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Avenues United takes Je Belle title

Avenues United takes Je Belle title


One of the oldest Football units in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Avenues United, secured the Digicel Je Belle Invitational Football title last Sunday night at the Victoria Park.{{more}}

Ninety minutes of regulation time and twenty minutes of extra time could not separate the two finalists.

It was the nervy penalty kicks that made the difference. Avenues prevailed 4-3 from the spot.

Avenues’ moment of celebration came when Je Belle’s fifth penalty, kicked by former national player Dexter Walker, was saved by the Avenues’ custodian.

Avenues, though, was the first to give the high fives, when Damal Francis scored a first half penalty.

The Paul’s Avenue based team was all over Je Belle, as their crisp short passing was used to good effect.

Francis was again on the score sheet, following a right side build up, as he successfully beat national goal keeper Winslow Mc Dowald, with a right foot shot that hit the roof of the net in the early exchanges of the second half.

But Je Belle benefitted from an own goal, netted by Jerand De Roche, who inexplicably turned the ball over his own goalkeeper’s head from some distance out.

This spurred Je Belle into action, added to the introduction of Steven Henry, who gave their attack some impetus.

The match soon became level at 2-2, when Bertram Pitt poked home the ball from close range.

Avenues was now in tatters, and their defence became porous, which let in Kenneth Trimmingham, to get the go ahead goal.

With tired legs and mental fatigue setting in, tempers soon flared. A foot tackle between Dwight Clifton and Romano Snagg resulted in punches being fired, as some players and supporters got into the action.

But the potentially ugly situation was soon quelled with the ejection of Clifton and Snagg.

It was not done, as Nyanga Sam equalized with a goal from the top drawer. After receiving a deft pass from Sean Dopwell, Sam deposited a right foot curler, leaving Mc Dowald to be a mere spectator.

In the penalty shoot out, Richard Hayde was Avenues’ unsuccessful kicker, while joining Walker in missing for the inaugural winner, Je Belle, was Mc Dowald.

In the semifinals, Je Belle beat NEMWIL Hope International on penalties, while Avenues downed K & R Strikers.

The other teams which participated in the second edition were Stingers FC, Toney Stores, Chelsea, and the National Under-20.

The competition was seen as a prelude to the soon to be introduced Elite club system, which is being promoted by the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation. (RT)