Historic Western Confed Super League wins for Granville, female coach
Granville FC crowned themselves in glory by winning their first ever Western Confederation Super League title 3-2 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Sandals Whitehouse at Jarrett Park on Saturday.
It ended a trophyless 16-year wait for the Tracey Reid-coached team and gives them a shot at qualifying for the Red Stripe Premier League when the playoffs get under way.
Reid become the first female coach to win the Western Confederation Super League title and could break new ground if she qualifies her team for the 2016-2017 Red Stripe Premier League season in a month's time.
DAY OF JOY
"Words cannot explain what I am feeling right now," said an emotional Reid, after watching her team eke out the win.
"I just knew that today would be a day of joy for us; I woke up and felt it that we would win, and although it went to penalties, I was confident that we would have won it," Reid said.
The final was decided by penalties after both teams played out a dour regulation and extra time in which there was hardly a telling shot on target.
Granville looked the hungrier of the teams and went about their business, but wayward shooting and the lack of intent in the final third made sure they didn't score.
Sandals Whitehouse were also guilty of not playing to their strength and suffered in the latter part of the match from fatigue, although their best
player on the day, Leonard Rankine, a former daCosta Cup star player for The Manning's School, tried his best to ignite their attack.
With the score locked at 0-0 after extra time, it was down to five players from each side to bring home what was essentially a maiden title and it began really well for both, with David Gillard scoring the first spot kick for Granville and Delroy Davis for Sandals Whitehouse.
Andrew Allen then made it 2-1 in favour of Granville and Rankine had his penalty well saved by Granville's goalkeeper. The dreadlocked Jason Rose would score to make it 3-1 Granville.
Dervin Campbell netted for Sandals to trim the lead at 3-2 before Granville's Odane Snow's rasping kick struck the crossbar. It ended when Orane Warren fired wide of the target to send the Granville players and supporters into wild celebrations.
"This is big, not just for the club but Granville, the community. Our focus now is on the Premier League playoffs and, ultimately, when we get there, we hope to represent Montego Bay and the Western Confed well," Reid said.