The right to clash for the 1.5 million dollars first prize will be known tonight at the Buxton Community Centre ground when the respective semi-finals of the inaugural Stag Super XV1 knock-out football tournament are contested.
The last four teams of 16 that are left standing will engage each other in what is anticipated to be two riveting showdowns. First up at 18:00hrs, Grove Hi Tech who needled Buxton United in their feature quarter final game on Christmas night will come up against New Amsterdam who turned back the challenge of Monedderlust 5-4 on penalty kicks. The feature game pits the respective Boxing Night winners, Cougars who upstaged Mahaica Determinators 3-2 and the party spoilers Ann’s Grove who pulled out all the stops to knockout the mighty Victoria Kings, 5-4 on sudden death penalty kicks.
The respective semi-finalists have earned their places as a result of hard work in recording two wins apiece. Ann’s Grove accounted for Kings and Agricola Red Triangle (1-0); Cougars defeated Mahaica and Soesdyke Falcons (3-0); Grove Hi Tech got past Buxton United and BV Triumph United (2-0), while New Amsterdam United recorded the largest margin of victory in a single game to date when they hammered Timehri Panthers 10-1 before taking out Monedderlust.
Grove Hi Tech and Ann’s Grove have not conceded any goals in regulation play and extra time play in the case of the latter’s game against the Kings which was decided on penalty kicks. The respective goalkeepers Rondell Alleyne (Grove) and Travis Allen (Ann’s Grove) have been impressive to date and much will depend on their form if they are to lead their teams to yet another win which will give the chance to play for the ultimate prize.
Also showing excellent form so far are Cougars and New Amsterdam United, their custodians have are shone and will be important fixtures in securing wins. Other players to watch out for are Adrian Adams of New Amsterdam who has scored in both games so far and is the leading scorer
with six (6) to his name, Domini Garnett and Sherman Doris of Grove, Roger Crandon of Cougars and Maxton Adams of Ann’s Grove.
Whatever happens this evening, fans are in for an enthralling evening of entertainment at the Buxton Community Centre Ground.
Meanwhile, in quarter final action on Boxing Night at the Victoria ground, home team Victoria Kings were odds on favourites to win against the determined Ann’s Grove side which came to the venue with other ideas.
As it turned out, the Kings were in for a rough time as the Ann’s Grove boys matched the top East Coast side play for play. Opportunities came the way of both teams but more so, Victoria who muffed a penalty during the game, it was a mistake that came back to haunt them.
With no goals materializing during regulation and extra time, penalty kicks were required to decide the winner. At the end of the first five kicks, the scores were locked 4-4 which meant that sudden death penalty kicks was the next step.
Ann’s Grove ensured that they sunk their shot but it was Victoria who would have missed theirs which meant that they were sent packing as Ann’s Grove celebrated a hard fought win. The opening game at the venue saw Roger Crandon netting a double which secured a come from behind win for Cougars against home team Mahaica Determinators.
Determinators took the lead five minutes before the end of the first half through a Quincy Holder goal. Crandon netted the first of his double six minutes after the break to nullify the advantage of the Determinators.
Three minutes later, Crandon handed Cougars the lead which they never relinquished. In the 65th minute, the advantage was further increased with a Shawn Parris goal and despite Azumah Roberts’ 80th minute effort, Determinators could not hinder the forward trust of the Berbice side; final score, Cougars 3 Mahaica Determinators 2.
The series of upsets in this inaugural three-association tournament between East Demerara, East Bank and Berbice would have started on Christmas Night at the Buxton ground when Grove Hi Tech through a sixth minute penalty by their Captain, Sherman Doris after their main marksman Domini Garnett was brought down in the area, secured a solid win for the East Bank side.
Buxton are no pushovers and tried their utmost to get back into the game but solid defending by Grove kept their dream of winning the competition alive.
New Amsterdam United came with a plan and looked the part in their win over Monedderlust who took the lead in the 24th minute through a Leroy Halley strike. But New Amsterdam fired back immediately from the penalty spot when their inspirational Captain Adrian Adams rocked the nets to take his overall tally to six.
Monedderlust never looked its lethal self on the night and could have sealed the deal in the final moments of regulation time but the shot went just wide of the upright. In the first period of extra time, New Amsterdam could have also taken the lead but their short also went wide of the mark.
Spot kicks were then taken which saw New Amsterdam taking the win 5-3 when the dust was settled.
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