Benbow United Football Club from Guy’s Hill in St. Catherine has been crowned champion in the Harker’s Hall Corner League in the parish.
The team clenched a 5-4 victory on Sunday, 3 January 2021, in an intense final played against High Life Football Club from Red Hills Road in St. Andrew.
President of Benbow, Erskin Palmer, said his players were motivated particularly by the fact that their opponent had far more established players.
He further opined: “It was a total team effort, apart from Keano Allen who made the difference wth his hat-trick. He is an army man, and so he brought the ‘never say die’ attitude.
“Apart from that, I figure that the guys [from Benbow] were well motivated, owing to the fact that the Kingston side boasted about six Premier League players. That alone motivated the guys [from Benbow]. They relished the moment to play against players who are a cut above them. I figured that is what gave them the push,” Palmer added.
The intensity of the rivalry is reflected in the scoreline.
Arlando Bennet from High Life scored the opening goal from a free kick in the eighth minute of play, but Benbow replied in the 15th minute with a goal from striker Sandrea Smith.
Allen later put Benbow United 2-1 up, but High Life found the equalizer in a 44th-minute strike by Miguel Edwards.
In the second half, Benbow United again took the lead when young Tajae Bryan moved the scoreline to 3-2 in the 53rd minute.
Prince Campbell, a substitute, scored in the 83rd minute to equalize for High Life.
Benbow United went down to 10 players after Tie Wederbourn was shown a red card for foul play.
Regulation time ended 3-3.
Both teams traded attacks during the 20 minutes that were allotted for extra time.
Benbow United again went ahead with a spectacular goal by Allen in the 9th minute of extra time, bringing the scoreline to 4-3.
The team, running down the clock, tried to hold on to the lead, but its defenders were caught sleeping in the 18th minute. At that point, Andre Williams scored for High Life, leaving both squads in deadlock for a third time.
The final seemed headed for penalty kicks, but Benbow United and their star man – Allen – had a different idea.
In the last minute of the game, Allen unleashed a powerful left-foot shot, which went on the inside of the far post and gave the goalkeeper no chance. With that done, Allen completed his hat-trick, and gave Benbow United the title over High Life.
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