who prevailed 2-0 on Sunday in a thrilling match with Notre Dame, through a double strike by Samuel, who atoned for his missed penalty.  
In the evening’s opening matcah, Ellerton, behind a double strike from Barbados Under-17 striker Shakille Belle and first half goals by Belle’s national Under-17 teammate Rosean Brathwaite and Renaldo Phillips, had ended the enterprising run of  Division 2 side Sargeants with an emphatic 4-1 victory.
Randy Straughn got Sargeants’ consolation goal, converting a penalty after Ellerton’s left wing back Javon Austin was sent off in the 51st minute for an infringement in the 18-yard box.
Brittons Hill then triumphed 3-1 over nine-man DirecTV Paradise but it was not a convincing performance by any means. The winning two goals only came in the last ten minutes when Paradise had defender Tito Beckles red-carded for his second bookable offence following goal-keeper’s Jason Boxhill’s first half ejection.
The victory has set up a showdown with Division One side, Ellerton, who should not be under-estimated. As recently Actionas 2010, the St George footballers reached the knockout final before losing to Notre Dame.
Let’s hope the BFA and Gall Hill can settle their dispute so that the 2013 title can be decided on the field of play.

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