Goalkeeper Ralique Peddie stood tall between the sticks as the irresistible Granville successfully defended their crown and are again champions of the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) Under-13 Football Competition.
Granville gained a second successive hold on the crown, their sixth overall and a third in four years, with a strenuous and defiant victory over John Rollins Success Primary in the championship game played at the UDC field last Friday, June 14.
Granville needed the dreaded penalties to see off their spirited opponents, winning 3-0 from the spot after a 0-0 full and extra time draw in a championship game which failed to live up to expectations.
One of two brothers to find the back of the net from the spot, Jordan Campbell confidently opened the scoring for the champions in the shoot-out when he rifled home acutely into the corner of the net to give Granville the lead from the spot.
Abraham Quest and Desroy Campbell, also low into the back of the net, were the other scorers for Granville as they successfully defended their crown.
It was disaster for the 2017 champions Success, as they failed to connect from the spot, having two of their three kicks taken stopped brilliantly by the custodian in goal for Granville, Ralique Peddie.
Captain Devonte Watkin, a survivor from the 2017 winning team, had his kick sensationally saved down the middle of the goal; Ferando Atkin too saw his effort stopped by the alert keeper, and the usually dependable Dawayne Spence saw his fierce strike cannononed back off the base of the upright.
The victory for the Granville unit saw them again ending the season spectacularly undefeated, and also has them avenging their 2017 semi-final defeat to the same opponent.
Success, who entered the contest as underdogs but had been tipped to cause a few problems to their opponent’s backline, struggled to get settled and despite the odd look, failed to spark as they were mostly pressed on the defensive.
Granville created the first opening mere seconds into the start, but Javel Allen from inside the area and with the goalkeeper for Success beaten, sent his shot shockingly wide of the target.
Desroy Campbell also had efforts on target, the first a stinging shot, stopped brilliantly by the keeper who was the busier of the two keepers, before a toe poke, which deflected off the Success keeper and crashed into the side of the net, flashed by the base of the post.
Granville are now the joint winningest team of the age-old competition, first won back in 1991 by Catherine Hall Primary, who also have six titles to their name, the last of which came back in 2015.
Meanwhile, Chetwood, who had been tipped to lift this year’s title, secured third place with a 2-0 defeat of Barracks Road Primary in the battle for minor placings.
Raymond Campbell and Kaylor Palmer in the 2nd and 48th minutes found the goals for the Leacroft Lettman-coached team.
Competition organizer, Hopeton Gilchrist, says this year’s event was another good one, and was pleased with the outcome. “Good overall season, even though there is still room for improvement he told the Western Mirror.
Gilchrist also pointed out the improved performances of the female players as they have come along way and are seemingly much better than in years gone by.
Gilchrist, the National youth coach, says the competition had better overall performances and better quality.