Camptown topples Riddim Squad in pulsating final

Camptown Football Club toppled a game Riddim Squad Football Cub 2-0 to win the second annual Gorgetown Football Association/Banks Beer Knockout Cup and $4 million first prize at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground, Bourda Tuesday night.

In the third place play-off, Northern Rangers upset the Guyana Defence Force 3-1 to cart off the $1.5 million.

Witnessed by arguably by the largest concourse ever at a sporting event in nothing short of a carnival atmosphere, Camptown FC exhibited the tactical acumen and mental fortitude of a championship calibre outfit as they overcame a determined Riddim Squad unit in a pulsating final.

The victorious Sunburst Camptown Football Club team after the victory. (Orlando Charles photo)
The victorious Sunburst Camptown Football Club team after the victory. (Orlando Charles photo)

Played under the clear night sky and with conditions at its seasonal optimum underfoot, the first half started out at a frenetic tempo with both units trying to seize the early initiative. Asserting their tactical prowess, the Mocha outfit started to dictate proceedings with the Campbellville-based unit defending stoutly and content to wait for the counter attacking possibilities.

The pattern continued throughout the exchanges as robust defending championed the cause of broken plays and mis-timed passes as proceedings hastily progressed. Buoyed by the rabid crowd, Riddim Squad almost broke the deadlock only to be denied expertly by the reliable Oswald Cornette brilliantly between the uprights.

Clearly getting the better of the attacking exchanges and dictating the tempo through their efficient passing scope, the Riddim Squad assault continued as Camptown struggled to find their creative compass. The openness of the game was typified by the rampaging runs which proved to be the catalyst of many near misses as both teams tried to consolidate their respective positions,  with the approaching half time interval clearly in mind.

The second half continued in the same vein as back and forth action erupted. Marauding runs from the wider areas highlighted the open nature of proceedings as both teams wrestling to gain the upper hand to strengthen their parallel positions.

At the centre of the festive atmosphere, referee Wayne Griffith and his support staff were simply exceptional as they exercised fundamental judgment to preside expertly over proceedings, showing nothing short of excellent judgment in a tense and rabid atmosphere.

The deadlock was finally broken when a moment of mental indiscretion led to a Devon Forde strike in the 51st minute to send the packed crowd into frenzied jubilation. Shocked by their current predicament, the Mocha-based unit attacked desperately to restore parity, only to be found wanting as they were easily dispossessed by the robust Camptown defence.

Creative ambiguity highlighted Riddim Squad’s Jekyll and Hyde disposition as they struggled to find their second half attacking output under the collective pressure of the dogged Campbellville defence. Further misery would befall the boys from Mocha as Camptown added to their already dominant position compliments of second Forde strike in the 60th minute.

Despondent by the current state of affairs, deep lobbed passes highlighted the urgency of the Mocha outfit as they desperately tried to find a way back into the game, only to be exposed continuously on the counter attack. Camptown’s inspirational leader Rishawn Sandiford had a glorious chance to put the game to bed but missed an open goal from point blank range much to the chagrin of his teammates and faithful supporters.

Campton players celebrate their victory. (Orlando Charles photo)
Campton players celebrate their victory. (Orlando Charles photo)

As the game neared its inevitable conclusion, a sense of anticipation overtook the sold out arena as spectators flocked to the touchline in anticipation of the unavoidable final whistle. The outcome was finally cast in stone as time expired, sending players, spectators and members of the coaching staff rushing hysterically onto the playing area celebrating in a sea of palette revelry.

In the curtain raiser, Northern Rangers FC showed the tenacity and grit to upset a tough Guyana Defence Force unit. First half proceedings began at fever pitch with both teams trying to seize the early initiative. Palpably on the ascendency and dictating the rhythm of proceedings, the army men constantly pressed forward with Northern Rangers clearly on the back foot and desperately defending not to concede.

The stalemate was broken compliments of Desford Williams strike in the 20th minute a goal which brought loud cheers from the army faithful. The game quickly opened up as both teams attacked feverishly trying to strengthen their positions. Parity was restored in the 37th minute compliments of well-taken Frederick Boyce shot. The open nature of the game continued as the half time interval quickly approached.

The second half continued in the same vein, with both teams trying to consolidate their comparable positions. It quickly became a story of two halves as a brief moment of mental imprudence in defensive duty allowed Deron Bowen to score in the 55th minute to give Northern Rangers the shock lead.

The boys from Kitty would further strengthen their already dominant position as they added to their lead in the 70th minute compliments of a sublime Omalli Nassy strike. The upset was finally complete as the unavoidable final whistle sounded; sending a wave of mixed emotions though both camps of players and spectators.


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