Attacking midfielder Najja Biggs was an influential figure on the pitch and in the dressing room and was announced as the players’ player of the season. Inspirational captain Jason Grant was recognized for his leadership and will certainly look to lead the team into the new season. Anthowe Dawkins, who played in the premier league with Arnett Gardens FC a few seasons ago, was named the best defender, while the most improved award went to defensive midfielder Shamar O’Connor. The talented wing back Ackiem Coley collected the most consistent award. Number one goalkeeper Rajay Robinson took home the golden glove award, while 16 year-old attacking midfielder Saqlain Waul was named best young player.
“When Old Harbour Bay United started we saw where there was plan. A plan to have a good youth programme,” said Peter Reid, the long-serving president of the St Catherine Football Association. “More than 50 per cent of players playing now for Old Harbour Bay United came through their youth programme. “When you have a programme and you have vision it will come to fruition and tonight is an example of that.” Another key club figure impressed with the running of the organization is experienced coach Vassell Reynolds, who has coached at the premier league level before. After their victory over Federal in the final, Reynolds says he “realized the significance of the achievement” as the St Catherine Prison Oval was invaded by Old Harbour Bay supporters after the final whistle. The former Humble Lion coach said: “I would have worked with premier league teams and super league teams; and the small management group of people you have are some people that have the community and the players at heart. I find that they are pretty much organized much more than management at a higher level that I would have worked with and that is what you want sometimes to be successful.” “From I came here this evening I keep hearing the notion of the premier league and it must be the ambition of the club to go to the premier league” said Laurence Garriques, who delivered the keynote address. In outlining what he believes to be three main pillars on which a successful club is built, Garriques, a lecturer in at the University of the West Indies in the faculty of science and sports, said: “We can use football as another means of community development.” Speaking in the context of Paul Pogba’s world record transfer fee from Juventus to Manchester United, Garriques added: “We need to seriously have a look at what we are doing and how best can we reach these kinds of heights. “You can imagine how much development, how many resources, how many families and how much the community will change if Old Harbour Bay United had a Paul Pogba amongst you?” But perhaps Lewis offered the best advice on the night, reminding the club that “today’s success is the beginning of tomorrow’s greatness”. They have been true to their motto: “A team above all, above all a team”. Undoubtedly Old Harbour Bay remains united to achieve its dream of one day playing in the premier league.
“We want to participate in the development of the community because a good community augurs well for just about everybody. “What we have decided to do for the football year is to contribute again $500,000 which you’ve asked us to pay quarterly over four months. So once again we are pleased to say we are on board and we look forward to having a good relationship.” Since the partnership with Gore the club has seen increased levels of discipline amongst players on and off the field, noted Steve Dixon who is vice president at the club. “I am happy to report that we are one of the clubs with the least amount of yellow cards and red cards so far this season,” he said. With experienced coach Vassell Reynolds at the helm, the team currently sits third in the overall points standing three points below league leaders Federal at the time of the presentation. And Cobourne noted that the partnership will also help to improve the profile of the community, regarded as a major transshipment point in the guns for drugs trade between Jamaica and Haiti.
Fourth-placed Dunbeholden are only a point below Federal United after coming away 1-0 winners at the expense of Portsmouth. GC Foster moved up to mid-table following a 2-1 win over Newland, while bottom club New Raiders drew 1-1 at home against Christian Pen. Click this link to LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
Old Harbour Bay finished the game with nine men with David Lewis and Devroy Gray ejected in 75th and 85th minutes respectively. A minute after Lewis’ ejection, Old Harbour Bay leveled through captain Jason Grant before holding on for a share of the spoils.
The tempo of the game also went up a notch as the hosts tried to get back on even terms before a moment of madness between Lewis and Lewin. The visitors were then punished by Grant from the resulting free-kick as the Old Harbour Bay playmaker sent a dipping strike that kissed the underside of the bar while referee assistant Jayson Jackson ruled the ball had crossed the goal line amid protests from Fraziers defenders. But following the dismissal of Gray, Old Harbour Bay had to change their game plan to a more defensive ploy, though Taylor, who came on at right back for Corey Rodriques, nearly won it for them. See coaches’ reaction on our YouTube channel. In other matches Dunbeholden were held to a 2-2 draw by Federal United, while Royal Lakes and Christian Pen drew 0-0, likewise Portsmouth and New Raiders. Dela Vega, playing at home, blanked Newland 2-0. Click this link to LIKE US ON FACEBOOK