by MARLEY LEACOCK
WEYMOUTH WALES and Paradise will clash in the final of the Stag Beer Champions Cup on Sunday.
Both sides navigated tricky semi-final matches last Sunday at the Wildey Astroturf, as Wales narrowly overcame Barbados Soccer Academy 1-0, with the game winning strike coming from the boot of Reviere Williams in the 18th minute.
Meanwhile, Paradise had to fight from a goal down to secure their passage with a 3-1 victory over Notre Dame.
Chai Lloyd initially cancelled out Antone “Pookie” Greaves’ opener for the Dames, before Demar Linton struck early in extra time. Lloyd then added his second, to propel Paradise into the final after the two sides could not be separated following 90 minutes.
The game began as an open affair as both sides immediately went on the offensive. Notre Dame drew first blood in the fifth minute after a superb effort from Greaves.
A quick exchange of passes down the right found Greaves on the inside channel. The forward then evaded a couple of challenges with a horizontal run across the area, before curling a sublime effort beyond a despairing Corey Bridgeman.
Notre Dame had the opportunity to double their lead shortly thereafter, following some more good work from Greaves. He dribbled into the penalty area, cunningly luring Ackeel Applewhaite into an ill-judged tackle, which subsequently led to referee Jamar Springer pointing to the spot.
Zeco Edmee missed the opportunity for the Dames as Bridgeman made a brilliant double save.
Following Bridgeman’s heroics, Paradise equalised four minutes after the resumption. A foul in the midfield area gave Applewhaite an opportunity for atonement.
The midfielder duly obliged with his set piece, whipping in a menacing delivery between goalkeeper and defence. It found an open Lloyd on the run and he guided a controlled header home to level matters in the 49th. Extra time was needed.
Paradise struck midway through the first half of extra time. Tenacious play in midfield saw Stefan Bowen threading a leading ball to Applewhaite.
Applewhaite raced onto the pass before collecting a second assist, checking back onto his left and swinging a pinpoint delivery for Linton to glance home and give Paradise their first lead in the 98th minute.
Paradise’s second goal was disheartening for Notre Dame and a third five minutes later put the final nail in the coffin for the Dames.
Adapted from nationnews.com
ROAD TO THE FINALS
Round of 32: beat Pride of Gall Hill 3-0
Round of 16: beat Wotton 6-0
Quarter-finals: beat L&R United 10-0
Semi-finals: beat Barbados Soccer Academy 1-0
Round of 32: defeated Silver Sands 3-1
Round of 16: defeated Barbados Youth Service 5-1
Quarter-finals: defeated UWI Blackbirds 3-2
Semi-finals: beat Notre Dame 3-2