This Sunday saw a title showdown at Freeport Rugby Football Club as Brita Red Bulls took on Insurance Management Lions in a game between two teams with serious title aspirations.

After a years sabbatical, this season’s men’s title has had all sorts of twists and turns as neither Freeport FC nor Insurance Management Lions appeared to want to take the intitiative as they led the table during the course of the season but were unable to pull away from the other teams. Consequently Brita Red Bulls , who had persistently hung around the top two positions all season and had ( in racing terms) now snuck up on the inside rails and thus simply needed to win on Sunday to secure the title .

A cagey start to the game by both teams was interrupted by some bright wing play on the right from Archie Charles of the Red Bulls . One such piece of trickery resulted in namesake Antonio Charles calmly steering a header past the Lions keeper for a one goal lead. All credit to the Lions , however, as they came straight back down the field to equalize via a penalty by Ricky Hutchinson.

The second half saw the younger Brita Red Bull up the tempo in the early stages with good work in midfield by Fabio Cortes, Dominic Adams and Wilfred Guerrier in particular. This effort was rewarded with 20 minutes remaining as the ever dangerous Daniel Jean broke clear of a tired looking Lions defence to slot the ball home for the all important leading goal. Knowing that, in reality, only a victory and hence two goals would secure the title for them, Lions began to press forward in the closing stages especially as the Red Bulls team began to concede the midfield. However resolute defending from Rika Bazille, Wayne Reckley , McGyver Dean and Andrew Bell ensured that 16 year old goalkeeper Roger Johnson was rarely troubled as the game wound down.

The final whistle was greeted with joyous scenes as the Brita Red Bulls clinched their first league title in only their second season in the league – a tremendous achievement for a team with an average age of 19 . A measure of the youthfulness of the side is that approximately half of the team are still at school , indeed a good proportion of the players are part of the Eight Mile Rock High School team that , in the space of 5 days, have won the Island’s School Soccer Championship, The Northern Bahamas School Championship and now the senior GBFL title !!!

Red Bulls coach Husseyin Dengizer felt his team deserved the victory and the title saying they had practiced harder and more frequently than the other teams and that this commitment, coupled with their undoubted talent, meant they were worthy winners of the title. Fellow coach Mark Hardy was also proud of his young players saying that the original objective for this team was twofold:
1) for the team to provide a stepping stone between youth soccer and adult soccer
2) for the players to act as role models to the younger players in the Development Programme which runs for boys aged 8 to 21

I am pleased that both objectives are being met and hopefully this will help progress the development of youth soccer in particular and soccer in general on Grand Bahama. Coach Hardy also wished to thank their sponsors Brita Water, Bristol Cellars , Red Bull and Freeport Rugby Football Club for their ongoing support for the team.