Saturday, April 13, 2024

Dames do it again


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WHAT A double delightful Sunday night for the Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame footballers at the National Stadium!The dominant Dames just didn’t allow the persistent showers throughout the day to dampen the spirits or rain on their parade as they added two more pieces of silverware to their already overflowing trophy cabinet.Piloted by a hat-trick from 17-year-old striker Kyle Gibson, Notre Dame captured their fourth double crown with a 4-0 blanking of Lucky Horseshoe Ellerton in the Banks Knockout Cup final.It was the sixth Knockout title in the last three decades for the Dames following successes in 1982, 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2008, adding to their nine Premier League titles – 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010.What made the night even more joyous was a 1-0 victory over LIME by the Notre Dame veterans in the preceding Barbados Masters Knockout final through a first half header from Al Mapp.After the game started half hour late on a softish outfield with overgrown grass which needed to be trimmed, the Dames totally upstaged the first-time finalists, who conceded the first of four “soft” goals as early as the sixth minute.Veteran Wayne Sobers hit a free kick into the Ellerton penalty area and Gibson side-footed the ball past stand-in goalkeeper Trevor Devonish.Ellerton had a chance to equalise about eight minutes later but six-footer Damien “Bobby” Walcott headed a corner from Shurland Roberts over the cross bar.Dames doubled their lead in the 26th minute when a cross from Gibson bounced nicely for Ricky Barnes and he hit his one-time shot to the right of Devonish, causing more pain for his former teammates.Walcott then squandered another opportunity to put Ellerton on the score sheet when he lost ball possession after trying to control a cross from his brother Chad Parris instead of hitting a one-time shot.At the other end, Gibson missed an open header from the edge of the six-yard box. But everything went downhill for Ellerton in the 37th minute when Anson Barrow was injured and was replaced by Javon Best after a challenge by Sobers.To compound Ellerton’s woes, medic Mark Ifill, after attending to Barrow and returning to the bench, was then asked to leave his position on the substitutes bench by FIFA referee Trevor “Muslim” Taylor.Play was unbelievably held up for eight minutes as Ifill protested his innocence and refused to move. After the police was summoned, both Ifill and coach Pedro Richards, who was subsequently sent off the bench, reluctantly walked away, complaining.Barnes continued to be a thorn for his fellow St George parishioners in the second half, shaking off a challenge from teenager Raheem Thomas on the right side and pushing the ball across the Ellerton area where Gibson slotted past the right of custodian Devonish to make it 3-0 in the 51st minute.Two minutes later, Gibson – the leading goalscorer in the Premiership this season with 13 goals – completed his treble from an almost identical play. This time, Carl Joseph, returning to the side from injury with his left hand strapped, shook off his marker and slipped the ball across the goalmouth. It eluded Barnes but trickled into the path of Gibson, who made no mistake.Dames’ coach Rodney Barker gave Ellerton a respite when he substituted Gibson and then Barnes and midfielder Rudy Grosvenor as two more youngsters, Decarlo Jemmott and Zico Edmee joined another teenager Tramaine Cobham, who started at right back.Just before the final whistle, Joseph and Shamar Ifill were redcarded by Taylor for a fracas.

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