Best two teams set for riveting final showdown today
- Bygeval, St. Ignatius battle for third place
By Rawle Welch
There is no doubt that the two best teams in this year’s Digicel Nationwide Schools Football Competition have made it to the championship round and judging from their semi-final performances and those that preceded Friday’s action, fans, scouts and even the ones who were constructively critical of all the negative developments that took place during the tournament are invited to witness what is anticipated to be a riveting contest between Christianburg of Linden and Waramadong of Region 7 today, at the Police Sports club ground, Eve Leary.
The two teams met at the semi-final stage last year and Christianburg came out victors, but since then they’ve lost two key players in Clarence Huggins and Trenton Lashley, both missing due to age ineligibility, while Waramadong though missing a few players from last year have looked much stronger now.
Their much improved performances seems to have been owed mainly to the increased experience of their mid-field maestro McCurd Crammer, a beneficiary of the Digicel Kick Start Programme under the guidance of England international John Barnes, while Cirilo George, Kenzy George, Myles Albert and Armon Fredericks have all looked dangerous in attack coupled with the relatively secure hands of goalkeeper Gerald Isaacs.
Christianburg despite playing their last two matches in undesirable conditions due to the inclement weather have still managed to display glimpses of their class and everyone is thinking that given suitable conditions they could hold their own against any opponent in the competition and providing the rain subsides and the pitch is well prepared, football fans will be in for a treat from the Mining Town lads.
They have shown no weakness in any area, their big central defender Travin Byden has stood up manfully to all the challenges that have come their way and is also regarded as a potent force in the corners and set pieces with his superior jumping ability, while the prolific Marmalique Davidson, Alan Halley, Yannick Simon and Ezra Ashby are all skilful players and deadly inside the box.
Christianburg holds the psychological edge, having beaten them previously, but Waramadong, a team that travels with a large band of vociferous supporters must be confident following their commanding performances in their last two games.
It sets up nicely for a interesting game that pits the future stars of Guyana on one pitch and is therefore a must see.
The third place playoff between Bygeval and St. Ignatius once again highlights a team from the coastland versus another from the hinterland thereby emphasizing the strength of the teams those areas.
Bygeval were clearly outclassed in their semi-final matchup against Waramadong and it is left to be seen whether or not they’ve recovered from that licking, while St. Ignatius, though, understandably they might be disappointed by the close defeat against Christianburg will no doubt be looking to end the tournament on a high and re-emphasize to all and sundry the need to look seriously into the hinterland areas when arriving at a national selection.
The tournament despite the hiccups is an overwhelming success and kudos must be in place to Digicel for displaying the intestinal fortitude to invest such a large sum of money, something that no other entity has shown the willingness to do, to showcase the rich talent that exist at the junior level.
This year marks the second in the tournament’s history and when it climaxes today and a careful review is done, there is no doubt that next year will be bigger and better.
Kick-off time is 16:00 hrs.