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BVI football masters victorious in St. Martin

Contributed - Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 at 6:15 AM

Old Madrid poses with the Champions Trophy before returning to Tortola

The BVI’s Old Madrid Masters Football Club brought home the Champions Trophy after winning the 2013 annual S.M.V.C Masters Football Tournament at the Alberic Richards Stadium in Sandy Ground, French St. Martin this past weekend.

This is the second time in the last 3 years that the Club has won this Tournament, continuing its impressive record of successes in regional Masters football over the past five years.

A total of 8 Clubs representing French St. Martin, Dutch St. Maarten, Dominica, Anguilla and the BVI participated in the 3-day competition, divided into two Zones.

Donning fresh new gold-and-white uniforms, Old Madrid were tested early in their first Zone B match on Saturday when they faced the host club St. Martin Veterans.

After falling behind 1-0 early from a great shot out of BVI goalkeeper Haenif “Size” James’ reach, the team regrouped at half time and came-out on top 2-1 at end of play with goals from Michael “Bassa” Fearon and team captain Kenmore “Silk” Peters.

The BVI club’s second contest was against Blue Fin Masters of St. Maarten; a match which Old Madrid dominated for both halves but missed several scoring opportunities – at least 8 chances by most accounts – until close to full-time when Peters scored his second goal of the tournament off of a set-play by corner-kick specialist Humphry Leue.

Old Madrid squad

The two victories guaranteed Old Madrid a place in the final four on Sunday, but the Club’s mission from the onset was to win the Championship, and the biggest test would come in the final Zone B match on Sunday against rivals Saint Louis Masters FC, who eliminated Old Madrid last year in the semi-finals of this tournament.

The cub’s third and final Zone B match was played evenly from kick-off, with few scoring chances for either team and the first half ending in a 0-0 draw.

Old Madrid knew that it had to win in order to make it to the championship match, because both teams were undefeated up until that point but St. Louis had a one goal-difference advantage overall. A draw would mean St. Louis would advance to the finals, and Old Madrid would have to settle playing for 3rd place.

The BVI’s team would not be denied, however, and the fierce attacking strategy finally paid off late in the second half when Victor Franklyn scored off-of a deft crossing pass from Leue, giving the BVI team its third victory and an undefeated first place finish in Zone B.

Old Madrid did not have much to rest, recover and regroup, however, as the dejected St. Louis Masters refused to play for 3rd place and forfeited the consolation match, meaning that the final would be played right after the BVI club won its Zone.

The championship match on Sunday evening would prove worthy of a tournament final, when Old Madrid faced the well-rested Dominica All Stars who were considered the odds-on favorites to win the tournament. Once again, Old Madrid fell behind 1-0 when the All Stars scored off-of a well-placed free kick.

However, the men from the BVI were undeterred and went on the offensive, and eventually Sheldon “Doc” Harry scored the equalizer to save the day. With the match ending in a 1-1 draw, 5 penalty kicks would be taken by each team to determine the tournament Champion, and that’s when the dramatic events unfolded.

After missing the first penalty, things did not look good for Old Madrid as the Dominica All Stars scored their first 4 penalties. Leue, Peters, Harry, and Donovan Staple converted for the BVI, and all our hopes rested on the final penalty kick by the DA All-stars – score, and they would be champions, a miss or save and we would move on to sudden-death penalty kicks. Fortunately for the local Club, James dove in the right direction and saved the 5th penalty.

Sudden death was even more dramatic – each team made one penalty kick with Rodney Prince scoring for Old Madrid, but then both teams squandered opportunities to take the title by missing two consecutive kicks! It was a surreal scene.

It finally came down to the 9th penalty kick, when DA All Stars missed their 3rd straight penalty. This time, James was given the chance to take matters into his own hands, and he buried the ball in the left back corner of the net – victory was ours and the entire squad sprinted unto the field to embrace him!!

During the closing ceremony and trophy presentation, not only did Old Madrid’s Team Manager Phoebe Murrell collect the Champions Trophy, but James was named best Goalkeeper of the Tournament and Peters was awarded the M.V.P. title.

Head Coach Elroy “Manjaker” Mills commented: “I am really proud of the guys. They trained hard in preparation for this tournament, stayed focused, played as a united front and stuck to the game plans. We were confident coming into the competition that we had the skills and experience to play well, and we delivered. We are champions again! Now, preparations will start for our own tournament which we will host again in October.”

Club President Humphry Leue added: “This triumph was very special for our Club. We came in with heavy hearts because one of our founding members, Anthony Bramble, lost his mother last week due to illness and he could not travel with the Team. We were determined to take back the title this year and dedicate this victory to him and to the memory of his mother, and so we did. We also appreciate the support from our members, fans, sponsors and supporters at home and abroad. I could not be more impressed with our performance, conduct and team spirit. The BVI can be rightly proud of the Old Madrid Masters Football Club.”

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  1. Yeaaah
    July 24, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Congrats guys – GOOD JOB :lol:

    Reply to this comment
    July 24, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Well done fellas!

    Reply to this comment

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