Warren sparks Zebras triumph
PHC Zebras 3 Devonshire Cougars 0
Marco Warren produced a vintage display to inspire PHC Zebras to a second Dudley Eve Trophy win in three seasons at Somerset Cricket Club on Sunday.
The midfield dynamo and great grandson of PHC and Bermuda football legend Earl “Townsey” Russell scored a spectacular brace and tormented holders Devonshire Cougars throughout this one-sided contest with his Messi-like dribbling skills, precision passing and clinical marksmanship.
Cecoy Robinson, the Zebras captain, opened the scoring before Warren added two more goals of the highest quality to put the game to bed.
Warren put in a solid shift running tirelessly from box-to-box and was thoroughly deserving of the ovation he received from his team's supporters as he exited the pitch after being substituted in the 85th minute.
The close battle fans had hoped for failed to materialise as Zebras took charge from the outset and never looked back as they rolled Cougars over with ease.
Things might have been uglier for a Cougars side that never showed up as Zebras also struck the woodwork and had another effort cleared off the line.
Zebras were flawless on both sides of the ball as they were impenetrable in defence and virtually unstoppable going forward in attack.
After stretching Cougars with their slick passing, Zebras exploited the space on offer with the long ball that their opponents had no answer for and ultimately paid the price as the goals leaked in at alarming rate.
Zebras grasped the game by the scruff of the neck from the opening kick-off and it came as no real surprise when Robinson made the early breakthrough. The Zebras captain rolled the ball into the low left-hand corner after latching on to PHC goalkeeper Quinaceo Hunt's goal kick that Cougars defended poorly.
Tre Ming should have doubled Zebras' advantage after being played through by Warren. But on this occasion Cougars goalkeeper Kioshi Trott was equal to the task, rushing off his line to block Ming's effort.
Still, Zebras kept their foot on the gas and penetrated Cougars' last line defence again when Warren's audacious lob from an angle under pressure from the charging Trott went in off the far post.
It should have been 3-0 when Warren switched up the play with an exquisite pass that sent Robinson through on goal only for the pacy forward to crash his effort onto the crossbar with Trott well beaten.
Trott also made a diving save to keep out Keishon Bean's shot from inside the penalty box as Zebras kept the pressure on their opponents.
Cougars continued to struggle stringing passes together and conceding possession cheaply after the break and Zebras took full advantage as they set about tightening the screws.
Zebras came to within inches of scoring when Bean's goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Cougars central defender Zeko White while Trott did well to repel a substitute Castle's firmly struck effort.
But Cougars luck finally ran out when Warren smashed the ball in the roof of the net after some excellent ball movement between Robinson and Marquel Waldron ripped Cougars apart.
Warren blew a golden opportunity to complete his hat-trick when he steered a free header from Castle's corner wide of the near post with Cougars flat-footed.
Hunt had a quiet afternoon between the posts with Cougars limited to just two half-chances that the PHC goalkeeper easily dealt with to keep a clean sheet.
Zebras finished off strongly with Trott saving Castle's low drive and Robinson blazing just over from outside of the box moments before the final whistle.
Robinson 4, Warren 20, 70
PHC: Q Hunt — D Smith-Lightbourne (sub: D Albouy 75min), R DeShields, N Griffith, D Usher, M Waldron, T Ming, K Bean, M Warren (sub: J Iris 85), K Matthie (sub: C Castle 61), C Robinson. Substitutes not used: S Trott, D Davis, M Lambe, K Hypolite, S Valasse-Paul.
Devonshire Cougars: K Trott (sub: C Hardtman 85) — D Williams, Zekiro White, Zeko White, J Butterfield - C Maybury (sub: Moses Steede, 40), J Smith, S Pearman, C Brangman, M Battersbee, Mark Steede (sub: D Simmons 57). Booked: Williams. Substitutes not used: Z Simmons, L Brangman, N Simmons, L Thomas, N Carmichael, J Wade.
Referee: M Wyer.