January 12, 2007
National under-20 team takes Inter League championship

The National Under-20 team emerged as the senior division champion of the 2006/2007 Guinness Inter League football competition,yet no player is good enough to make the senior team -Vincy Heat.

A unit that has been together for several months, won their group in the CFU qualifiers last August in St.Lucia.{{more}}

They however were booted out of the second round, losing to host Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic, after first beating St. Kitts/ Nevis which emerged top of the group.

But the local competition which traversed a rugged road ended last Sunday night at the Victoria Park with the young national charges triumphing 2-0 over Bequia.

The two were unlikely finalists but the more fancied teams faltered when it mattered most.

Played in front a large crowd, the match lacked any sustained constructive play, though there were flashes of brilliance from both units.

Under-20 though scored in the 12th minute penalty converted by Seinard Bowens, after a Bequia defender handled the ball in the box. Under-20, the more aggressive of the two teams, lost the service of defender Shorn Lowman for violent conduct soon after his team took the lead.

Bequia took advantage of the numerical advantage, with a few raids, but the young prospects kept their shape and poise, aided by some good goalkeeping by Kenyon Lynch.

Under-20 were reduced to nine men in the 68th minute when Romano Snagg was ejected by referee Andrew Bramble for violent play.

One of Under-20 rare second half forays resulted in a corner taken by Steven Henry. His curling right footer in the 78th minute eluded everyone and deposited in the back of the net to seal the issue, leaving Bequia’s muted band of supporters that made the nine mile journey by sea, a dejected bunch.

The Under-20 bounced back from a 2-0 defeat from competition favourites Kingstown to win the second leg 4-2 last week Friday night, advancing on the away goal ruling.

Bequia won their tie versus Barrouallie 3-2 on aggregate. Both teams played to a 1-1 tie last week Thursday but Bequia won the second leg 2-1, the following day. Earlier on the night of finals, Calliaqua won the women’s division beating Kingstown 3-1 and Barrouallie the male Under-17, beating Kingstown 4-3 on penalties after the match ended1-1 in regulation time.

The stop start competition began August 19, with a 20/20 extravaganza, only to be halted one day later for additional repairs to the Victoria Park.

Interruptions for various reasons and a lack of interest by both spectators and players watered down the latter stages. But last Sunday saw a re-energised spectator following.

While the various winners savoured their moment of glory last Sunday, they have to await their winnings, as the presentation ceremony has been deferred. The 2002-2003 competition won by Arnos Vale never had any ceremony.

Previous competitions held in 1998, 1999 and 2000/2001, won by Kingstown, Sion Hill and Arnos Vale respectively, saw presentations immediately following the final.

A ceremony is planned for a date to be announced by the organisers, the executive committee of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.