Warwick Archers steal spotlight at Appleby youth finals
The best of Bermuda’s young talent was showcased on Saturday at the Flora Duffy National Stadium, in the Appleby Youth Finals, where 17 goals were scored in a triple-header.
The first final of the day saw PHC Zebras cruise past FC Bascome 5-1 for the Under-13 Gregory Grimes Trophy.
Rising star midfielder Kalen Brunson took advantage of a poor defensive mistake to open the scoring midway through the first half, dribbling through two defenders before firing a powerful low effort in from the near post.
Brunson was found in space again on the right for the second goal ten minutes later, this time courtesy of a flowing move through midfield, and he chipped the goalkeeper from just inside the penalty area to double his team’s advantage.
They made it three just before the half-hour mark, with Brunson turning provider this time around.
He was found on the opposite flank and cut back nicely to the edge of the area for Xade Smith to fire a low shot through a crowd of defenders and into the net. Mosias Mills pulled one back for FC Bascome just before half-time after poor judgment by the PHC goalkeeper allowed him to pounce on a loose ball and finish into the empty net.
The second half was largely dominated by PHC, who controlled the ball and territory, with Brunson scoring two more goals, including a beautiful free kick from the edge of the penalty area, to finish with four goals in the 5-1 rout.
The midfielder was unsurprisingly voted PHC’s most valuable player, while Keymi Chamberlain was named MVP for FC Bascome.
The Under-15 Leonard DeRoza-Holder final saw Warwick Archers shut out FC Bascome 4-0.
After a largely cagey first half, during which striker Paris Robinson missed an absolute sitter from just inside the six-yard box, the defending champions took the lead early in the second period.
Robinson was involved in a quick counter-attack, which was finished off with a thunderous strike by Cole Pedro just outside the area.
Yet another goalkeeper mistake, this time from a set-piece which sat up in the driving rain, was tucked home by Ari Daniels to double their lead.
Bascome huffed and puffed, created a few decent chances, but couldn’t break down the compact Archers defence. FC Bascome struggled to defend set-pieces throughout the contest, and this showed up on the third goal.
A corner was whipped in from the right and flicked on for Alexander Lipinski to tap home at the far post just after the hour mark. Archers were creating the better chances, although FC Bascome gained some control of possession.
The final goal was scored with about five minutes remaining, with Sebastian Medeiros curling a free kick over the FC Bascome goalkeeper to complete the resounding win.
Ricardo Phipps was named most valuable player for FC Bascome, while Luke Fulton was named MVP for the winners.
In the nightcap, a buoyant Warwick Archers saw off PHC 5-2 in the Charles Marshall Under-17 final.
They opened the scoring inside ten minutes when a free kick was cleared out to Daniel Cook, who fired a rocket into the top corner from just outside the area.
Zebras equalised midway through the first half when a poorly-executed header from the Archers defence was picked up by Antonio Wade, who chipped the goalkeeper from 25 yards out.
It remained level until just before half-time, when Tajai Goater couldn’t score from a Cook cross but Nyon Outerbridge finished off the rebound.
Outerbridge produced a beautiful finish to double Archers’ lead, after goalkeeper Toran Place made a poor clearance. They compounded their dominance with another goal from Cook, who found Najee Edwards for the fifth.
Zaire Weller scored a second goal for Zebras, although merely a consolation, in stoppage time.
Cook was named MVP for Archers after his two goals and two assists, while Place was voted most important man for PHC, after making five key saves on a night when Archers completed an impeccable display.