Resilience, infused with attacking intent and potency, spurred John Hughes to their first Warriors Cup title after they twice stormed back from going behind to outgun All Saints 4-2 in the finals at the Mack Pond Playing Field on Sunday.
Exhibiting an attractive style of play, John Hughes overcame, conceding early to draw level before All Saints retook the lead going into half-time,
However, John Hughes drew level again early in the second period before they scored two more goals to seal the championship.
Forward Shafeek Joseph, who scored twice to record three goals in the tournament, gave United an early advantage when he capitalised of a defensive mix-up to prod home from close range after three minutes.
But John Hughes, who like All Saints had won their semi-finals matches by 6-0 margins last month, restored parity from the penalty spot courtesy of the tournament’s Golden Ball winner (MVP) Ricardo Thompson’s penalty kick five minutes later.
Joseph, who came close to winning the golden boot award for being the top goal scorer but was edged out by Deno Bryan who scored twice to add to his double in semis, restored the home side’s lead with a finish on the run.
After the break, Troy Jules, who was adjudged the Best Young Player, restored parity as he shot under the body of the goalkeeper from a tight angle to make 2-2. Jules, who ranges between the ages of 15-21 years, received a two-year scholarship to a tertiary institution in Antigua.
Then Bryan took full advantage of some poor defending to seal the win as he scored twice to leave the All Saints men licking their wounds and send his teammates into celebration as they lifted the trophy.
Unfortunately, John Hughes lost their first-choice goalkeeper Khuwon Stevens with a knee injury. After receiving treatment at the ground from EMS personnel, he was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
His deputy, Keson Sutherland, who kept the first match, was named the best custodian.
At the awards ceremony, John Hughes secured all the other individual prizes including Best Defender, Wendoll Burton; Best Midfielder, Thompson; Best Coach, Henry Willis; and Best Manager, Pat Spencer.
Ken Pennyfeather was named Referee-of-the-Tournament.
Organisers say next year’s tournament will take place in early September.