Apr 19, 2010 Sports
Eagles fly past Milerock; Peace Makers disconnect Winners Connection
By Franklin Wilson
The inaugural History making Twenty20 knock-out football competition organised by Dr. J.O.F. Haynes and the Upper Demerara Football Association in conjunction with the Guyana Football Federation kicked off in grand style on Saturday evening at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground in Linden following a colourful march past of the competing teams.
Parliamentary Secretary attached to the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport Steve Ninvalle did the ceremonial kick off of the ball to signal the start of the first tournament of its kind it is believed, in the world.
And wasting no time in etching their names in the history books were Eagles United who inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Milerock in the feature game of the opening double header which was contested in unrelenting rain which added to the evening’s festivities.
The opening championship game which was quick, energizing, fast and furious, saw Peace Makers in a very confrontational mood as they disconnected the aspirations of Winners Connection by the odd goal in five (5).
Eagles United once a potent force to reckon with in Linden football, showed flashes of the past with a clinical display against Milerock, a side that has been the dominant force in the Bauxite Mining Town in recent years.
Dirk Farrell and David Gray sealed the win for Eagles with a goal each in the process, securing a date with Peace Makers in the next round of the competition which will see the winner taking home $300,000.
The Peace Makers / Winners Connection clash saw both teams going at each other for most of the opening half without any success but with 5 minutes away from the break (20 minutes), nippy forward Norvel Adrian dribbled his way past two of the opposition defenders and with the keeper advancing skillfully dragged the ball past him to the left before hitting the ball into the open goal, much to the delight of the animated crowd.
On the stroke of the break, Peace Makers doubled the lead after being awarded a penalty following a blatant tackle in the box. Richard James took the shot and drilled it into the back of the nets with ease.
Five-minutes into the second half following the 5-minute half time break, Peace Makers picked up where they had left off when they nailed their third goal, Kurt Murphy performing the honours.
But if the leaders were harbouring thoughts of the game being over, it was far from as Winners Connection responded with a double blast.
The experienced Rawle ‘Bony man’ Gittens drilled goals in the 30th and 35th minutes to add real life back into the match-up. Peace Makers mustered the energy and focus to hold on to that one goal cushion until the final whistle, Peace makers 3 Winners Connection 2.
Following the march past, City sides Guyana Defence Force and BK International Western Tigers battled in an exhibition Twenty20 game with the Army prevailing 2-1 via penalty kicks after the game ended 2-2.
GDF cantered into the lead with goals from Hubert Pedro (7th) and Captain Eusi Phillips in the 20th minute. But the Tigers clawed their way back with goals in the 22nd minute off the boot of Gideon Payne and six minutes later through Maxwell Pellew.
The rules of the competition states that if the score is tied at the end of regulation time of 40 minutes, three (3) penalty kicks will be taken by the substitute players. At the end of this segment, the GDF prevailed 2-1. Gold and silver medals were presented to the teams.
Earlier, addressing the teams at the official opening ceremony, Ninvalle expressed his delight at sharing the historical moment with the UDFA and J.O.F. Haynes.
“The Ministry stands ready to support you in this and other initiatives and we commend you for this tournament. I encourage the teams to show good sportsmanship during the ensuing days of competition and I also urge you to let discipline be your watch word.”
Dr. Haynes in his remarks said he wanted the sport to return to the glory days in the Bauxite Mining Town but that it will take a concerted effort by all to achieve the goal.
He said that his ambition is to see the competition played countrywide with the first to third place teams in the various areas clashing in the national playoffs for a grand prize of One Million Dollars and the Championship Cup along with authentic Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for the 1st to 3rd place teams.
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