Sport

Heights FC cop St James FA Div One title

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Thursday, June 12, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Heights FC made it two titles in a row after a hat-trick from Neil Clarke led them to a 3-0 win over Marl Road FC in Sunday's return- leg finals of the St James Football Association Dennis Barton/Weston King Division One final, for a 5-3 aggregate win.

Clarke scored in the 20th, 54th and 58th minutes.

Heights FC had won last season's Guardian Life Division Two title and will play in next season's Senior League along with Marl Road.

Marl Road's frustration was compounded as they finished the game with 10 players after second-half substitute Paul Reid, who had missed the first leg, was sent off in the 81st minute after hurling abuse at match officials.

Despite being forced to replace two of their regular starters who were out due to card infringements, Heights FC shook off a sub-par first-leg performance where they had to settle for a 2-2 score by dominating Marl Road.

Clarke showed his intent as early as the 13th minute when he slid past three defenders on the wet grass and passed the ball off to the wide open Romario Clarke whose shot deflected off a defender and onto the crossbar.

Heights FC took the lead in the 20th minute when Clarke pounced on a rebound and shot into an unguarded goal. Romario Clarke had worked his way down the left side but his low powerful shot came back off the Marl Road goalkeeper straight to Neil, who hit it back on the volley.

Neil showed his predatory skills again in the 54th minute when a shot came back off the underside of the crossbar and with the Marl

Road defence caught flat-footed, he pounced to poke the ball into the goal.

He completed his hat-trick in the 58th minute when he raced away from the Marl Road defence and latched on to a ball that was looped from the midfield, and with the goalkeeper at his mercy, slotted home easily.

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