Leopold St is Guinness Greatest

Omallo Williams’ goal sent the large crowd at the National Park on Saturday night into a frenzy as Leopold Street upset the defending champions, Back Circle, one-nil to claim the title of Georgetown’s Guinness Greatest of the Streets football team.

Williams, who was the tournament’s leading goal scorer, buried his seventh and most important goal, 13 minutes into the game after he sent a left footed dagger from the left flank that found the back of the net from about 10 yards.

His strike coupled with unyielding defence, enabled the new champions to pocket the $600,000, a huge first prize trophy  and bragging rights as Georgetown’s best street football side.

Leopold Street’s Omallo Williams (extreme left), buries the game winner versus defending champions, Back Circle, to become the new Guinness Greatest of the Streets football team in Georgetown. (Orlando Charles photo)

The game kicked off at a frenetic pace as both teams tried to seize control, attacking relentlessly much to the delight of the boisterous crowd. Both teams would create chances within the first five minutes but Back Circle’s Captain, Andy Duke and national midfielder representing Leopold Street, Konata Mannings were guilty of squandering scoring opportunities.

Back Circle’s coach would call a timeout to calm the nerves of his players and the tactic nearly paid off as his charges settled into a rhythm and created back-to-back scoring opportunities but Dexter Bentick and Wayne Wilson misfired from point-blank range.

The East Ruimveldt team paid dearly for their miscues as Williams nailed his shot on Leopold Street’s next possession.  Both teams would create chances to score in the half but simply could not mirror Williams’ accuracy and the score remained at one-nil at half time.

With the insurance of being up one-nil, all Leopold Street needed to do was prevent the desperate Back Circle side from scoring and that is what they did as they paid less attention to attacking but clamped down on their defence.

Back Circle’s team attacked valiantly throughout the second half but simply failed to score.

All Smiles! The Leopold Street team and the organizers of the Guinness Greatest of the Streets tournament pose with the $600,000 winner’s cheque and trophy upon completion of Saturday night’s final which was staged at the National Park’s tarmac. (Orlando Charles photo)

Surely the defending champions would have liked to repeat but the $300,000 second place winning was all they came away with.

Meanwhile, West Front Road came from a goal down to trounce Broad Street B four-one in the third place playoff game, and carted off the $200,000 third place spoils.

Broad Street B had to settle for the $100,000 fourth place prize.

Sheldon David’s double (ninth and 21st minutes) along with strikes from Michael Oie (17th minute) and Leon Yaw (22nd minute) put paid to the hopes of Broad Street’s ball weavers.

Jimmy Gravesande scored for Broad Street in the sixth minute.

In the exhibition final, Guinness Bar rallied from a goal down to clip Upper Level Barber Shop, two-one thanks to a double by Dennis Edwards (17th and 20th minutes). Eric Moses converted a penalty for Upper Level in the fourth minute of the game. Guinness Bar’s team will take home $100,000 while the barbers had to settle for half that amount.

The GT Masters won their third place playoff match, two-one versus Clippers Barbershop and pocketed the $25,000 third prize after Mark Anthony and Sherwin Scott scored in the fourth and 13th minutes.

Timothy Telford’s 24th minute strike was not enough for the barbershop team but they took home $15,000.

In an invited comment, the organizers of the tournament Marlan Cole and Troy Mendonca (Directors of the Petra Organization) stated that the Georgetown leg of the competition was the best yet.

Leopold Street will represent Georgetown when they clash with the winners of the Bartica, Berbice and Linden legs in a national playoff next year. The winner is set to represent Guyana at the Guinness Caribbean Street Challenge later in 2013 in St Vincent.

The Bartica, Linden and Berbice legs of the competition will kick off early next year.

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