VI National U14 Football Squad runners up at Sint Maarten tourney

By BVI Football Association

The Virgin Islands National U14 Football Squad: Jahrell Fredericks, Michael Robinson, Asonji McCall, Cedric Mars, Deshawn Richardson, Jalen Prentice, Denvin Jones, D’Von Jones, Levon Williams, Nathan Haycraft, Ryan Lettsome, Luka Chalwell, Adrian Padilla- Grant, Tai Thomas, Michael Pallandino, Sheldon Toney. Photo: BVIFA

The Virgin Islands’ National U14 Squad returned from a four-team football tournament in Sint Maarten over the weekend of May 18 – 20 with the Runners Up trophy proudly tucked under their arms.

Despite having lost their first two games to very strong and fit Sint Maarten and Martinique teams, the boys rallied to beat the eventual champions, the US Virgin Islands team 2-0.

Day two began with an upset when the USVI beat Sint Maarten on penalties in the first semi-final. The BVI then played their hearts out in the next semi-final against favourites, Martinique.

It was the mighty versus the young underdogs. BVI got an early first goal which put the favourites on the back foot and the BVI then endured shot after shot until Martinique equalized just before half time.

The 2nd half was all about defence and the boys managed to hold on to a draw before moving onto a nail biting penalty shoot, which the boys won!

The final itself began as a very tight game with both teams taking time to settle their nerves and find patterns of play. However, the USVI scored first and shortly after a Denvin Jones effort flew wide, the USVI doubled their lead on the stroke of half time

Whatever Coach Manley said at half time certainly had the desired effect as the boys went on the offensive. It was still 2-0 with less than five minutes to go when, following a series of corners, the USVI began to wilt and a defensive area led to a penalty. The shot was coolly converted by Sheldon Toney, who only 2 hours earlier had been in the back of an ambulance on his way to the hospital to get his ankle checked out.

The BVI weren’t done yet though and, with the ref’s whistle on its way to his mouth, another corner flew across the USVI box and Denvin Jones rose high to nod home the equalizer.

The whole weekend was filled with highs and lows and it did not stop there as the tired legs and exhausted minds tried to raise themselves up over one more hurdle.

However, it proved one mountain too many and the USVI ran out 4-2 winners.