…East Coast dominate Berbice
Victoria Kings ended the reign of inaugural Champions Monedderlust FC when the 2nd annual GT Beer/Berbice Cup climaxed last Saturday night in front of a large crowd at the Number Five Village venue on the West Coast of the Ancient County.
The much older East Coast Unit, under the guidance of former national Youth midfielder Mark ‘Sevens’ Charles over the last two months, proved their superiority against the much younger Monedderlust side which meekly surrendered their title 0-2 in a disappointing display before a majority home crowd that had nothing to shout about.
The Tournament’s top goal scorer, Winston Pompey gave Kings the lead as early as the 4th minute when he netted from the Penalty Mark after midfielder Arden Lawrence was illegally brought down in the area and referee Colin Bowery pointed to the spot. The ‘Dreadlocked’ Pompey, who was also named MVP of the Tournament, placed a low hard right-footed shot to goalkeeper Elvis Rutherford’s right for his 5th conversion of the 8-team competition.
The game lacked imagination for the greater part as neither team possessed the ball with authority while at both ends the citadels were stoutly defended with the Kings’ custodian Ron Collins, named the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament, denying Monedderlust the equalizer with a brilliant one handed save in the 10th minute. Towards the end of the first half the home side applied some pressure in going forward but putting the final passes together in the final third of the pitch proved a mountain to climb.
On the resumption after the break the Kings led by the fleet-footed and evergreen Pompey attacked relentlessly but could not get past the stubborn defense, led by Captain and the Tournament’s Best Defender Travis Henry. On their rare counter attacks the home side had to contend with the combined 76 years of Shawn Samuels and Sherlock Dowden who were rock solid at the back for the Kings. Eventually, seconds from the end in injury time, left full-back Sherwin Skeete, in an overlapping run from behind, split the Cup holders’ defense to break away through the middle and score from close up. The 19 year old crowned a solid night’s performance when he held his composure to place the ball with his right foot to the keeper’s left and send the Victoria fans into wild celebrations and end a losing night for the Berbice teams. The Kings collected the Champions Trophy and Medals from Banks DIH Outdoor Events manager and former national player Mortimer Stewart along with four hundred thousand dollars, while the dethroned champions got three hundred thousand dollars and a Trophy.
Earlier in the 3rd place play-off, Anns Grove United humbled New Amsterdam’s Cougars FC 4-0 to earn the two hundred thousand dollars prize money while the losers cashed in on a hundred thousand dollars. On target for Anns Grove were; Maxton Adams (20th), Kevon Barry (58th), Antonio Jackson (60th) and Quincy Johnson (67th). Both sides were also recipients of a Trophy each for reaching the last four of the KO competition which started on October 4th and was co-hosted by the Starlight Generation and Monedderlust FC.
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