'It's a great feeling!'
Reggae Youths Coach Sailsman happy with Sandals Major League title win
President of the St James FA Gregory Daley (4th left) and Crissanno Dalley of Sandals International (5th right) present the St James FA Sandals Resort to the victorious Reggae Youths team following the final of the St James FA Sandals Resorts International Major League at Wespow Park on Saturday. (Photo: Paul Reid)

TUCKER, St James — Reggae Youths Coach Loren Sailsman was beside himelf with joy after his team lifted the St James FA Sandals Resorts International Major League crown after holding off a gallant Flankers FC 2-1 in the final at Wespow Park on Saturday.

All three goals came in the final 16 minutes, plus stoppage, as Denardo Kerr who was named MVP of the finals scored the winner deep into time added after the teams were locked at 1-1.

Shadane Blagrove gave Reggae Youths the lead in the 74th minute before Ronaldo Allen equalised for Flankers FC in the 90th minute.

Sailsman said, while it was a good feeling to have won the Major League title, the focus will turn immediately to the upcoming play-offs for the Tier II competition that is set to start in early March.

"It's a great feeling for us [as] we were confident as we had played them twice before, and based on what we saw, we knew we were better than them by a goal or two," he said.

"The work has just started as we have to start preparing for the play-offs."

Christopher "Huff" Harris, the Flankers FC coach, made no excuses and said: "The better team won today."

He said his team lost control after they were forced to take off both wing backs.

"Even with that we were still in the game but we congratulate Reggae Youths and hope they go all the way," Harris said.

Reggae Youths, who were winning the title for the first time since 2015, had taken over the game after a slow first half and despite creating scoring chances the game was still tied with about 20 minutes to go, and Sailsman said he considered making some changes to "consolidate the midfield, but then I just let them play and the players did the job".

The game was watched by a big crowd, including Reggae Boyz Head Coach Heimir Hallgrímsson, and there were few chances in the first half, the best of which fell to Reggae Youths' Thomas Scott, who fired wide of the near right post three minutes into time added at the end of the first half.

Reggae Youths were more assertive at the start of the second half and Blagrove and Nicholas Campbell came close to scoring in the first 10 minutes, without success.

Blagrove powered home a head from inside the six-yard box in the 74th minute and just before the end of regulation, Allen who had just come on the field as a substitute, took advantage of some slack defending to head home a ball at the left post to tie up the game.

With the clock running out in added time, Kerr came up big when with his back to the goal, he looped a ball over the head of the advancing Flankers FC goalkeeper Roger Moore and into the goal.

Paul Reid

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