Dervin Campbell carries Sandals to top league on bad leg
Despite being the top marksman for Sandals South Coast in the Western Confederation, Dervin Campbell was forced to watch agonisingly from the bench during this season's premier league play-offs due to injury. His name did not figure on the goalscoring list, but all that changed on Sunday when his team needed him most.
The ace goalscorer, who has been carrying a leg injury, came up big for Sandals South Coast by getting the goal that secured qualification for next season's Red Stripe Premier League.
"I came into the play-off series with an injury that I picked up during the Western Confederation competition and struggled with playing time. It came down to the last game and we needed only a point to make history so I played through the injury for my team," Campbell told WESTERN STAR.
Needing a point to qualify for the premier league, Sandals South Coast were even to book their ticket after a 1-1 draw with Cavalier in their game played at Stadium East.
Campbell easily tapped in a rebound past Cavalier's goalkeeper Alec Hare in the 21st minute to put his team in an early lead. However, 12 minutes later, George Pinnock equalised for the home side. The Magnum/Charley's JB/JFF promotion final round game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The point earned put Sandals South Coast into the nation's top flight and Campbell was the hero last Sunday for the Westmoreland club.
After the game Campbell and teammates celebrated the feat by spraying champagnes on each other and also the team officials.
"We came into the season with a plan to play premier league next season and that was achieved, so it is certainly celebration time," he said.
'I am overjoyed as I really wanted to score for the team. We deserved this promotion because of the hard work. I must say big up to coach (Aaron Lawrnce) although, he was not here today as he is in Cayman with the national Under-15 team," Campbell pointed out.
Sandals South Coast assistant coach Orville Bryan, who deputised in the absence of Lawrence, was also very elated.
"We came into the game to possess the ball for long periods. Dervin who was not fully fit put us in the lead and that was good. After Cavalier scored we decided not to allow any more goal. And that was achieved," Bryan reasoned.
Cavalier ended the play-off on ten points ahead of Sandals South Coast (9), Rivoli United (8) and Priory SA (4). Cavalier and Sandals gained the two spots to the RSPL.