Dennery secured their fourth championship title on their way to winning the 2022 Blackheart Knockout Football Tournament, in the finals played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground [DSCG], last Saturday.
The east-coast based team edged past Anse La Raye 1-nil in a very eventful and exciting game that kept the opposing fans filled with vigour and enthusiasm.
Yet it was no easy feat for the BKF champions having to take on the aggression of their opponents, who showed up determinedly to put up a tough fight; and fought they did going head-to-head with Dennery in all-out attacking play.
Despite taking the early attack to their opponents, Anse La Raye were rather unfortunate not to have gotten that lead goal. Two questionable officiating decisions in the first half left both players and fans dumbfounded.
In the first instance, a clear handball in the Dennery penalty box was not called by either the linesman or the referee who were both in close proximity at the time the ball was played. Some minutes later, Anse La Raye converted with a header off a spot kick and this time, the linesman flagged the player offside.
These two setbacks did not deter the west-coast contenders and they continued to march on nonetheless.
On the rebound, the east-coast guys retaliated and met ‘fire – with –fire’ as the offensive play heated up on either side of the pitch. Dennery too, had their close moments in that earlier session, and on two occasions it took the brilliance of the Anse La Raye custodian to keep the ball out of the nets.
However, it was Dennery that surged ahead early into the second half. A costly defense blunder from the Anse La Raye keeper gave Dennery an opening chance, for Javel Faucher to latch onto the rebound and made no mistake in hitting the ball into the nets.
Though Faucher was shown a red card for an infringement against ‘regulatory procedure’ while celebrating the goal, and with a 10-man team to contend with, the east- coast ‘warriors’ rallied on to defend their turf and secure that 1-goal advantage.
In the third place playoffs, La Clery came from a goal down to defeat Gros Islet 2-1 for the bronze medal place.
Gros Islet went ahead through Jahlil Evans in the 67th minute, but La Clery shot back with two quick back-to- back goals and a brace from Malik St. Prix (79th and 90th minutes) and a share of the BKF championship prize money.
Commenting on the game, Dennery player, Newton Marshal said, “It was a phenomenal victory…the atmosphere was great and our fans have been there with us.”
“This victory was won with hard work, perseverance …we pushed, and we fought till the end and that’s how we did it,” Marshal added, relishing the magnitude and significance of this latest championship title.
While complementing his opponents on a hard fought game, he was however, full of praise for the Dennery technical staff, adding that: “Our coach is wonderful, our managing staff is wonderful also …we showed the depth of our performance and skills on the field for everyone to see.”
Team coach, Sabbatus Hunte, said that despite not being fully prepared as they expected and building on the momentum that Dennery experienced from winning the Big 8 Championships, prior to the main BKF draw, “The momentum they built from there, and the interest from the community, which also came like a poisoned chalice, because the community really demanded that we win the tournament. The players stepped up to the challenge and put their best foot forward.”
Anse La Raye coach – Sommers Augustin: Obviously flabbergasted with the outcome, he lamented about the ‘unfairness’ and inconsistency of the officiating referee.
Said Augustin, “It becomes too obvious at times that every single match that you referee …the same referee is in the centre, and every time he creates a controversy around the whole game.”
However, Augustin noted, “Outside of that, I feel it was a competitive game. In the first half it was shared equally, but after they (Dennery) scored, they went into a defensive mode with everybody behind the ball …so, it made it difficult for us to break down their defenses.”
He added, “All in all, I felt we did pretty well, we handled ourselves pretty well. It’s just that the officiating seems to be the problem.
“We were very confident coming into this game, we had no fear of Dennery and we showed it in our play. We wanted it, we scored in open play, goal disallowed …so in all, it’s one of those things that you have no control over, but we have to accept it, go back to the drawing board and come back again.”
At the post –match awards, Team Dennery also picked up two special awards:
Best Goal-keeper – Anton Richard
Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award – Sherman St. Rose