Devonshire Cougars 2 Somerset Eagles 2
(Devonshire Cougars won 5-4 in a penalty shootout)
Devonshire Cougars finally got their hands on the elusive FA Cup after lifting the famous trophy for the first time in their history following a thrilling penalty shootout win over Somerset Eagles yesterday.
Cougars found themselves trailing by two goals at the interval but completed a dramatic injury time comeback when Darius Cox's hopeful punt from the halfway line somehow drifted into the net.
It was a moment to forget for Eagles goalkeeper Marcel Dill who seemed more concerned with the whereabouts of Cougars striker Domico Coddington than the flight of the ball.
Cougars had given themselves a mountain to climb after conceding two goals in as many minutes just before half-time.
Eagles' opener saw Cougars 'keeper Ricardo Brangman parry Antwan Russell's long-range thunderbolt into Keishen Bean's path who calmly slotted home from close range.
They swiftly doubled their lead through teenager Troy Tucker who finished a splendid one-touch passing move with Russell, which completely carved open the Cougars defence.
Even the most one-eyed Eagles fan would have conceded that the half time scoreline flattered their team who would have been trailing had Cougars not squandered countless good scoring opportunities.
The usually clinical Aljame Zuill struck the post with a turn and shot soon after the re-start, before player/coach Kwame Steede fired home Korvon Tucker's cross to pull a goal back for Cougars.
Although Eagles continued to threaten occasionally on the break they were forced to withstand a bombardment of pressure for the remainder of normal time.
Steede again had the ball in the back of the net but was ruled offside, while striker Zuill had a real off day missing a hatful of 'bread and butter' chances for his team.
But credit must be given to Eagles who stuck to their task manfully and were just a few seconds away from pulling off a surprise FA Cup final victory before Dill's blunder between the sticks.
In the final minutes of extra time, substitute Mark Steede could have etched his name into Cougars' FA Cup folklore had he not blazed his shot over the bar when clean through.
Eagles fell behind in the shootout when their second penalty, taken by Damon Swan, was saved by 'keeper Brangman. Coddington converted Cougars fifth and final spot kick to secure his team's maiden FA Cup final triumph.
Player/ coach Kwame Steede was lost for words after the game.
"I can't find the right words to describe this," he said. "It's been a really long season for me as I have been coaching as well as playing, so to win the FA Cup in my first season is unbelievable.
"It was a great game and one I hope the fans enjoyed.
"We never gave up and got our rewards."
Cougars president Craig Clarke echoed Steede's sentiments:
"I'd like to thank the coaching staff, the players, the supporters and our sponsors Burt Construction. This team have a lot of character and never know when they are beaten.
"The FA Cup has eluded us but we are a team of pedigree as we have won all the major trophies in Bermuda."
Devonshire Cougars: R.Brangman, J.Butterfield, J.Seymour, D.Cox, K.Franks, S.Brangman (L.Simons, 80), K.Tucker (L.Brangman, 53), K.Steede, D.Coddington, A.Zuill (M.Steede, 83), T.Steede
Substitutes not used: K.Goddard, Z.White
Goals: Steede, 48, Cox, 92, M.Steede
Yellow cards: K.Franks,
Somerset Eagles: M.Dill, D.Andrade, D.Seymour, J.Bather, A.Lambert, T.Davis (S.Smith, 77), T.Tucker, R.DeShields, A.Russell (A.Grant, 60), D.Dowling (D.Swan, 76), K.Bean
Substitutes not used: A.Rocker, K.Brown, J.Bean, Goals: Bean, 43, Tucker, 45, D.Swan
Yellow cards: T.Tucker, K.Bean, R.DeShields, T.Davis
Man of the match: K.Franks (Cougars)