BOYS TOWN will be hoping third time is the charm, after advancing to their third straight Caribbean Welders Fishing Pond Football League final on Sunday. Boys Town, runners-up in 2016 and 2017, beat Manzanilla 2-1 in the semifinals, to set-up an intriguing match-up for the title vs Gremio on December 15 at the Fishing Pond Recreation Ground.
The final will be the second meeting between Boys Town and Gremio who met on September 30 in Group B action, with the former prevailing 1-0.
Boys Town manager Darryl 'Blem' Miranda was in a good mood on Sunday after seeing his team take care of business.
"The performance was very good. (The second half) was a little tight, I find the officiating wasn't all that good but everything was great at the end. Three finals in a row so hopefully we should win this one. I'm very confident, I have a good group of players and I good to go," he said.
Boys Town came out flying out the blocks and netted twice in a first half they thoroughly dominated.
Right winger Brent Jackson fired the first warning shot for Boys Town, but his low drive was saved after he was found from a left-sided cross by Kerin Vincent.
Boys Town forward JJ should have made it 1-0 after he broke the offside trap but uncharacteristically looked gun-shy in front goal and missed the entire ball when he finally decided to shoot.
JJ had another chance to open the scoring from a right-sided cross but his header under pressure looped over the bar.
Boys Town finally broke through from a corner which was whipped in by Simeon Augustus for JJ to tap in to the gaping net at the far post.
Vincent almost made it 2-0 soon after but his flying header at the far post struck the left upright and went out of play.
Crosses into the box were proving hellish for Manzan and another from a left-sided corner resulted in their second goal.
Augustus was again on point with his delivery, causing panic in the box, and Nicholas Nickel was on hand to poke the ball in the net and make it 2-0.
Augustus, pulling the strings in midfield, tried to get his name on the scoresheet after another Boys Town attack broke down the Manzan defence. After an exchange of passes on the right, the ball was switched to Augustus who checked onto his right foot but scuffed his effort.
Manzan's first real chance came from a free kick but Boys Town defender Kevon 'Paul White' Glynn was alert to head the ball off the goal-line as the half ended.
Boys Town seemed content to hold on to their two-goal advantage in the second period and invited pressure on themselves. A desperate Manzan with nothing to lose again looked a different team after the break and managed to pull one back. A Manzan corner was partially cleared to Matthew Robinson lurking on top the box who swivelled onto his right foot and unleashed a rocket that shook the Boys Town net. Boys Town were struggling to create anything and Robinson had another crack at goal from similar position but his shot went high and wide this time as Boys Town held on for the victory.
Speaking after the match, Manzan coach Richard Bocage blamed their first half performance for their exit.
"It's youths and with youths when you give instructions, they will say 'Yes, yes' but won't execute what you tell them to do. In the second half, I sat down and spoke to them and they came out and tried to do what they were supposed to do in the first half, but the damage was already done – two goals down to Boys Town, that is a lot of work to catch back. We can only go from strength to strength because it is a lot of young players – sixteen, seventeen, some now in their twenties. The development process is here and hope we can come back next year and do a much better job," he said.
In Saturday's other semifinal, Gremio got a double from Rickel Dickson and one from JC Lewis to edge Pinto 3-2, despite starting a goal down for reaching late. Pinto with a "free" goal and another from Jesus David still came out on the losing end.