Football: Barclays league division two-Lablache scores four as The Lions crowned champions



THE LIONS … Barclays league division two champions

It was The Lions’ eighth victory as they extended their unbeaten run to 12 matches to make a swift return to the top flight after being relegated at the end of last season.

On Tuesday, it seemed a foregone conclusion that league leaders The Lions would win to claim the second division league championship against the western Mahe side who have not won a single match in this division as they lie at the foot of the table with only a single point and have already been relegated to the third division.

However, West Coast Brothers stunned champions elect The Lions in the sixth minute as Eddy Samedi went on a strong run to elude a couple of defenders before pulling the ball back to captain Andrew Serret who shot into the net to make it 1-0.

West Coast Brothers though held on to the lead only for two minutes as The Lions’ Lablache went on a mazy run and then picked out Michael Ernest who blasted into the net for a 1-1 score.

In the 17th minute, The Lions produced a superb move initiated by Lablache from his own half as he sent Darrel Damoo scampering down the right. The same Lablache was on hand to drive Damoo’s cross past goalkeeper Leopaul Auguste for a 2-1 lead.

Damoo added a third goal in the 19th minute as captain Jude Nancy started the move as he overlapped on the right and cut the ball into the path of the former Northern Dynamo striker who fired home to make it 3-1.

The Lions’ attack was relentless and they went further ahead in the 21st minute as Denis Auguste filtered a pass to Lablache who raced clear to easily slot the ball past goalkeeper Auguste (4-1).

Midway in this half, West Coast Brothers capitalised on some sloppy defending by the Lions and Aubrey Bonne thumped a fierce shot at goal but goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall just managed to turn the ball into corner.

West Coast Brothers also replaced goalkeeper Auguste in the 26th minute by the bearded custodian Marcus Adonis but still there was no respite for this team.

Two minutes later, goalkeeper Adonis had to pick the ball up from the back of the net after Damoo had set up Dave Max who rounded him to push the ball into an empty goal (5-1).

Despite intense pressure, West Coast had a decent chance in the 31st minute as captain Andrew Serret tested goalkeeper Dingwall with a strong shot which he did well to push into corner.

In the 35th minute, Rashim Padayachy linked up with Dave Max who rounded a defender to set up the midfielder who scored the best goal of the match with a curler into the top corner (6-1).

Denis Auguste wrapped the first half scoring spree in the 38th minute as he latched onto a through ball to outsprint an overworked defence and drilled the ball past the advancing goalkeeper Adonis (7-1).

West Coast Brothers made two substitutions as they brought on Marcus Joseph and Trevor Henriette as they tried to tighten their defence and stop the rout.

The Lions though roared on as they increased their advantage in the 57th minute from Denis Auguste’s long ball which the West Coast Brothers defence failed to clear and Lablache pounced on the loose ball to skip past the hapless goalkeeper Adonis and ram the ball home as he completed his hat-trick (8-1).

Just past the hour mark, Michael Ernest played a cross-field pass to Lablache who released substitute Juiad Boniface who dribbled past goalkeeper Adonis to make it 9-1.

In the 64th minute, The Lions reached double digits as Lablache wriggled his way past a couple of tackles to feed Denis Auguste who blasted the ball into the net (10-1).

Five minutes later, captain Jude Nancy combined with Lablache who released substitute Boniface who squared the ball back to captain Nancy who had continued his run and he finished off the move in style (11-1).

The Lions made two substitutions in the 71st minute as Jerry Uranie and Christopher Derjacques were given some playing time by coach Gavin Jeanne.

Derjacques did not wait long as he scored on his first touch two minutes later as Lablache tormented the West Coast rearguard before crossing to the lanky player who controlled well and rifled into the net to make it 12-1.

In the 81st minute, Lablache completed the rout as he reacted quickly to some hesitant defending to volley home a cracker for his fourth personal goal and his team’s 113th.

The Lions’ players celebrated on the pitch in front of a small crowd who had braved the rainy weather.

 They were then presented with their medals and the second division league cup by Seychelles Football Federation chairman Joel Decommarmond and Barclays Bank representative Pascal Marie.

Team manager Davis Khan told Sports Nation that their match on Tuesday was very easy and now that they have secured the league title, they will focus on the Land Marine Cup where they have reached the quarterfinals.

As for captain Jude Nancy, he said it has not been a very tough season, especially in the first part but they became the team to beat in the second round as most of their opponents put on a strong challenge.

Sports Nation would like to congratulate The Lions on securing the Barclays league division two title in style.

R. J-L.