After a hiatus for two years, New Generation FCemerged champions in the 2019 Hon. Ezekiel Joseph/Babonneau Football League championship when the curtains came down on Saturday May 4th at the Fond Assau Playing Field. Despite a persistent down pour, hundreds of football enthusiasts turned out to take in the showpiece.   

On the pitch, New Generation FC nosed ahead in the 20th minute of play with a goal scored by Raheem Lionel. Despite relentless attacks to score by both teams at either end of the pitch, New Generation FC went into halftime break of referee Nigel Mathurin’s whistle with a 1-0 advantage.

When play resumed, both teams upped the momentum a few notches, but by the then the crowd had doubled. In fact, close to 75 percent of the fans who came to support were in New Generation FC’s corner.

(L-R) Lee Edward captain for New Generation FC receiving the Championship Trophy from Parliamentary Representative for Babonneau, Ezekiel Joseph; MVP of the Finals, Raheem Lionel (New Generation FC) . (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

On the pitch, Lionel was back on the score sheet for the second time of the evening when a New Generation FC player was fouled. Referee Nigel Mathurin wasted no time as he immediately pointed to the penalty spot only for Lionel to dispatch a well taken right footer that eluded the Bright FC goalkeeper in the 52nd minute (2-0).

One minute later (53rd) Raheem Lionel put New Generation FC further ahead and in the process scored his hat trick which caused an early Fond Assau carnival type celebration.

Bright FC pulled one back in the 59th minute via the penalty spot which captain, Kissenger Anthony clinically put away to make it 3-1.

For Bright FC, despite several scoring attempts, New Generation FC defence stood tall up until the final whistle of the referee.

For the third place silverware Boguis FC came from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Allied Forces/RSLPF 2- 1 to take home the third place trophy and medals.

Asha Julien put Allied Forces/RSLPF in the lead in the first half giving them a 1 – 0 advantage up until the halftime whistle.

(L-R) BFL Champions New Generation FC celebrate their victory. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

On the resumption, Bogius FC upped the tempo only for Tarik Delaire to score twice to seal victory for his team; the second goal a brilliant free kick in the final minutes of the encounter took his goal tally to six, the most in this year’s tournament.

MVP of the Final, Raheem Lionel said, “I am feeling so happy, and everything just went into my head. It’s the first time winning a final. The last time we played a final we lost, but this time we came out stronger and better.”

Lionel thanked his teammates, his coach, his family and the New Generation FC supporters that turned out in large numbers for helping to make their win possible on the night.

Immediately following the encounter Parliamentary Representative for Babonneau, Ezekiel Joseph presented the following awards. The MVP of the Finals: Raheem Lionel (EC$200.00); Most Goals: Tarick Delaire (EC$100.00).

Other awards for first place included the Championship trophy, gold medals and EC$2500.00 – New Generation FC; a trophy, silver medals and EC$1500.00 for second place – Bright FC; a trophy, bronze medals and EC$1000.00 for third – Bogius FC, and EC$500.00 for fourth – Allied Forces/RSLPF.

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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