DEFENDING champions Barbican and Waterhouse advanced to the final of the Sherwin Williams Women's Premier League next Saturday in contrasting styles at Waterhouse yesterday.
Waterhouse battled to a 1-1 draw with last year's beaten finalists Portmore Striker and advanced 5-3 on aggregate, while Barbican trounced University of the West Indies (UWI) 7-0 for a 12-0 aggregate score.
In the curtain-raiser, Waterhouse, having won the first leg, 4-3, needed only a draw to advance and that they did, but had to work hard to hold off a determined Portmore.
National player Omolyn Davis gave Waterhouse a 32nd-minute lead with a superb free-kick and gave her team a two-goal cushion.
But Tenesha Clarke levelled in the 45th, setting the stage for an epic second half in which Waterhouse held their nerves to advance to the final they are tentatively set to host Saturday.
But things could have been different had a clear show for penalty in the dying moments by Portmore's Tashana Vincent, who was clearly pushed over in the box by goalkeeper Tashana Levy which could have sent the game into extra time.
Portmore coach Cornel Clarke was livid not only because his team lost, but over the officiating by referee Daedria Ricketts and her team.
"I think it was a poor decision by the referee and it was clear and a lot of other decisions. The referees need to improve because there was also a blatant hand ball and there was an incident where the player took up the ball on the field demanding a throw and after appeal, she gave a free-kick, but the player didn't get a card," said Clarke.
But both coaches believe their team deserved to win after two gruelling encounters.
Said Clarke: "The first game was very scrappy on our side but despite that we got more chances than the opponent and easier chances and never made use of them.
"As you know, football is a game where you have to score your chances and it's not good enough to just outplay you opponent. You have to score or end up on the losing side, as was evident today."
Meanwhile, Xavier Gilbert said his teams should have killed off the contest from the first leg and in today's match they again failed to put the match out of Portmore's reach.
Said Gilbert: "We should have put the game beyond Portmore from last week. I think we had it, but that's the game of football and today again we should have put them away."
Meanwhile Barbican, having secured a five-goal advantage from the first leg, easily advanced. Tournament's top scorer Jodi-Ann McGreggor netted twice in the 32nd and 59th for her 24th goal of the season.
Makeda Davey (11th), Trudi-Ann Mills (37th), Janine Dennis (39th), Shantel Bailey (41st) and Kenesha Reid (65th) completed the rout for Barbican.