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Dames stay in race

Andi Thornhill

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Chances are that if Clarke’s Hill had taken their chances, they would have knocked Claytons Kola Notre Dame out of the KFC Champions Cup at the National Stadium on Tuesday night.
They didn’t, and it cost them a place in the next round as the Dames won 1-0 with an 89th-minute goal from Hadan Holligan to secure a quarter-final berth.
In the early exchanges of the football clash, the Dames were dominant in midfield but struggled to get that final, clinical pass to unlock the door of their opponents’ defence.
Part of the problem for the Dames was that Clarke’s Hill always had an adequate number of players behind the ball, so it was difficult to penetrate the congestion in the attacking third.
Goal-scoring opportunities were at a premium at both ends but Clarke’s Hill missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 15th minute.
Pushing high up, the Dames’ defence was caught out and with only goalkeeper Kareem Farrell to beat, Dario Blackman failed to accept their generosity.
Late in the half, a through ball sent Holligan galloping towards the Clarke’s Hill goal, but he was thwarted by a timely interception from goalkeeper Corey Coppin.
The goalless first half prepared the paltry crowd for an intense second session, in which both teams showed greater urgency as they tried to break the deadlock.
Clarke’s Hill again created two opportunities with movement emanating from the right flank but couldn’t convert.
Substitute Ramone Beckles had an even clearer chance but kicked over from inside left.
Despite a scholarly effort from veteran John “Nobby” Parris at centre half, the St Philip lads were running the Dames’ defence ragged as they gained momentum.
Possession without goals means nothing so the door was still wide open for the Premier League team to show superiority and the lethal moment came against the run of play.
Holligan hurt the hearts of Clarke’s Hill players and supporters with a goal in the dying moments, pocketing a rebound off the post, which the Clarke’s Hill defence failed to clear.
It proved to be the game winner. Ironically, it was the Dames’ only shot on goal compared to the vanquished who had had several.
In the other game, it took extra time for Mackeson Brittons Hill to break the resistance of another stubborn First Division side, Youth Milan 5-2.
Walton Burrowes and Darnell Murray each scored twice and Andre Gibson once for Brittons Hill. Brian Husbands and Norman Forde netted for Milan.
In another match at Emmerton, DirecTV Paradise came from a goal down to beat Red & White 4-1, behind skipper Armando Lashley’s impressive beaver-trick. He scored in the first half, then added goals in the 58th, 69th and 80th minutes.
Saturday’s Round of 32 results were as follows:
Maxwell 1, Barbados Youth Service 2
BDF 1, Silver Sands 2
Ivy Rovers 1, Empire 3
Road View 0, Kick Start 1
Flat Rock 2, Sonnets 0
Paradise 3, Pinelands 1
Porey Spring 0, Red & White  2
Beverly Hill 1, Dayrells Rd 0
Clarkes Hill 2, Bagatelle 0
Notre Dame 3, Orange Hill 0
L & R United 2, Ellerton 1
Crompton 1, Brittons Hill 2
Caribbean United 0, Youth Milan 3