Sulphur City soaked in some Blackheart fun over the weekend as the SLFA endorsed knocked out competition proceeded. The games began on Saturday evening when the final two encounters of the round of 16 phase were played out. It was indeed a melancholy night for Babournea (a team labelled as the “dark horses”) as they succumbed to an early tournament exit at the hands of Marchand. Babourneau however, must be applauded for their undying combative nature which they displayed on Saturday night. After being down by 3 goals to 1 with less than 15 minutes of the game to be played, Babourneau went completely on the offensive. With Marchand seemingly restricted to only the immediate outskirts of their eighteen yard box, Babourneau’s aggressive attacking eventually paid dividends. Riding on the confidence of their last goal, Babournea put on an impressive final minute attacking surge. Unfortunately the ‘2017 Champ of Champs’ finalist were unable to restore parity against a Marchand team which needed both luck and tactful defending to evade conceding a third and equalising goal. Marchand, finalist of last year’s Blackheart are now poised to make an impression at this year’s tournament. However, team Micoud, a team which has managed to get the better of Marchand over the last 3 games that these teams have played, await Marchand in the quarter final of this year’s Blackheart.
In the second game of the night, former Blackheart champs Anse La Raye managed to get the better of La Clery by one goal to nil. The night belonged to national under 17 player Djal Augustin who put on a midfield master class to see away his competitors. Djal also put his mark on the score sheet with the only goal on the night and lifted his team to the quarter finals where they will square against defending champions Vieux Fort South.
Sunday marked the commencement of the quarter finals with games again being played in Soufriere. The night began with champion aspirants Gros Islet taking one step further to that elusive Blackheart trophy after defeating Central Castries by a goal to nil. The goal came from Gros Islet’s most decorated and prolific striker Troy Greenage. Central Castries were able to unravel Gros Islet’s backline on several occasions; however their lack of conviction in front of goal left them on the weeping end at the sound of the final whistle.
Canaries, perhaps the most consistent team in Saint Lucian football over the last decade again displayed their footballing aptitude by qualifying to the semi-final round of yet another national senior competition. They overcame pitch worthy opponents, Mabouya Valley who fielded a very young squad in this year’s competition. The youngsters gave an impressive account of themselves as they pushed the more experienced Canaries to their absolute limit. However, Canaries’ only goal on the night was enough to see them through the nail biting encounter.
The final two games in the 2017 SLFA/Blackheart quarterfinals will be contested on Wednesday evening. Two time champions Micoud will face off against Marchand at 6:30p.m. and at 8:30p.m. Vieux Fort South be tested in front of their home crowd by an Anse La Raye team lead by youngster Djal Augustin. Both games will be played at the Phillip Marceliin Grounds.