Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Barbican FC, led by a brace from midfielder Shantel Bailey, edged Waterhouse FC 2-1 in the first-leg semi-final of the Sherwin Williams Women's League football at Prison Oval in Spanish Town last Saturday.
The Barbican team hold an advantage heading into the second leg, courtesy of Bailey's goals in the 22nd and 38th minute. Kenesha Reid pulled back a vital goal for Waterhouse in the 45th minute.
In the second match of the double header, Harbour View and G.C. Foster battled to a 0-0 draw.
Defending champions Barbican looked the better team in the first half, but Waterhouse stepped up the tempo and fought all the way. In fact, Waterhouse became the first team to score on Barbican in the Sherwin Williams League this season.
Waterhouse goalscorer Bailey was a constant threat to Barbican's backbone, and supported by captain Tasheka Small, Nicole Broderick and Shanel Spence, had the four-time champions on the defensive.
Barbican's long-serving coach, Charles 'Charlie' Edwards, said his team just did not play up to standard. "We played very poor, extremely poor football. I don't know if the team was tired," Edwards told The Gleaner.
"Come the second leg, we will have to turn around our performance. I told them before the game that Waterhouse are coming into their own. It will take a lot of mental preparation to get ready for the next game," Edwards reasoned.
Meanwhile, Michael 'Mikey' Lowe, Waterhouse women's team manager, lauded his team for a good display against the unbeaten Barbican team.
"This is the best game we have played all season. We should have got something out of the game. Now we will have to go back and prepare for the next game, as we have to score even one goal. It is not over," Lowe said.
The Jamaica Football Federation is yet to name a date for the second-leg semi-finals.