Fair Prospect crowned Portland Women's League champs

Saturday, April 20, 2019

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Carder Park, Portland — An Anneisha Anderson hat-trick propelled Fair Prospect High to a 3-2 win over Titchfield High to be crowned champions of the Portland Football Association Ann-Marie Vaz/876 Water Women's League at Carder Park on Wednesday.

Anderson netted in the 12th, 19th and 57th minutes, with Kerrisan Lawrence replying in the 22nd minute and Brittany Murray in the 81st minute for Titchfield.

In an exciting game played in front of a packed Carder Park, Fair Prospect maintained their dominance over Titchfield after getting by them twice in the preliminaries.

Fair Prospect took the lead from a counter-attack when Krissan Lawrence weaved her way into their defensive area. But her shot was blocked by defender Corey-Ann Browning and cleared up field to Anderson, who moved past two defenders and fired past an advancing Laurian Barrett into an open goal.

Not daunted, Titchfield attacked through Lawrence and Murray but came in for some rough treatment from Olivia Bennett, Monica Brown and Corey-Ann Browning.

Fair Prospect went further ahead when Jamie Roach picked up a ball in the centre circle and passed to Anderson who dismissed a defender down the left flank and kicked past Barrett in goal.

Shortly after Titchfield pulled one back as Ashanique Richards got by two players and passed to Lawrence on the edge of the six-yard box, firing through a sea of defenders to beat custodian Stacy-Ann Hibbert much to the joy of their supporters.

Just before the hour mark Anderson struck again, as from a solo dribble just above the centre circle into the penalty area she picked her spot and fired home.

Titchfield pulled one back in added time when Lawrence's long pass to Murray saw the latter move quickly into the penalty area to fire home.

Losing coach Renault Tomlinson was gracious in defeat. “Despite going down to them twice I think we could have turned the tables, as their team is comprised with a lot of the parish players and we pushed them all the way. They have a good team and I must commend my players for their effort.

“We surrendered the first half but came back in the second half. We did not give up, as I was confident we could do it. The first-goal from the first half counter-attack had some impact on the team.

“I think Portland women's football will start to blossom after this, and I thank the sponsors for opening up this competition.”

Winning coach Raymond “Munsie” Gordon was elated. “We had the advantage coming into the game and the team was prepared in different departments and they played their role accordingly — and we earned the desired result.

“We are thankful to the sponsors, as this will enhance female football in the parish. Anneisha Anderson is a special talent and she will go far,” he suggested.

Minister of Sports Olivia Grande was delighted. “I am just so elated and happy with what I have seen here, as women's football is very dear to me. I was so impressed with the girls and the competition is timely, as our girls — the Reggae Girlz — have qualified for the World Cup. Congratulations to the Member of Parliament AnnMarie Vaz, the Portland Football Association, and other private sector personnel who are involved in the development of sports” she said.

Main sponsor Ann-Marie Vaz was overjoyed: “This competition is one of the best things I have done and it has brought me the greatest joy, and I'm committed to this and the empowerment of women.

“Today I'm elated; and when I was presented with this proposal about this women's competition in school I went right ahead, as it is for empowering women. It's an inspiration and one of my greatest joys and successes.

“I congratulate the president, Raymond Grant, for the work done by you and your organisation in a well-run competition,” she said.

“It's an honour to be here, it's a proud moment. I am overjoyed, as it is overwhelming. And when I think that the first league sponsored by Daryl Vaz, out of which we have our present Reggae Girlz captain Conya Plummer came out of. This is hope for the young girls as I give thanks for the vision and implementation,” noted Elaine Walker-Brown, chair of the Jamaica Football Federation women's football.

876 Spring Water Brand Manager Petrene Harris was also happy to be a part this season's competition. “We are happy for this partnership as 876 Spring Water is from Portland and it's apart of our overall vision — the developmental plan for the parish through sports and education. We are elated and today was tremendous,” she said. She presented a checque valued at $100,000 to the Portland Football Association

President Raymond Grant was also pleased. “Let me say thanks to MP Ann-Marie Vaz for her partnership with the Portland Football Association, as when she was approached she did not hesitate. The support here today was great and it is a joy here for us; and the game was competitive and the women's football will grow from strength to strength as we continue to unearth new talent,” he said.

—Everard Owen

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