Banks Beer / GFA Knockout Cup…Dangerous Sunburst Camptown and Riddim Squad square off in today’s final
– GDF and Rangers clash for third place
It was a case of a ‘bridge too far’ for a game, but inexperienced Northern Rangers unit went down to a seasoned and battle tested Sunburst Camptown side in the first of two semi-final matches in this year’s Banks Beer / GFA Knockout Cup which was played on Sunday, at the GCC ground.
Playing in the first game, Sunburst Camptown widely regarded as one of the most dangerous teams in yearend competitions showed exactly why they are considered so as they weathered a testing battle against Northern Rangers, before flooring them 3-0 in extra time.
Peter Parks opening the scoring in the first half of extra-time with a magnificent strike from about 30 metres out after a wonderful run, weaving past two struggling defenders to unleash a missile into the roof of the net.
That goal came in the 8th minute of extra time.
Bouyed by their ascendancy, the Campbellville-based side took over in fine style in the second period and almost on every offensive expedition looked menacing and got their second goal when Jamal Codrington collected a pass from just outside the box, wriggled past two defenders, before hammering a shot past the goalkeeper.
That second goal signaled a sign of surrender on the faces of the Northern Rangers players and supporters faces and as to showcase their ruthlessness, Parks added another sublime goal to his day’s effort when he ran on to a perfectly weighted pass and beat the advancing goalkeeper with a delicate chip over his outstretched feet.
The feature clash between the Guyana Defence Force and ‘giant killers’ Riddim Squad was entertaining from the start with the latter clearly showing no fear for their more favoured counterparts and took the lead through an Amos Ramsay strike in the 27th minute of play.
They held that advantage until the break with the thousands of football fans wondering if the East Bank Denerara-based team could duplicate their quarter-final showing when they booted favourites Fruta Conquerors out of contention for the top prize.
It looked quite the opposite when the second stanza commenced as the Army produced a series of attacks and eventually got the equaliser through Clifford Garraway, who outran his markers, before beating the goalkeeper to his left.
That goal was met with thunderous celebration by the large contingent of supporters for the soldiers.
However, Riddim Squad remained focused on the task and created a few opportunities to score, but some tremendous saves by the GDF custodian kept the scores level.
Not to be denied, Riddim Squad eventually got the go-ahead goal when Sheldon Hope, whose brother Sceyon’s breathtaking volley had placed them into the semi-finals, hammered a fierce shot past the GDF’s last line of defence.
They, however, had to repel a string of attacks, before the final whistle sounded sending their supporters into wild frenzy as they now await today’s final showdown against a dangerous Sunburst Camptown unit.