It was sweet revenge for St Cuthbert’s Mission when they stunned Swan FC 2-1 to win the Region Four Heritage Football Playoffs thus earning themselves the right to represent the region at the National Heritage Football Championship finals.
Playing in a three way competition St Cuthbert’s Mission had lost to a more organised and evidently determined Swan 4-2 sending shockwaves in the St Cuthbert’s community. However, St Cuthbert’s reorganised themselves, thus defeating Laluni 4-2 on kicks from the penalty mark and ultimately earning the right to play Swan in the finals which they also won.
While the match can be considered as a fiercely contested battle, Swan seemed to lack the finishing touch as they were unable to convert their scoring opportunities, St Cuthbert’s being very offensive minded.
Cheered on by a large their home supporters which included St Cuthbert’s Mission Toshao, Ms Beverly Clenkian and their Sports Councillor, they utalised home advantage to good effect. TEh home team took the lead in the 5th minute when Shamai Bernard capitalised on poor defending, stunning the goalkeeper with a long range shot.
As the game progressed, St Cuthbert’s Mission gained more ball possession while a desperate Swan team tried their utmost to get into the game. The score didn’t take long to move to 2-0 as competition danger man Zack Pererria demonstrated why the other regions should beware of his presence when he played a clever shot resulting in him adding his name to the scored card in the 15th minute.
Joseph Williams knocked in Swan’s first goal to cut the home team’s advantage in the 23rd minute. In the second half both teams were guilty of wasting several scoring opportunities with Swan leading in this regard as St Cuthbert’s Mission held unto their lead.
Swan’s Coach, Andre Gonsalves who was very disappointed and was almost moved to tears said that he was lost for words over his team’s showing in the finals.
”We had a game plan and while I don’t want to sound as though I am hitting the guys very hard the reality is that we didn’t stick to the plan and therefore lost a game where we failed to play according to plans, if we had done that we may have won,” Gonsalves said.
He noted that his players still have a far way to go but felt that at this stage of the competition they were performing at a higher rate than what many had expected. He disclosed that he will continue to work very hard and diligently in training the guys noting that on the brighter side he is confident that some of the guys will go on to the national team at the Under-15, 17 and 21 levels.
”We have a core of players who with the right training, discipline and determination will go on to greater things because they are determine and confident and that is the brightest part of everything,” he said.
Meanwhile, an elated and overjoyed St Cuthbert’s Captain Duran Adrian said that his team was forced to rebound after underestimating Swan in their first game. He said that the defeat helped in motivating them to play a much better and disciplined game adding that they are ready for the challenge of representing the region at the finals.
“We recognised that we had to regroup as we came out to win all of our matches and fortunately for us we lost the first but rebounded in the second and last matches which were the most important ones. We are confident of doing well and we are all elated that we have not disappointed the people of our community,” the Captain said.
He noted that his team is eager to represent the region adding that they would be sticking to their game plan. “This is our first time representing the region at the National finals and we are anxious to have earned this opportunity and would like to assure our fans that we will deliver,” Adrian declared.
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