Grenades FC’s Jamaican ingredients help in Caribbean Club Championship win

Lamar Hodges (#6) was one of four Jamaicans to start for Antigua & Barbuda's Grenades FC in a Caribbean Club Championship win over host Montego Bay United on March 1, 2017, in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- Grenades FC had a blast in its first-ever Caribbean Club Championship match, topping host and Jamaican power Montego Bay United, 3-2, on Wednesday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Rubbing more salt into the wound was the fact that six players on the Antigua & Barbuda-based club’s roster were born and raised in Jamaica, before moving to the eastern Caribbean to play their football. Four of them started: Asrick Samuels (formerly of Boys’ Town), Christopher Harvey (formerly of Harbour View), Blake Thompson and Lamar Hodges. Atapharoy Bygrave came on as substitute in the second half.

It took two first half goals from Antiguan Trevaughn Harriet and a second-half dagger from St. Vincent & the Grenadines-born Naz McBernette to shock the home crowd and throw MBU’s hopes of advancing in early danger.

Harvey, who was assigned to mark the MBU’s dangerous Dino Williams, believes Jamaicans’ presence made played a major role in Grenades’ victory.

“Tremendous, especially with me and my experience, because we know how Montego Bay United play,” was his assessment of the impact. “It helped the team a lot.”

The 35-year-old was not surprised that Grenades jumped out to a 3-0 lead: “Not at all. I know the type of players we have. They are an excellent bunch of players. We knew it would be a hard game, but we were confident.”

Grenades head coach Derrick Edwards thought his team earned the rewards of a well-conceived game plan.

“We knew we would face a lot of speed, so we packed the midfield and forced them wide,” he finished. “We had some speed of our own as well.”

Three more Jamaican-born players were involved in the Group C doubleheader’s opener, but they couldn’t prevent Elite SC of the Cayman Islands from falling 4-0 to the Dominican Republic’s Club Barcelona Atletico.

Upcoming Group C matches

March 3, 2017
Grenades FC v Club Barcelona Atletico
Montego Bay United v Elite SC 

March 5, 2017
Elite SC v Grenades FC
Montego Bay United v Club Barcelona Atletico