Adrian Frater, News Editor
Rodney Hines (left) who scored both goals for Granville yesterday, dribbles goalward with a Montpelier defender in hot pursuit. The game, a first leg Captain's Bakery Western Super League semi-final game, ended in a 2-2 draw. - ADRIAN FRATER PHOTO
THE 11TH hour decision by the organizers to make the semi-finals of the Captain's Bakery Western Super League a two-way affair was made to look a smart one as Granville and Montpelier battled out a thrilling 2-2 in yesterday's first-leg game at the Rusea's High School Grounds, in Lucea.
Granville, which went into the game defending a 17-game unbeaten streak, got their two goals from striker Rodney Hines (4th, 45th), while Montpelier, which lost 4-1 to Granville when the teams met earlier in the season, replied through goals from Lenore Campbell (15th, 89th) and the veteran Denton Vidal.
"We gave away the game," said a disappointed Tracy Reid, the coach of the Granville team. "We got the lead twice and instead of holding on we gave Montpelier two goals that they did not really deserve."
The first-leg of the second semi-final, between end of first round champions Negril and Sandy Bay - the team they defeated for that title - will be played this afternoon, also at the Rusea's High School Grounds. Game time is slated for 3:30 p.m.
In yesterday's game, Granville got the perfect start when they took the lead in the fourth minute. Hines pounced on a corner from Oniel Evans and with the goalkeeper at his mercy, nodded into the roof of the net.
Montpelier rolled back into contention 11 minutes later when Smith pounced on a loose ball before the goal and slotted in, making the score 1-1.
With time running out in the half, Granville regained the lead in the 45th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Damion Reid was hacked down from behind inside the goal area. Hines made no mistake from the spot, making the half-time score 2-1.
With the game into the final minute and Granville looking all set to claim victory, Montpelier struck. The robust Vidal took on the Granville defence in a spirited dribble and then cracked a looping shot from the edge of the area, which eluded the outstretched hands of the goalkeeper, making the final score 2-2.