Oh how the mighty have fallen! Correction, make that how the mighty continue to fall. Former Blackheart Knockout Football champions continue to find the going tough in this year’s competition.
The string of casualties now includes 2012 champions Dennery. They lost their quarter final game 2-1 against underdogs Roseau Valley Wednesday evening at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
With the upset win Wednesday, Roseau Valley secured their place in the semi finals of the competition along with Mabouya Valley who were also victorious that night.
Roseau Valley opened the scoring in the 21st minute. Nicky Henry converted from close in giving them a 1-0 score which remained that way after the first half.
Dennery though, with a never say die attitude, equalized in the 61st minute when Norman Greaves found the netting. It was 1-1 until in the 88th minute, when in a contender for best goal of the tournament Fabian Raymond struck a gem of a free kick from just outside the area that stunned the Dennery goal keeper.
Following the game Roseau Valley fans stormed the field and celebrated with players for what turned out to be a historic and glorious win for the team.
In an interview following the game, Roseau Valley Coach Bobby Hippolyte admitted that the team’s overall fitness was a concern and against Dennery they took steps to correct it.
“This time we did a lot of physical work with the guys because we realize their fitness was a problem in the last match so we did work on that for this match. And also knowing that Dennery is a very physical team that runs a lot we prepared adequately for them tonight.”
Was he surprised his team won? Hippolyte replied “no” then went on to say “we wanted that victory although I am a bit surprised because Dennery are the defending champs and we are the underdogs but we came here to win the match.”
When asked why so many upsets in this year’s tournament Hippolyte said: “I think preparation is one factor. For us, I think a lot of teams we came up against the odds were stacked against us. I believe tonight maybe Dennery took us for granted, knowing our history in the Blackheart Tournament and also the St Lucia Football Association tournaments.”
In the second match of the evening three-time former Blackheart Champions Mabouya Valley, did not succumb to the so called jinx surrounding past champions. The valley boys earned a place in the semi finals with a 2-0 win over Soufriere.
Goals from Wayne “Vincie” Theodule in the 73rd minute and Jason “Joey” Jn Louis in the 85th, minute gave Mabouya Valley victory and booked a spot in the semi finals.
The semi finals will be played Saturday evening and pits Mabouya Valley against Gros Islet and Roseau Valley against Babonneau. The two winners advance to the finals Saturday September 7 for the grand prize of $15,000 in cash while the two semi-final losers face off in the third place play off.