Two East Hampton teams, B&R, John Romero and Luis Barrera’s entry, and Hampton Football Club-Bill Miller Associates, which was put together by Duvan Castro, did battle Monday night in the final of the eight-team Simon Gavron memorial men’s soccer tournament on Shelter Island.
And the winner was . . . B&R, by a score of 1-0, the result of a goal by Hector Marles, one of B&R’s defenders, who, near the end of the first half, slid in at the right post to convert Antonio Padilla’s chip from about 20 yards out.
Other than that, each goalie — Bill Miller’s Guillermo Martinez and B&R’s Corey DeRosa — was flawless.
DeRosa, who didn’t allow a goal during the entire tournament, whose 7-on-7 games were played on succeeding Monday evenings at Shelter Island’s Fiske Field, was tested from the get-go in the final, though, as Bill Miller’s lineup had plenty of firepower in the persons of, among others, Mario Olaya, Jose Almansa, and Stiven Orrego.
Both teams had hard shots bounce off the posts. DeRosa survived one such in the first minute, the ball caroming off the near post. A few minutes later, it was Martinez’s turn as a bid by B&R’s Jefferson Ramirez (who has become an even stronger scoring threat recently) hit off the underside of the crossbar and bounced out.
Needless to say, there was plenty of contact, consequent free kicks, and frequent counters. It was on a counter play following Barrera’s takedown of Olaya that Padilla and Marles combined for the sole goal of the 40-minute game.
“Pegale, pegale!” (“Hit it, hit it!”) Castro told his players during the half, and, again, they came out strong in the second frame, only to find shot after shot going awry, results that had that team’s fans moaning repeatedly.
Almansa got off the first shot in the second frame, though DeRosa made the save, and, soon after, Danny Bedoya had a great chance to deflect in an Almansa cross, but let the ball get by him. More moans.
Padilla came very close to making it 2-0 around the 30th minute, but Martinez made a diving save. Moments later, DeRosa did the same thing, foiling Bedoya, who, after receiving a pass from Jonathan Giraldo, rocketed a shot toward the right corner.
After Martinez had come up big again, parrying Eddie Lopez, who’d broken away, and after a shot by Almansa had sailed high over B&R’s crossbar, Jefferson Ramirez was red-carded by the referee, Alex Ramirez, over a disputed endline call.
“The ball was in,” B&R’s chief scoring threat said afterward. “I didn’t swear at him — I just told him he needed to run more. He wasn’t near the ball when he made the call.”
Ramirez’s ejection resulted in B&R playing a man-down for the remaining eight or so minutes — a long time in such a hard-fought contest, though B&R’s defense, anchored by Barrera, Marles, Cristian Gonzalez, and DeRosa, held firm.
During those final minutes, it was B&R that had the best chance, however, on another breakaway by Lopez, who charged in on Martinez and, unmarked, let go a ground-hugging shot from about eight yards out that went wide, after which he writhed on the ground for a few minutes, having cramped up.
Bill Miller’s last chance, an outside-of-the-foot shot taken by Bedoya, who’d positioned himself to the left of the circle in front of B&R’s goal during a free kick, sailed wide right.
Romero and Barrera’s team received the trophy at a party afterward at Sunset Beach restaurant. The tournament, whose net proceeds (more than $2,000 this year) are used by the Shelter Island Lions Club to fund youth activities, is in its 11th year.
Each of the finalists sailed through the first rounds without a defeat and with the same number of points, 17, though B&R received the top seed because it had not given up a goal.
Bill Miller defeated SG United (a team whose player-manager was the tournament’s director, Jimmy Read) 4-1 in one of Monday’s semifinals, and B&R shut out Gulluscio Storage 5-0 in the other.