Dominant BAA retain title
BAA 2 St George’s 0
BAA added to their cup legacy after retaining their First Division Shield title on New Year’s Day.
A comfortable 2-0 victory over St George’s Colts at Wellington Oval not only earned BAA a second straight Shield title and fourth overall, but also made them the first club to win back-to-back titles on multiple occasions.
The expectations were high for BAA after their 7-1 demolition of league leaders Young Men’s Social Club in the semi-final at PHC Field on Boxing Day.
And they certainly did not disappoint their supporters with a brand of football that was pleasing on the eye.
They dominated proceedings but left it until late before finally breaking down a stubborn and experienced St George’s defence.
Forward Willie Clemons broke the deadlock when he rose to powerfully head home Troy Tucker’s free kick.
Kane Crichlow, the former UE Cornellá youth player, then served the proverbial last rites when he drove in late in stoppage time after St George’s failed to clear their lines.
The final scoreline flattered to deceive as BAA should have won by a wider margin.
That they did not owed much to a string of superb saves by Charles Marshall, the St George’s goalkeeper.
BAA issued a statement of intent early on when a long ball pierced the St George’s defence, leaving Clemons with only Marshall to beat.
Marshall was equal to the task, rushing off his line to block Clemons’s effort from point-blank range.
BAA continued to impose their will on St George’s, carving out plenty of space with their fluent passing and wreaking havoc on their opponent’s defence with the long ball.
BAA went close again midway through the first half when Ian Simmons, the midfielder, blasted the second ball from Jahkari Furbert’s corner high and wide from inside of the six-yard box.
Midfielder Tucker, who was a thorn in St George’s’ side throughout with his darting runs, precision passing and work ethic, had a free kick saved by Marshall before Clemons placed two headers from set pieces wide of Marshall’s far post.
St George’s had their share of possession but lacked cutting edge in the final third where they were limited to shooting from distance as BAA’s back four held firm.
The second half started off promisingly for St George’s, striker Donovan Thompson forcing Sereiko Thomas, the BAA goalkeeper, to make a one-handed save with a glancing header.
However, BAA gradually regained control, Morricko Iris, the striker, using his strength to create space for himself in the box before firing wide.
Crichlow added more spark for BAA after replacing a subdued Iris and shortly after coming on brought off a fine save from Marshall who had to be at his best to repel the forward’s well-struck volley.
BAA finally broke down their opponent’s resistance in spectacular fashion when Clemons soared above everyone to head home Tucker’s well-weighted free kick.
Crichlow had a chance to kill the game off moments later but dragged his shot wide.
Thompson had a shot cleared off the line and another effort blocked by Simmons before Crichlow pounced with virtually the last kick of the match to take the sting out of St George’s late rally.
“The boys played well and stuck to the game plan and obviously executed,” Michael Araujo, the BAA assistant, said.
“We had at least 75 per cent of the possession and it was a great result against a decent team.
“We thought it was going to be tough and it was.”
Clemons 79, Critchlow 90+3
BAA (4-5-1): S Thomas — J Thomas, J Salaam, Z Robinson, C Araujo (sub: Q Lema, 46min) — I Simmons, L Roberts, T Tucker, J Furbert (sub: R Rochester, 88), W Clemons — M Iris (sub: K Crichlow, 61). Substitutes not used: J DeSilva, F Williams, E Correia, S Simmons, M Brangman, A Darrell.
St George’s (4-5-1): C Marshall — J Darrell, J Hayward, E Signor, D Signor — Z Smith-Tucker, K Denbrook (sub: M Simons, 63), W Broadley (sub: P Anderson, 56), J Basset, A Douglas (sub: M Tucker, 75) — D Thompson. Substitutes not used: T Talbot, G Wade, J Brangman, N Paynter. Booked: E Signor, Thompson, M Simmons.
Referee: R Cann.
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