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Gall Hill’s big test


EZRA STUART

Gall Hill’s big test

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THE PRIDE OF GALL HILL footballers will have a point to prove in tonight’s feature KFC Champions Cup knockout semi-final against OKG Rendezvous at the Wildey Football AstroTurf.
Prematurely kicked out of the competition by the Barbados Football Association, only to be reinstated by the Barbados Olympic Association following arbitration relating to players’ identification cards, the reprieved Gall Hill are seemingly on a mission.
They have displayed not only pride but passion and a sense of purpose with a thrilling quarter-final extra-time 1-0 victory over the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) on Wednesday after their 7-0 annihilation of Blackspurs.
Now the five-time knockout champions, who have been playing scintillating soccer, will want to show all and sundry they are capable of upstaging the highly fancied Division 2 side, which features past and present Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines players.
This 8 p.m. encounter will be preceded by the other semi-final at 5:30 p.m., between 2007 champions Mackeson Brittons Hill and Division 1 team Ellerton, the losing finalists in 2010.
Rendezvous have been on a roll in the Champions Cup, scoring 30 goals without conceding any in five matches.
They started with an 8-0 rout of Wotton, followed by a 4-0 blanking of St John Sonnets; an 11-0 drubbing of Shawn Hope United; a 5-0 whipping of Parish Land and a hard-fought 2-0 quarter-final win over Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame.
The attack has been led by fleeted-footed Vincentian cousins Shaundel Samuel and Myron Samuel, with Barbados captain Jeffrey Williams and Vincy Heat trio Romano Snagg, Damal Francis and Norel George engineering the plays in midfield.
Gall Hill have scored 17 goals and given up two through 4-1 and 5-1 victories over Beverley Hills and Villa United respectively. They meted out a 7-0 hammering of Blackspurs and a 1-0 triumph over BDF.
They have creative midfielders in Barbados players Renaldo Marques and Malcolm “Buju” Marshall.
They will be joined by Rico “Sas” Baptiste in providing quality service to Ryan “Shaky” Griffith and teenaged strikers Jabarry “Pappy” Chandler and Shaquille Boyce.
In what is the perfect case of youth versus experience, Chandler and Boyce will be coming up against three of Barbados’ most outstanding  defensive players during the last two decades in Wayne Sobers, Floyd Bailey and the versatile Gregory “Lalu” Goodridge.
Rendezvous also have the hard-tackling Jomo Brathwaite, who can be  intimidating in defence.
Brittons Hill vs Ellerton
Despite struggling in the league, Ellerton, with Barbados Under-17 duo Shakille Belle and Rosean Brathwaite, plus Rinaldo Phillips, have shown their mettle in the knockout and should not be underestimated.
They have scored four goals in all four of their matches, beating Central League Spartans and Haynesville 4-0; Dayrells Road 4-2 and Sargeants 4-1.
Overall, Brittons Hill’s knockout form has not been anything to do a song and dance about, with a 3-2 extra time win over Empire; a 2-0 victory against UWI; a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over Cosmos after a 2-2 stalemate and a 3-1 triumph over nine-man Paradise in the quarter-final.

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