Action in the Prisoners versus the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force football match at the Victoria Park on Sunday December 22, 2018 (photo: Rohan Thomas)

KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES – Last Sunday December 22, 2018, saw the playing of one of the best football matches seen in this country in recent times. This was the football match between prisoners and the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force at the Victoria Park.

When the match between prisoners of the Belle Isle Correctional Institute and the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force was announced, there was mixed reactions from members of the public.

Some were of the opinion that it would be very aggressive for the prisoners would see this as the perfect opportunity to teach the lawmen a lesson for the arrests of some of them and or their friends.

Other persons thought that this match was a very good move by the authorities in their drive towards rehabilitation, not just of the prisoners, but of society itself.

On the day of the game, persons slowly trickled in, and following he Secondary Schools IX versus the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College XI, it was the time for the anticipated match of the year.

Following the usual pleasantries and photos of the starting elevens, the game got off to a rocketing start, with the prisoners slowly getting into the game.

The police drew first blood, but with the prisoners having a feel of the conditions, began entertaining the neat capacity crowd with dribbles, dummies, slick passing, and scorching runs down the flanks.

They had the services of an experience midfield player who have had playing time with the Sion Hill club, according to sources. He was a leader in ensuring that the prisoners kept shape, and when the prisoners scored their first goal, Victoria Park erupted.

Prisoners and members of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force football teams, respectively, link hands and salute the crowd at the Victoria Park on Sunday December 22, 2018 (photo: Robertson S. Henry)

However the lawmen were not to be outdone, and displayed football skills which had the crowd applauding. The lawmen took a 4-1 lead, but it was the prisoners second goal which showed the level of skill evident.

The skill displayed in dribbling and scoring that goal had the lawmen applauding the player, and even walking up to shake his hand.

It was a game which showed a level of skill and intelligence by both teams, consisting of part-time players in many instances not seen in players of mainstream football clubs.

The policemen won 4-2, and many are looking forward to the return game. As to when is anyone’s guess, but the public’s appetite has been wetted, in what has been an initiative worthy of the support of all as St. Vincent and the Grenadines initiate programmes towards enhancing its rehabilitation thrust.