Pre-tournament favourites Net-Rockers and Winners Connections Football Clubs lived up to the expectations by topping their respective groups at the end of the preliminary round of the Net-Rockers Linden Town Week Under-19 football tournament.
They both played unbeaten throughout the preliminaries, with host Net-Rockers leading Group A and Winners Connection Group B with nine points each.
They are through to the semi-final stage of the competition and a possible match-up in the final.
Having earlier defeated both Hi-Stars and Eagles United 3-0 and 1-0 respectively, Net-Rockers maintained their clean sheet when they needled Amelia’s Ward 1-0, thanks to a Devon Kennedy 11th minute strike on Sunday at the Bayroc Community Centre ground.
They defended that lead even though they were reduced to 10 men, following the expulsion of their danger man Deshawn Joseph who was red carded in the 65th minute. In the opening game of the day’s double header, Winners Connection, who had earlier defeated Vasco (3-0) and Blue Berry Hill (2-0) had to rally from one goal down to inflict a 2-1 defeat of Flamingo, who was contesting their first game of the tournament.
Despite losing the encounter, Flamingo displayed much heart which was evident throughout the fixture and it was no surprise when they went ahead in the 15th minute, courtesy of a Tony Spellingburg strike.
But W/Connection showed why they were labelled one of the pre-tournament favourites when they first equalized through Jermaine Fordyce (53rd), followed by Dellon Douglas’ strike four minutes later which sealed the win.
Action in the tournament will continue this afternoon at the same venue with Flamingo going up against Vasco from 16:00hrs, while Amelia’s Ward will face Hi Stars on Friday. A double header fixture will take place on Sunday to close off the preliminary rounds.
Meanwhile, president of the organizing club Collis Gifth told Stabroek Sport in an invited comment that he was pleased with the way the tournament was being played at present. “With there being a lull in junior competition in the mining town, this tournament served as a welcome relief for the players who were eager to showcase their talent and I must say that even though the scores does not reflect same, all games are highly competitive, to which I am well pleased.”
Gifth said he plans to select an All Star under-19 team following the completion of the tournament on April 12 to oppose either Georgetown or Berbice in a home and away encounter to keep the junior players active.