Old Madrid Masters take second place in St Martin Vets Invitational

By: BVISports.com

Old Madrid Masters in St Martin. Photo: Provided

Old Madrid Masters in St Martin. Photo: Provided

The Old Madrid Masters FC continued its impressive record in regional Masters football tournament this past weekend at the 4th annual St. Martin Veterans Invitational Tournament in Sint Maarten, Dutch West Indies, coming-up just short of winning the title for the third time.

The defending champions started strong by winning their division on Saturday by virtue of a 1-1 draw against United Super Force of St. Martin, a game that the Masters should have won but missed several scoring opportunities, followed by a 3-0 victory over St. Kitts’ Willful Skillful and a 3-0 win by forfeit over the Blue Fin Veterans who could not field a complete team for the match.

Goal scorers for the men from the BVI were Kenmore “Silk” Peters in the first match, and Anslem “Danny” Joseph, Noel “Strongman” Isaacs and Humphry Leue in the second.

The first semi-final match on Sunday featured the hosts and arch-rivals St. Martin Veterans, who took second place in their division, facing-off against Old Madrid. After a fiercely battled contest, the final whistle blew ending the game in a 0-0 draw, meaning that penalty kicks would decide who would move on to the championship match.

Virgin Islands goalkeeper Haenif “Size” James, last year’s hero for Old Madrid at this tournament, proved once again why he is one of the premier goalies of the region by saving two penalties, whereas Peters, Joseph, Isaacs and Leue each deftly placed their respective penalty kick in the back of the net with precision, giving Old Madrid a 4-3 victory and a chance to emerge as back-to-back champions.

The final match would see a repeat of the second divisional match, after Willful Skillful – who had placed second behind Old Madrid – beat the winners of the other division, Les Blues FC, in the second semi-final to earn the right to play for the champion’s trophy against Old Madrid.

However, this time Willful Skillful was reinforced by several players who did not play in their first encounter, and the match was much more competitive and balanced. Both teams had scoring opportunities, with Old Madrid in particular having one clear and golden opportunity to win the match, but the usually cool calm and collected Garnett “Duba” Ferron missed this time with a shot that went just over the crossbar.

Just like the first semi-final, the match ended in a scoreless draw, so again penalty kicks would decide the Champions and Runners-up of the tournament.
Things looked good for the Masters when Peters and Leue scored their penalty kicks and Willful Skillful missed one of their first two. However, consecutive misses by Joseph and Isaacs for the Masters, both of whose penalties were saved by the goalkeeper of Willful Skillful, turned the tide in favor of the team from St. Kitts, who did not miss again, winning the contest 4-3 and dashing the BVI’s hopes of another victory.

Despite the loss, Old Madrid remained upbeat and proud to have made it to the championship match. Team captain Kenmore “Silk” Peters commented: “We are of course disappointed not to have won, but we played well for the most part and demonstrated once again that the Masters can compete at a high level in Masters Football. Missed scoring opportunities cost us so we will have to do better next time in that area. Placing second is still a good achievement and we can hold our heads high. We are grateful to our supporters who traveled with us and especially our sponsors for this tournament, Alpha Consulting Services, Digicel BVI Limited and NAGICO Insurances, whose contributions made it possible for us to participate”.

Head Coach Elroy “Manjaker” Mills added: “I believe that we were actually the better team in terms of skilled players, we just did not take advantage of the scoring opportunities that we created. Having said that, congratulations to my old friend “Danga” Farrell and his Willful Skillful team, on the championship. Our team fought hard and played well, and I was able to give every player some playing time because of all the available substitutes that we had, it was the largest squad we’ve traveled with in several years which was good.”

One bright spot for Old Madrid was that Humphry Leue was awarded the individual trophy for best goal getter of the tournament.