NPC football champs
Players of the Wildey-based National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) are still celebrating as champions of the 2014 Massy United Insurance Barbados Commercial Football Festival.
The NPC boys, playing in blue jerseys, lifted the championship for the first time when they stopped SMJ Cool Runnings 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out at Bagatelle on Sunday night.
After SMJ’s goalkeeper Kevin Massiah had kept hope alive for his team, by saving two kicks, Walton Burrowes sealed the deal for NPC as he beat the keeper to his left on the fifth and final spot-kick for the winners.
Earlier, SMJ had looked capable of securing the title with a single goal as they kept out the NPC attackers for most of the game after Stephan Bowen had given them an early lead in the eighth minute, with a blast from 35 yards that flew off the underside of the crossbar and rattled the nets.
They absorbed the pressure until the last minute, when experienced Premier League striker Orantes Lawrence squeezed in the equaliser for NPC on a corner-kick from the left . That made it 1-1 and forced the play-off to be decided from the penalty spot.
Mervin Thorpe and Damian Thorington converted for SMJ, while Adrian Weekes, Renaldo Niles and Burrowes scored for NPC who emerged unbeaten in the competition.
SMJ had reached the final after a 4-3 win, on penalties, over Rotherley Construction in the semi-finals while NPC had stopped Oran 3-0.
In the third-place play-off, also on Sunday, Rotherley defeated Oran 2-0 with goals from Dale Benn and Kevin Alleyne.
After action on the pitch, trophies and awards were presented at the Bagatelle clubhouse by Tanya Williams, a claims assistant of sponsors Massy United Insurance.
Festival organiser Trevor Thorne reported that 20 teams contested the competition, in four zones, and 111 goals were scored in 48 matches. (BA/PR)