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Thu, May

T&T "A" celebrate winning the Jewels of the Caribbean invitational football tournament, at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, Wednesday. - Angelo Marcelle
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A BRACE from Orielle Martin was enough to lead T&T to the Jewels of the Caribbean Girls Under-17 Invitational tournament title with a 2-0 victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines at Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, Arima on Wednesday.

A penalty midway through the first half and a goal in second-half stoppage time was enough to steer T&T to the crown.

T&T coach Ayanna Russell was elated, saying, "I feel very happy and proud of these girls. They worked hard and tirelessly every game and it was well deserved."

T&T were the stronger team throughout with more possession and looked more menacing in attack.

Martin was the orchestrater in the midfield as many of T&T's attacking plays began through her.

T&T looked more likely to take the lead in the opening minutes, but the St Vincent defence stood firm.

Following a corner kick, T&T won a penalty and Martin converted to give the home team the lead in the 23rd minute. Shortly after, striker J'Eleisha Alexander had a quality chance. She ran onto a through ball but with only St Vincent goal-keeper G-Riesa Joseph to beat, she did not get the power and the save was easily made.

St Vincent had their moments during the match, but led by centre back Kaitlyn Darwent and goalkeeper Mikaela Yearwood, T&T held firm.

The match was a physical one in the first half with both teams committing fouls and battling hard to earn possession.

T&T did not time their runs well as multiple times players were called offside.

Early in the second half, Alexander was put through on goal but fired a tame effort which was easily saved by Joseph.

Mariah Williams for T&T brought some impetus to the team on the left flank when she came on at half-time, using her pace and crosses. Both T&T's wingers troubled the St Vincent defence with their speed as Kimora Mitchell's speed on the right flank was also a handful. Mitchell won her team a free kick when she cut inside, but Martin's effort from 25 yards out went over the crossbar.

St Vincent had a rare chance to get on the score sheet via Meiya Wilson's free kick, from 20 yards out, but it went well wide.

However, the small crowd had another moment to celebrate before the final whistle. Following a short corner, Martin dribbled past a defender and shot past Joseph from a tight angle to make it 2-0.

Martin was awarded the MVP award in a closing ceremony following the final. Before the final at the same venue, Grenada defeated T&T B (president's XI) team 3-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Abigail Williams.

TT Football Association technical director Anton Corneal thanked all four teams for participating and said the aim is to have more tournaments of a similar kind in the future.