The first half of the local delegation returning from St. Vincent and the Grenadines pose with their second-placed trophy.
Although they did not take bring home the championship trophy the Barbados Senior Women's team can still hold their heads up after finishing second in their first ever appearance in the Windward Islands Football Association's Women's Championship. After holding strong at the top of the standings from the opening night, the local lasses were edged out in the final match to see Grenada walk off with first place.
When the ladies came home yesterday from St. Vincent, the delegation was all-smiles as they reveled in their achievements from their debut in the competition. After winning the opening game, two goals to one over St. Lucia, a draw was the result when they took on the home team on Day 2. Leading the then second-placed Grenada on goal-difference, it all came down to Sunday's result to see who would hoist the winner's trophy.
Things were looking good early on in Sunday's game as Rianna Cyrus scored in the 6th minute and Kimberly Ellis added a second in the 13th. Grenada pulled one back with a Merissa Charles free-kick in the 35th. Before the half would end, Barbados was dealt a massive blow as they were forced to play with 10 as Marissa King made her exit.
In the second half, Charles struck again with another fee-kick in the 62nd to tie things up. Playing short of one began to take its toll on the Bajan ladies and Roneisha Frank got the breakthrough for her team in the dying seconds of the game.
Of the defeat, Barbados Football Association Technical Director Ahmed Mohamed said it was a tough one but he was pleased with the overall performance. “I feel very sad knowing when you have 97 minutes and the winning trophy just within your grasp and it then it goes. But that is normal. That is football. The girls showed a great performance with heart and character knowing what happened to us before that because we had six girls at the hospital who had been food poisoned. When you give such a performance under those circumstances, it was great. I'm quite sure that next time we will bring home the champion trophy.” he said.
There were some stellar performances over the three days and Shonna Evelyn copped the Best Defender prize which she said she never expected to win. Felecia Jarvis and Rianna Cyrus both got two goals in the tournament, and Cyrus, who was on her senior team debut said she enjoyed the experience. “It was a good experience because I don't think anyone thought we would have done how well we did. We could have beat St. Vincent but we didn't take our chances so we fell behind and ended up scrambling to get back in the game. We made a lot of mistakes in the Grenada game but we still came second and still worked hard.” Cyrus said.
Mohamed then went on to say that he had faith in the potential of the team. “We have a good team, a solid team even though we have a lot of work in front of us. The team performed generally very well. We improved from game to game and we are maturing too. So the next step is to analyse everything and correct everything that we have done wrong. You can always improve on the technical and tactical aspect of the game, but mentally the team is very strong.” he said.