GRENADES, HOPPERS PROGRESS TO SEMI-FINALSThursday 1st September 2011
Scoring the fastest-ever goal of the Warriors Cup proved to be a false dawn as Fort Road led twice before they were beaten 3-2 by Jennings Grenades who like Hoppers overcame Bullets 2-1 to progress to the semi-finals of the Cool & Smooth Men’s Championship Cup on Thursday.
From the kick-off, Fort Road raced forward and Terrel Richards took advantage of a hesitant defence to score after just nine seconds, quicker than it would have taken Usian Bolt to set a new world record for the 100 metres.
But Richards and his team-mates could not contain one of the tournament’s leading marksmen, Elroy Shaw, who netted twice and had a penalty saved, as Grenades hit back to run out deserved winners at the English Harbour Playing Field.
In the second of the two quarter-final matches , Hoppers withstood a second-half blitz from Bullets to win 2-1 to set-up a last four tie with either champions, A&R Plumb Electric Celtics FC, or West Side Trucking Hill Top, who meet later Friday in the last quarter-final match.
The Pigotts men, who felt they were denied two penalties from different incidents, fought their way back into the game after conceding two goals within the first 15 minutes.
Hoppers’ captain Tony Thomas continued his goal-scoring streak when he struck a curling shot with the outside of his right-foot past the diving Prince Walter in the Bullets goal after 10 minutes. It was Thomas’ six goal of the campaign.
Three minutes later, Itama Warner, capitalized on a Walter’s blunder to push home a rebound after the ‘keeper failed to hold onto a low free-kick.
Hoppers controlled most the first-half for long periods but were unable to add to their lead which allowed Bullets to grow in confidence as the game progressed.
And it was no surprise when Bulltets hit back in the second half. Vivian Richards charged down a clearance and the ball took an unkind bounce over the head of Hoppoers’ custodian, Omarie Joseph.
It was the added impetus Bullets needed to plough forward and as they pressed they felt they should have been awarded a penalty when one of their players went down inside the area as he attempted to head the ball past a Hoppers’ defender.
However, the Green Bay side managed to hang for the win.
Richards’ early strike was canceled out by Shaw on six minutes as the game got off to a blistering start before Kenny Morgan restored Fort Road’s advantage four minutes later.
Shaw should have equalized from the penalty spot on 20 minutes but the Fort Road goalkeeper made a good save to his right. But Shaw did not let up as he equalized again two minutes later to make it 2-2 for his sixth goal of the competition.
His strike partner, Kerry Anthony, scored what turned out to be the winner, three minutes after the break when he headed home a free-kick.
Grenades will meet Swetes in Saturday’s second semi-final at 6pm before Hoppers play either Hill Top or Celtics at the EHPF.
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