By George Alleyne
The Trinis came to Barbados, saw and conquered all that stood before them in both divisions of the annual Banks International Masters Football Tournament.
This two decades old Masters Tournament saw 22 teams from across the Caribbean and North America competing over four days, ending Monday evening with ‘Era Masters’ of Trinidad and Tobago taking the Over 40s title, and their counterpart Over 50s side, ‘X Men TT’, from the twin-island republic grabbing the other trophy.
The victorious Trini teams, who beat two Bajan sides in the finals, were among seven squads that invaded Barbados for the tournament that ended on the Whit Monday holiday.
Now in its 22nd year, and on all occasions played in a festival atmosphere, the large crowds of Caribbean spectators gave the organizer Adrian Donovan a sense of satisfaction.
“The tournament has grown tremendously … judging from the feedback and from patrons and participants, and from the numbers we have seen,” he said.
With Barbados being a tourist destination, visiting sports teams mean a mix of business and pleasure, and Donovan said: “We are happy [with] the festival as a whole and the growth of sports tourism and the contribution of the festival to the hotel sector, restaurant sector, and the Barbadian economy.”
The performance of Era Masters in the final was described as ‘classical’ as they crushed Barbados’ Bayland Masters 4-0.
The Bajans of Bayland missed an opportunity to get on the scoreboard when captain John “Nobby” Parris rocketed a ball into the Era net from within the six-yard box, but it was disallowed because referee blew a foul.
The Bajans appeared to never recover from that ruled-out goal and the relentless attacks led by former English Premier League striker, Earl “The Flea” Jean made them pay.
Era’s goalkeeper, Trevor Nottingham, emerged as the most valuable player for the tournament.
X Men TT and Pele Masters of Barbados was decided on penalties with the Trinis outscoring the Bajans 5-2.