Mar 03, 2013 Sports
– Top Class secures third place
Even a sustained and ferocious offensive onslaught by Hard Knocks could not prevent eventual winners New Era Russians from securing the coveted title as the inaugural Banks Premium / Unique Entertainment Futsal Tournament concluded early Saturday morning, before a capacity crowd, at the Mackenzie Sports Club Hardcourt.
As predicted by the pundits, the contest for the top prize of $500,000, a trophy and bragging rights lived up to its billing and fans were treated to a fine exhibition of the futsal format as the New Era Russians, slight underdogs from the start, gave indications that they were not going to play second fiddle to favourites Hard Knocks and came closest to scoring very early in the scrimmage, being denied only by a spectacular save from the opposition’s goalkeeper.
After some neat exchanges where both teams’ offensive forays came close to bearing positive results, the Russians took the lead through Terrence Aaron, who reached on to a pass delivered down the right flank and eased past one defender, before unleashing a thunderous right-foot shot that screamed into the far corner with the goalkeeper transfixed on the near post.
That goal came in the 7th minute of play and it immediately evoked wild celebrations from their supporters.
Two minutes later, they stretched their advantage through Shawn Daniels, who netted a fortuitous goal after the opposing custodian made a partial diving stop from a stinging shot, but had to look on in consternation as the ball landed in the path of a lurking Daniels and he nonchalantly stabbed it into the back of the goal. That made it 2-0 and the celebrations continued in the Russians camp.
Needing to show some fight, Hard Knocks who strangely never looked settled finally begun to find their touch, passing the ball fluently and went on a sustained attack which evidently paid dividend when Oswald Benjamin scored a beauty.
He received an inbound pass from the right side and in one sweeping motion, swiveled and hammered a fierce left foot shot past the outstretched hand of the Russians goalkeeper.
The half time whistle sounded shortly after and everyone present could sense a mouth watering second half slugfest and so it was.
Hard Knocks growing in confidence managed to rattle the uprights on a couple of occasions, while the Russians also came close to increasing their lead, but solid goalkeeping combined with stout defending erased their chances of enjoying a bigger lead. They held on tenaciously until the final whistle sounded to crown them as the inaugural champs.
Hard Knocks, however, collected $300,000 and a trophy as runners-up.
In the third place playoff, Top Class produced a near flawless display to defeat Silver Bullets 3-1.
The burly Shaw Easton netted all three goals for Top Class with a brace coming in the opening period and the other just after the second half resumed, while Robin Adams was lone player on target for Silver Bullets.
Top Class received $150,000 and a trophy for their efforts.
Travis Watterton of New Era Russians was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
The Organisers extended thanks to the following entities and individuals for their support: Banks DIH, Star Party Rentals, Trophy Stall of Bourda Market, Tom Beverage, B. Harry Hardware & Lumber Yard and Ron Wilson of New Jersey, USA.
Also in attendance were Banks Premium Beer Brand Manager Jeoff Clement, Banks Beer Brand Manager Brian Choo-Hen, Outdoor Events Manager Mortimer Stewart, Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon and officials from the Banks DIH Linden Branch.
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