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Grantley Prescod show they’re the best footballers

Devonte Richards has got his wish.

The captain of Grantley Prescod Primary delivered on his promise when his two goals led his school to a 2-0 victory over Wesley Hall in the final of the BICO-sponsored National Sports Council’s Primary Schools Football Competition at the National Stadium today.

Grantley Prescod's captain Devonte Richards (left) challenging the Wesley Hall defender for ball possession. (Picture by Marissa Lindsay)

Grantley Prescod’s captain Devonte Richards (left) challenging the Wesley Hall defender for ball possession. (Picture by Marissa Lindsay)

Prior to the game Richards had told Barbados TODAY he intended to win the title since this was his last opportunity to do so as he would be entering Combermere in September. And his two extra-time strikes made good on that promise.

The final got underway under bright, sunny skies with both teams seemingly feeling out each other and not willing to take undue chances. Wesley Hall’s right-wing Rivaldo Clarke had the first real opportunity at scoring when he took a shot at goal but a strong breeze seemingly took the ball just over the bars. Grantley Prescod’s goalkeeper Zico Harewood and their supporters breathed a sigh of relief.

Wesley Hall controlled about 65 per cent of the ball possession during the first-half with their captain Kemar John who was named most outstanding midfielder, working his magic in the middle and frequently pushing the ball forward to Clarke and left-wing Janash Junai who tried to create a few goal-scoring opportunities but failed to do so. Grantley Prescod’s stubborn defence was marshaled by last man Ramario Springer who was later named the best defender in the tournament. Springer consistently foiled the attempts of Wesley Hall’s strikers to score and the two teams went into the half-time break with the score 0-0.

On resumption the status quo remained. Both teams tried desperately for that game-changing goal but their respective defensive lines remained steadfast, repelling the various opportunities that arose to break the deadlock.  When the whistle blew to end the regulation period the score was still at stalemate and extra time was needed to separate the two.

It was in the first period of extra-time that supporters of the respective teams really found their voices as they witnessed some exciting football. Richards, the tournament’s most prolific scorer, then took the game by the proverbial “scruff of the neck”. The goal came about when Wesley Hall failed to make best use of a free-kick opportunity and the ball was cleared up-field to Richards who was shadowed by two Wesley Hall defenders. Richards took the ball on his right boot, controlled it beautifully while dribbling his way around the two defenders and booted the ball past Wesley Hall goalkeeper Jacobi Fenty to score a terrific goal.

Grantley Prescod’s supporters went wild in the stands after that goal was converted a few seconds before the first period of extra-time ended. In the second-half it was Richards again who would bask in glory when he scored his second goal. He took a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box and the ball curled past Fenty once again and  into the back of the nets to end the game in fine style.

Grantley Prescod’s coach Fernando Best told Barbados TODAY after the game that the title was like winning the World Cup and he was very pleased with his team’s performance.

Fernando Best

Fernando Best

“I feel like I won the World Cup and it is a wonderful feeling. I won the Barbados Cup, I won the Footsal and this was the only trophy that was eluding me. There is always a rivalry within the camp of the Pineland Youth Soccer Academy and Wilkie Cumberbatch won last year so Grantley Prescod had to win this year and for sure we will be back to defend next year,” Best said.

The winning coach said that today’s victory was also dedicated to Mary Farley, one of Grantley Prescod’s longstanding teachers who has been at the school for 40 years and would be retiring soon.


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