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Darrell and Lewis at double for West

East 1 West 5

Clay Darrell and Keston Lewis both struck braces as the West thrashed the East in the All-Star game during the Bermuda International Football Festival at the National Stadium.

The exhibition match — the centrepiece of the inaugural festival — was a goal-laden affair thanks to the attacking brio of Kyle Lightbourne's West, who could have won by a greater margin had it not been for the fine goalkeeping of Tahj Bell.

Lightbourne made his intentions clear from the outset, deploying a 3-4-3 formation — which he admits carried its own risks — but worked a treat, with the West leading 2-0 at the break courtesy of goals from Lewis and Tyrell Burgess.

Lewis, of Flanagan's Onions — the game's oldest player at 35 — showed every bit of his experience, chesting down the ball before firing past Bell to give the West the lead.

Bell had to be at his best to prevent the West increasing their advantage, with the North Village goalkeeper pulling off a fine double save to deny Robert Rawlins, of Young Men's Social Club, and PHC Zebras' Mazhye Burchall.

Moments before half-time the West side found the cushion their play deserved when Tyrell Burgess, of BAA, curled in a superb free kick into the top left-hand corner.

Both sets of players, along with a healthy turnout, were treated to a dazzling performance by United States freestyle football champion Frankie Gonzalez, of New York, during the half-time interval.

Perhaps the West had been a little too captivated by Gonzalez's trickery and showmanship as the East pulled a goal back soon after the restart through a smart finish from Jarazhino Bassett, the St George's Colts midfielder.

Conceding so quickly seemed to jolt the West back into life and they replied almost immediately, with the busy Rawlins squaring a ball to Darrell who struck a low, left-footed shot into the corner.

The East twice went close through Cashun Brangman, of Devonshire Cougars, who was thwarted by goalkeeper Quinaceo Hunt, of PHC, who then tipped a long-range effort from Ian Coke, the Boulevard striker, over the bar.

Darrell then squandered an opening after latching onto a misplaced pass midway inside the East half, bursting into the box before being disposed by Cougars defender Zeiko White.

The Social Club forward soon made amends with a near carbon-copy goal as his first, driving another left-footed shot beyond the outstretched Bell to make it 4-1. Lewis had a goal disallowed for offside before adding his second after being picked out by Cecoy Robinson, of Zebras, with a right-wing cross.

“We knew it was a risky system and I think the guys enjoyed it,” Lightbourne said. “We were able to expose them in certain areas and we knew the counterattack would be on.”

He added: “I think the organisers have done a fantastic job and they're trying to do something for the community and this is what it's all about: bringing people together.”

Darrell believed the West simply had too much quality for their counterparts.

“None of us expected the scoreline to be like that,” said Darrell, who helped Social Club win promotion to the top flight for the first time in 37 years last season. “We expected a high-scoring, close game — 6-5, 5-4 — but we came with a plan and executed. It was a nice way to finish the season. I hope [the organisers] continue with the all-star game for years to come.”

“It's a nice set-up and it's a match you can bring your family to without any drama. It's about bringing Bermuda together as one.”

West midfielder Colin Ryan, of Robin Hood, was named the Most Valuable Player.

SCORERS

East

Bassett 47

West

Lewis, 24, 82, Burgess 40

Darrell 49, 68

SQUADS

East: Jarazhino Bassett (St George's), Jamin Furbert (X-Roads), Tymon Daniels (X-Roads), Dunte Albouy (St David's), Lamel Paynter (Wolves), Zeiko White (Devonshire Cougars), Machai Battersbee (Cougars), Chamari Burns (Cougars), Cashun Brangman (Cougars), Eli Smith (Devonshire Colts), Ian Coke (Boulevard), Takeyhi Walker (Boulevard), Tahj Bell (North Village), Demetre Daniels (North Village), Tre Manders (Dandy Town), Tomiko Goater (Dandy Town). Coaches: Devarr Boyles, Randy Spence (North Village).

West: Jason Simons (Robin Hood), Daren Usher (PHC), Na'eem Griffith (PHC), Tyrell Burgess (BAA), Trevin Ming (Somerset Trojans), Lejuan Simmons (Hood), Nathan Peskett (Hood), Robert Rawlings (YMSC), Cecoy Robinson (PHC), Clay Darrell (YMSC), Jahkari Furbert (BAA), Quinaceo Hunt (PHC), Colin Ryan (Hood), Quadir Maynard (YMSC), Justin Corday (Trojans), Keston Lewis (Flanagan's Onions), Anwar Telford (Somerset Eagles), Mahzye Burchall (PHC). Coaches: Kyle Lightbourne (Hood), Scott Morton (PHC) Quincy Paynter (YMSC).

Darrell scored twice in the West's convincing victory (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

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Published May 01, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 01, 2017 at 1:21 am)

Darrell and Lewis at double for West

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