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Grantley Prescod new champs

RIA GOODMAN, [email protected]

Grantley Prescod new champs

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Grantley Prescod’s Jelani Phillips headed home the winning goal to hand his school a 1-0 victory against Milton Lynch during Wednesday’s final of the National Sports Council’s BICO Primary Schools Football Competition with just two minutes left at the National Stadium.

Phillips managed to grab the header during a melee in front of the goalbars when the ball bounced over Milton Lynch’s goalkeeper.

It was Grantley Prescod’s third title after winning their first championship in 2002 as Pine Primary and their second in 2014 and they revelled in the glory after the final whistle.

Duane Moseley, who coached the team to victory in 2014 in his first year as physical education teacher got the farewell presenthe wished for when he once again captured the cup. 

Co-coach Mario Vanterpool said they had a game plan going into the competition and maintained that strategy throughout, first becoming Zone 3 winners and ultimately champions of the 37th edition of the competition.

“We knew that we had to win all our games, the boys put their best foot forward and it was smooth sailing from game one straight up,” Vanterpool said.

“We told the guys from the get-go how we wanted our style of football played. Keep the ball on the ground, spread the ball to the flanks, use our wide players, one being Jelani Phillips who ended up scoring the winner and the other being Karim Wade. The majority of them are in Class 4 and the graduation is tomorrow [today] so they have something to celebrate,” he said.

Both teams played a decent game, exhibiting tactical football with skills beyond their years as they made sure neither made the breakthrough in the first half or for the majority of the second.

Milton Lynch began their attacking early in the first half with a left-foot strike from Shaquille Crowney, which ended up going wide, and Mykio Sobers took their first corner before it was well defended.

However, Grantley Prescod had greater ball possession and more opportunities with the help of the imposing Phillips and the gifted Kimani Straker, who was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

In the dying stages of the first half Grantley Prescod’s captain Davon Forde made a major attempt when he stole the ball from Jariah Brathwaite, who fell to the ground but it hit the bar and went wide.

With 20 minutes left on the clock after the teams returned to the field, Christian Ifill took the field in the place of Jayden Rowe and Jevere Samson-Brathwaite later checked in.

Milton Lynch may have gotten a stern talk from coach Shane Bentham, which led to them looking more organised when they returned to the field.

“We didn’t play as we usually do. I don’t think it was the occasion for the simple fact that we played on Monday [semi-final] and it was a similar occasion. The goal was a tough call . . . [but] I still think they played well enough that we could have gone to extra time because the goal was scored with two minutes left. It is a hard loss because in 2015, I also lost in the final,” he said. (RG)