Zebras confirm title in style
PHC joined Somerset Trojans on a record ten league titles yesterday when they secured their thirteenth win of the season with a 7-0 thrashing of bottom team Young Men’s Social Club at Police Field.
The result enabled PHC to finish three points ahead of Robin Hood, last year’s champions. And while the season’s most successful team will have a target on their back next season after landing four trophies this campaign, coach Scott Morton believes there could be more to come from the club.
PHC came up against a Social Club team who were competitive for long periods despite the early send off of Giovanni Saltus. However, in the end their victory was convincing after scoring five goals in the last 27 minutes to wrap up a thirteenth league win of the season on April Fool’s Day.
“Credit to Social Club, they never laid down, and what I appreciate from them is that they had nothing to gain but they were still competitive,” Morton said.
The only blemish in PHC’s season was losing to Robin Hood in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, a trophy they won last season.
“I always believe that we should compete for every single trophy with the players we have,” he added. “However, it is important to understand that our opponents come out ready to play, too. I took the FA Cup semi-final defeat hard, believe me. I didn’t show it but it was based on what was at stake, the players we have and the season we were having.”
PHC were missing one of their key players yesterday with midfielder Tre Ming sidelined with an arm injury following a recent bike accident. Kadeem Abraham filled in, wearing Ming’s No 13 jersey, one of five changes from the team which beat Devonshire Cougars 6-1 two weeks ago.
“He’s been one of our key players and when it comes to important moments in the game he’s a driving force as far the cheerleader in the team,” said his coach. “He has a never-say-die attitude, which just reminds me of the environment that I came up in.”
The win takes PHC’s trophy haul to 49 overall since the two leagues were merged in 1963, two fewer than North Village’s 51. Morton is confident there is more to come from the Zebras, even as they start next season with a big target on their backs following one of their most successful seasons.
“It’s a good target, but it’s good for Bermuda football not just PHC,” he stressed. “With the national programme being involved in the Concacaf League of Nations, it is important that our players understand the weight that is on their shoulders.
“I keep that in mind when I’m coaching my players because we have seven or eight players involved in the national programme. It’s important that they play at a high level.
“I like the pressure of being at big clubs, being able to duplicate or go further than what’s been done before. I want to help the club grow with the conveyor belt they have. I brought on one youngster today, Zakiyah Lee, just 16 years old, and it is important that they get to experience what it is like because I’ll be looking to him next season to be competing for a spot in the team.”
Somerset Trojans claimed the final Dudley Eve Trophy spot for next season when they beat X-Roads 3-2, a result that enabled them to climb into sixth place ahead of X-Roads and Boulevard, who lost 7-2 to Robin Hood.
BAA were confirmed as the First Division champions despite losing 4-2 at home to Southampton Rangers when captain Ezekiel Stoneham scored a hat-trick at Goose Gosling Field. Despite finishing the league season unbeaten, Rangers missed out on promotion when Paget beat Ireland Rangers 4-0 to secure second spot.
BAA captain Tyrell Burgess believes his team can hold their own in the top flight next season.
“We won the trophy and now we focus on next season when the work starts and I think we can stay there,” he said. “It’s a big club and everyone has been waiting for this and the ones who haven’t are scared because they know what’s coming. We are an amateur club that’s run in a professional environment so it’s going to be big things for next season.”
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