The Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme celebrating their win of the inaugural Williams Equipment Preseason Cup.
The Barbados Defence Force have begun their march back to glory in the top tier after taking home the trophy and the $4000 first prize when the curtain came down on the Williams Equipment Preseason Cup. Despite staying within the top-three for the past few years, the soldiers last won a title in 2015 and tasted sweet victory again on Sunday night after beating Brittons Hill United 7-6 in penalties.
Playing in front of a bumper crowd at Empire, the feature match on the night saw both sides coming up empty-handed after trading punches throughout both halves of regulation time. Brittons Hill came closest in the dying seconds of the second half when Travis Coppin was presented with an absolute sitter. With an easy assignment as Sports Programme keeper Kishmar Primus was advancing, Coppin missed the entire ball to see Primus collect and the whistle blown to signal extra-time
With no significant chances coming in either half, the championship was to be decided at the penalty spot. This is where the sparks began to fly as the first kick from the soldiers was denied. Omani Leacock, who scored four of the Programme's nine goals of the tournament, attempted to get past Shaquille Frank to his left, but the young custodian confidently blocked the shot to put the early pressure on the soldiers.
Kemar Smith made good on the advantage afforded to his team by easily converting his kick to see Brittons Hill to the lead. Shane Codrington then kept the soldiers in striking range as he pushed to Frank's right to see the Sports Programme to their first goal. The scales were levelled out when Captain Rohan Hall, who had a great game in the back, failed to get past Primus.
With Omar Archer, Henderson Richards, Romario Small, Akeel Smith and Frank all scoring for Brittons Hill, and Ricardio Morris, Darico King, Rashad Smith, Terrell Gibbons and T'Shane Lorde all finding the nets for the Sports Programme, it was the next kick that sealed the deal for the soldiers. Primus was like a wall as he moved to his left to keep Jabarry Greenidge's ball from rolling into the nets.
The third-place playoff was an open-and-shut case as a first-minute goal from Mario Birkett gave Abrahams United Silver Sands just what they needed to get past Crane and Equipment Ellerton.