St George score again
St George South produced another riveting performance to clinch a second successive title when the final of the David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Football Classic unfolded at Kensington Oval on Sunday night.
Goals either side of half-time from “Mr Reliable” Romario Watson and Dario ‘Ears’ Harewood, propelled the St George men to a 2-0 triumph over St Andrew, who picked the most inopportune time to lose their first game of the tournament.
An exciting opening to the much anticipated final saw either side create a string of half-chances, as both custodians were called into early action during an end to end first few minutes.
St Andrew managed to settle the better of the two sides thereafter, and squandered a brilliant opportunity to go ahead after they had completely monopolised possession while in the ascendancy.
The massive travelling St Andrew support would have hoped that they would not be left ruing such a chance at the end of the night, but the ruthless nature of the side they were up against came to the fore yet again, as the defending champions pounced to seize a titanic initiative late in the half.
St George South, as they so often do, weathered that difficult spell of pressure from St Andrew, before landing a dizzying counter punch in the 37th minute. Some tenacious work down the left from Rosean Brathwaite saw him win a throw near the touchline. The midfielder restarted play quickly, finding the young Romario Drakes with a quick throw-in and subsequently initiating the processes which lead to the opening goal.
Drakes brought the ball under his spell with time to take a glance up before threading an inch perfect through ball to match Romario Watson’s late run down the inside right. Watson then raced onto the pass before confidently slotting past the onrushing Bentley Springer and sprinting to the stands in celebration of the all-important opening strike.
St Andrew’s rhythm was now visibly broken, as they endured a disjointed final few minutes of the first half after falling behind. Suddenly their unbeaten record was under serious threat, at the time when they had the least margin for error.
They did manage to regain some of their fluency in the first 15 minutes of the second half though, but St George South were producing some attractive stuff as well, all the while playing the situation perfectly, staying neat and compact while baiting any kind of opportunities to strike on the break.
On 64 minutes, one such opportunity arose. The ever dangerous Shakille Belle tracked down a leading ball on the left and, as is customary, drove directly at his marker. A second defender came across to assist to no avail, as the forward bamboozled the duo before making his way to the byline and squaring a ball back into the area.
The cross took a slight deflection on its way into the box, which skewed it into the direction of Dario “Ears” Harewood who was alive to the move. Harewood stole in to nod home and again spark wild celebrations around the ground, as the striker clinically doubled St George South’s lead with under half-hour left.
Try as they might though, St Andrew were never truly able to re-establish their rhythm, save for a couple of half-chances late on, after falling behind for a second time.
St George South displayed excellent game management skills thereafter, staying tidy in possession and consequently taking the sting right out of the encounter, thereby seeing out the remaining minutes under minimal pressure, as they held on to deservedly win their second title in as many years under the Kensington floodlights.
In the early kick-off, an Okeefe Yearwood brace secured a well-earned third place for St Thomas, who also won by a 2-0 score-line. The St Thomas men impressively took care of St Michael West to earn the second runner-up prize, after Yearwood had struck in the 29th and 64th minutes. (ML)