Grove Hi-Tech who are no strangers to tasting victory in year-end football tournaments after winning the then Stag Beer cup on January 1st, 2015 and 2016, continued their fairytale run in the Guyana Football Federation’s Super-16 Classic after defeating local football Juggernaut, Fruta Conquerors 4-3, to book their place in the final.
Playing in wet conditions at the Leonora Track and Field Facility in the feature semifinal of the double header on Friday night, Grove Hi-Tech quickly raced to 3-0 within the first half-hour of the game on the heels of their two guest players, Kelsey Benjamin and Curtez Kellman.
The Golden Jaguars’ young forward, Benjamin, who outfits for Caledonia AIA in the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, opened the scoring for the highly technical Grove side in the 12th minute. The 18-year-old diminutive but quick and skillful forward then doubled the lead eight minutes later before his fellow national teammate, midfielder Curtez Kellman banged in Hi-Tech’s third goal to have Fruta Conquerors, the second ranked football club in Guyana, in tatters early on.
Jermin Junior continued his good goal scoring form for Conquerors and he pulled one back before half time to leave the score after that period 3-1. During the second period of play, Grove’s Denzil Crawford took the game out of the Tucville based Conquerors reach with a 67th minute strike that carried the score to 4-1.
In last ditch efforts to overturn the deficit, Solomon Austin (77th minute) and Eon Alleyne (88th minute) allowed Fruta Conquerors to lose the game by a more respectable 4-3 score line.
More importantly, the East Bank Football Association (EBFA) based club is in the final and a step closer to the $2million first place prize, while being guaranteed $1million for a second place finish when they play GDF, the winner of Friday’s first semifinal.
In the first match, national champions, GDF, marched past Milerock 4-1 in an easy victory. The army men drilled the Linden based Milerock with Jeffrey Pereira, Delwin Fraser, Sherwyn Caesar and Delroy Fraser each netting once. Meanwhile, Randy Jerome was the lone scorer for Milerock.
The final and third playoff of the GFF Super-16 Classic will be contested tomorrow, January 1st. In addition to the 1st and 2nd place prize monies, the third place team will purse $500,000 while the loser of the third place playoff will go home with $250,000. After the games on New Year’s Day, there will be a grand after finals show featuring a surprise Jamaican music artiste performing live. (Calvin Chapman)
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