Having been torn apart 4-0 vs. Antigua and Barbuda in their first Group C fixture, the battling Bermudans gained entrance to seventh heaven, with a tidal wave of goals against a shell-shocked St. Martin.
Within minutes of play it became clear that both teams would have to adapt their game to suit the weather conditions with St Martin playing a high line for the offside trap, to counter Bermudas irresistible pace upfront. But despite the ploy, the French collectively found themselves pinned back in their own half for extended periods.
It would be the Bermudan’s that would make the first forays into their opponents final third, hydroplaning their way into positions that disturbed the French quartet at the back. However they were unable to trouble the keeper until minute 15 when a back heeled return pass from the sprightly Damon Ming was skimmed into the box only to have the striker finish like he was wearing flippers.
But Bermuda remained patient, with neat short passes. A quick one-two between John Nusum and Ming the merciless on the edge of the 18 yard box almost resulted in a goal, but instead ended just wide of the target.
Bermuda’s frustration at not finding the net prompted an impromptu switch of position between wingers Damon Ming and Reginald Lambe. Literally two minutes after the switch had been made the desired result was found, when Ming’s cross was at first missed completely by Stephen Astwood, but sat up nicely for Reginald Lambe to start the slaughter, with a right footed tap in from point blank range.
Once goal No. 1 had been scored the proverbial floodgates opened as Bermuda upped the ante just three minutes later in minute 25, with a reversal of the previous goal, this time the finished supplied by Ming following a kosher delivery by Lambe, the score now 2-0.
Moments later, collective sighs of disappointment reverberated from the grandstand when Lambe released Jemieko Jenning with a pass that bisected the midfield; marooned the keeper and left Jennings man against post – with the post coming out on top.
That disappointment was soon forgotten though, as on the stroke of halftime Lambe capped an exceptional first half performance with an alert individual play, that saw him intercept an errant pass, accelerate around the flapping Marconnet and tickle the twine with an easy 3rd goal for Bermuda.
Bermuda could easily have lead 5-0 at the break, and was looking to make up for missed opportunities in the second half. Again Lambe lead the charge and was anything but meek in his onslaught. With pace and persistence he dispossessed Jerome Beausol on the edge of the area, and then bundled the fourth goal into the back of the net whilst sliding on his chest, with the St. Martin defenders lobbying the linesman in vain to raise his neon checked flag.
His hat-trick now in the bag, the 17-year old Lambe, who had never scored for Bermuda in his previous seven international appearances, was put into a more central strikers position and was involved in the 5th goal as well – feeding Jason Davies who released Antonio Lowe to a simple finish past a dejected Marconnet in goal.
Goal six fell like dominoes. Left all alone, Reginald Lambe chopped the keeper, and followed with another tap in to make it half a dozen for the high flying Bermudans in the 83rd minute.
With literally seconds remaining in the match, 16-year old substitute Casey Castle crowned a majestic display with a regal run; shuffling through several challenges to again poke it past the keeper to take the Bermudans to seventh heaven, mathematically eliminating St Martin who had conceded 10 goals in 2 games, and 3 crucial points in their second fixture of Group C in the Digicel Caribbean Championships.
Bermuda: 1. Timothey Figuerido, 2. Darius Cox, 4. Kijuan Franks, 5. Antonio Lowe, 7. Damon Ming, 8. John Nusum (12. Jason Davis min 60), 9. Stephen Astwood (19. Tumani Steede min 54), 11. Reginald Lambe, 14. Roger Lee, 15. Devaun Degraff, 21. Jemieko Jennings (16. Casey Castle min 68).
Subs: (6. Kristofer Frick), (13. Nigel Burgess),
St. Martin: 1. Jean-Luc Marconnet, , 3. Jerome Beausol, 4. Charles Emile, 5. Stanislas Adams, 6. Elvis Fleming, 9. Eric Daniel, 12. Jean-Luis Richards (10. Stevens Sequin min 76), 14. Victor Richardson (8. Malik Nejin min 45),16.Marckenson Pierre (7. Thierry Francis min 60), 17. Francis Peterson, 18. Joel Richardson.
Subs: (2. Jean-Paul Arrondell), (22. David Saintil) (13. Youn Fantilus)