IT will be a South and West Coast derby in the finals of the 2017 Blackheart Knockout Football Tournament this evening at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
The excitement will kick off from 6:30 p.m. with the third place playoff between Marchand and Gros Islet. The two teams were booted out of championship contention and the EC$25,000 dollars first prize at stake.
Then it’s the big one — the grand finale.
The excitement and loud shouts are expected to increase from 8:30 p.m. as defending champions Vieux Fort South take on Canaries in what is expected to be a thrilling encounter.
The pitch is expected to be quick as usual and the strategy and technical aspects by the coaching staff of both teams will be paramount. The two teams are known for their fast-paced game and one can imagine what the outcome will be as they go all out to seal victory.
The boys from the south will start as favourites, but one cannot count out 2014 champions, Canaries, under Head Coach Dominic Leonty, who has made a vast difference since returning to the team which had a downward spiral in terms of performance.
The west coast team has already won a major championship this year (Vizions–Super League) under Leonty’s watch and they are expected to come out and make a serious statement. They are currently the only team in the tournament without a proper playing surface to prepare for tournament of this nature.
VFS, on the other hand, will be looking to win back-to-back titles and close in on Mabouya Valley and Dennery, who have won the tournament three times each.
How the two team made it to the finals: VFS defeated Vieux Fort North 1-0, Anse la Raye 1-0 and Gros islet 2-0. Canaries defeated Mon Repos 2-0, Mabouya Valley 1-0, and Marchand 6-5.
The Vieux Fort South team reads: Jamil Joseph, Leon Alexander, Gregson President, Kurt Joseph, Bernard Edward, Antonious Myers, Kimlan Mason, Azar Charles, Hassan Evans, SarnSavery, Antonio Joseph, Dwayne Charles, Moses Henry, Paulsen Joseph, Vino Barcelette, Liam Savery, Kemp Edgar and Noah Nicholas.
The Canaries team reads: Quami Jones, Bradley Tisson, Mczerious Nicholas, Rick Leonty, Thomas Edward, Rashid Duncan, DocusProspere, Cassius Joseph, Robert Regis, David Henry, Dwayne Jn. Baptiste, Peter James, Leslie Shepherd, Claudius Felix, Steven Longville, Donavan Jn Baptiste, O’Neal Toussaint and Oba Tucker.
Meanwhile, last week Saturday in the first semifinals, Canaries registered a 6-5 win in a penalty shootout over Marchand after the scores were locked at regulation and 30 minutes of extra time while defending champions Vieux Fort South defeated Gros Islet 2-0.
Jordan St.Ange opened the scoring for Marchand in the 14th minute while Rashid Duncan found the back of the nets for Canaries in the 80th minute for the equalizer.
Despite several surges to nose ahead by both teams, the score-line remained 1-1 up until regulation plus 30 minutes of extra time. In the dreaded penalty shootout, Canaries held their nerves to win 6-5.
In the second semifinal, Vieux Fort South defeated Gros Islet with one goal each from Gregson President from the penalty spot in the 18th minute and Antonio Joseph in the 76th minute.