Sun, Jul

Ball Blasters Youth Academy players celebrate their Republic Cup Youth League boys’ under-14 national final victory over City FC at UTT, O’Meara on June 1st 2024.

EVOLUTION FC, Pro Series and Tobago’s Ball Blasters Youth Academy copped the respective age group titles when the 2024 Republic Cup Youth Football League held its national finals at UTT, O’Meara on June 2.

Evolution FC copped the boys’ under-20 title after getting a nervy penalty shootout win over Tobago’s Eagles FC, while Pro Series and Ball Blasters notched the respective boys’ under-16 and under-14 titles after getting 2-1 results in their finals.

The national finals saw the winners of the three Trinidad divisions in Trinidad battling their Tobago counterparts for national supremacy. Ball Blasters provided strong representation for the visiting Tobago contingent, as they contested both the under-14 and under-16 finals.

In the under-14 finale, Ball Blasters, who are led by Signal Hill Secondary coach Downie Marcelle, got their hand on the title after defeating North zone powerhouse City FC by a 2-1 margin. Ball Blasters got the lead in just the fifth minute through Jahmiah Gibbes, before City FC equalised in the 35th minute with a goal from Brandon Chin Sang, who scored the winning goal for the latter club in their Trinidad final. Chin Sang and City FC couldn’t deny Ball Blasters, though, and Kyen Anderson scored in the 78th minute to give the Tobago club the win.

In the under-16 final, Ball Blasters couldn’t put their hands on a precious double as they fell to a 2-1 loss to Pro Series. Last year, Pro Series won the under-15 and under-17 titles in the Trinidad leg of the competition, and they showed their mettle once again by copping the national under-16 crown this time around.

Daquan Jackman opened the scoring for Pro Series in the 22nd minute before Mario Pereira equalised for Ball Blasters in the 39th minute. National youth player Jasai Theophilus had the final say for Pro Series as he netted the winning goal in the 70th minute.

In the under-20 final, the Edinburgh-based Evolution got their second consecutive shootout win as they got by Eagles from the spot after playing to a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

St Benedict’s College’s Ethan Trotman opened the scoring for Evolution in the 36th minute, with Jaheim Trim getting a swift equaliser for Eagles in the 41st minute.

The teams couldn’t be separated in the second half, and similar to their gripping shootout win over Athletic International Academy in the Trinidad final, the Evolution players held their nerves in the dreaded lottery as they got a 5-3 win from the spot to storm away with the under-20 title.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday