Sports

FOOTBALL: 17th Blackheart Championship Kicks Off in Two Weeks

The 17th annual Blackheart Production / Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) Inc. Knockout Football Tournament is scheduled to kick off on Saturday 14th September 2019 at a venue to be announced by the organizers.

According to Michele Headley from Blackheart Productions, the official Press Launch and Tournament Draw is slated for Tuesday 10 September at the Bay Gardens, Marina Haven in Rodney Bay from 7:00 p.m.

Image: (l-r) Vieux Fort South captain, Jamil Joseph receiving the 2018 Championship trophy and champagne from the CEO of Blackheart Productions, David Christopher, Vieux Fort South champion team. (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)
(l-r) Vieux Fort South captain, Jamil Joseph receiving the 2018 Championship trophy and champagne from the CEO of Blackheart Productions, David Christopher, Vieux Fort South champion team. (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)

Headley said, “The press has played a pivotal role in the coverage and continued success of the tournament and for that we say thank you”.

She also gave the dates of matches for the preliminaries, semifinals and final. The dates for preliminaries are as follows: Saturday 14th, Sunday 15th, Wednesday 18th, Saturday 21st, Sunday 22nd, and Wednesday 25th. The semifinals will be held on Saturday 28th September and the final on Saturday 5th October. The venues will be announced in the coming days.

Before the actual championship which starts on September 14th, football fans will have the chance to rally behind their respective district teams for two days of rivalry in the Big 8 that kicks off on Saturday 7th September at the Phillip Marcellin Grounds in Vieux Fort. During the event, the top eight teams in the ongoing SLFA Island Cup will battle it out.

Meanwhile, a quick look down memory lane at last year’s final between Laborie and two time champions Vieux Fort South who eventually made it a three-peat. Vieux Fort South was the first team in the history of the tournament to win three Blackheart Championships in a row.

How the two team got to the final – Laborie defeated Canaries, a former Blackheart champion, then defeated the SLFA Coca Cola Island Cup champions Marchand, and Dennery from a comeback win.

The 2016 – 2017 champions, Vieux Fort South wanted to be the first team to win three Blackheart titles consecutively, but surely they had to fight to get there. They first had to dispatch La Clery, then Desruisseaux and Castries Central to get to the final.

With a crowd close to 8000 at the Philip Marcellin Grounds (PMG) in Vieux Fort, the final started with both teams pressing and defending well. Vieux Fort South made some tactical changes, a key one being Jamil Joseph placed in defense instead of as a lone striker.

This did not pay off for the defending champions as Jamil had a hard time dealing with the pace of the Laborie’s right side attacking players. Vieux Fort South created a number of opportunities but goal keeper Vence Agdomar of Laborie was a great wall in goal hence keeping Laborie’s hope alive.

The defensive flaws of Vieux Fort South were being explored. The deadlock was finally broken in the 32nd minute of play with a goal from prolific striker Darrel Francis putting Laborie 1 – 0 in a game in which they had been counted out. First half ended 1-0 in favour of Laborie.

Second half started differently for both teams. Laborie decided to change their tactic of attacking a wounded Vieux Fort South and went into defensive play with seven players behind the ball at all times which was their biggest mistake.

Vieux Fort South made a few tactical changes once more, this time Jamil Joseph taken from right back to centre forward. Laborie’s play maker Dornan Edward had to be substituted in the 57th minute of play due to an injury thus changing the game for Laborie.

VFS got a corner in the 59th minute of play which landed on Jamil Joseph’s head easily beating Vence who had been good between the uprights up to this point, game on, scores level 1-1.

Vieux Fort South took the lead in the 69th minute of play with an own goal by Vence Agdomar after poor clearance by Joven Stephen saw the ball coming back goal side. Vence made the initial save but dropped the ball in his own goal.

Laborie had no choice now but to attack, but the home team continued to press on and in the 80th minute of play centre back Barnard Edward scored from 50 yards away with a long range shot which eluded the Laborie custodian, allowing VFS to go up 3-1. VFS added more salt to the wounds of Laborie in the 90th minute of play with a solo goal from Antonius Meyers to make it 4-1.

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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