The largest viewership in Guinness of the Streets history witnessed what appears to be the commencement of a legacy as Sparta Boss downed crowd favourite Channel-9 Warriors 1-0 Saturday to claim the Georgetown Championship.
Under the torrential downpour that consigned most fans to the stands at the National Cultural Centre tarmac, the East La Penitence outfit captured the title that has eluded them for several editions compliments of a strike from talisman Sheldon Shepherd in the 20th minute.
It was the sixth conversion for the versatile Shepherd in the tournament as he piloted his side to championship trophy and $500,000. Due to the win, Sparta Boss joined the likes of Back Circle and Queen Street Tiger Bay as the only sides to win the zonal and national championships.
Similarly, the East La Penitence unit along with the other top four finishers will represent the zone at the National Championship in 2016. On the other hand, Channel-9-Warriors pocketed $200,000 and the respective trophy.
The wet conditions underfoot certainly took both sides out of their element as their respective game plans went out of the window, relegating the highly anticipated contest to a cagey affair.
Despite entering the fixture as the better team, Sparta Boss almost conceded in the 3rd minute as Channel-9-Warriors’ Dennis Edwards rocked the woodwork from the left side of the field
With both sides failing to maintain possession under the heavy downpour, Shepherd made his presence felt in the final minute of the first period.
Racing down the right flank, Shepherd, upon collecting a left-side pass from Millington after the latter stole the ball from a defender, blasted his first time right-footed strike into the back of the net to send their small but vocal fan base into a frenzy.
Although the conditions improved slightly in the second stanza, the struggles continued for both sides. Sparta Boss recorded the first genuine threat following the resumption but Millington was denied by the legs of the final defender.
On the other end, Kevin Barrow was presented with a great chance in the 35th minute as a left-side pass evaded the entire backline of the East La Penitence unit, only for the forward to miss the ball with his attempted shot.
Sparta Boss eventually saw out the remaining minutes to secure the title. In the earlier third place playoff, dethroned champ North Ruimveldt ended their tourney on a high note, downing Back Circle by a 2-1 score line.
Travis Grant opened the scoring in the 13th minute, slotting his first time right footed effort into the left corner after collecting a right sided pass on the left of the penalty area.
The score line then read 2-0 in the 22nd minute as Orin Massiah found the back of the net, bundling his effort over the goal-line after pouncing on an initial deflected shot on the left side of the goal.
Back Circle eventually pulled one back three minutes onward as Andy Duke scored a tourney leading seventh conversion, racing down the centre of the field following a two-on-one situation, before finishing past the advancing final defender into the middle of the net.
Nevertheless, North Ruimveldt held onto their marginal advantage in the remaining minutes to secure the third place trophy and $150,000. Back Circle for their showing, walked away with $100,000 and the fourth place trophy.
In the earlier exhibition fixtures, Campbellville defeated the Guyana Prison Service 3-1 while North East La Penitence defeated Queen Street Tiger Bay 2-0 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 score at the end of normal time.
The final exhibition result witnessed the Guyana Prison Service downing Tribe of Lyken by a 1-0 score line. Prior to the commencement of the finale, a concert was staged featuring Jamaican artiste Konshens.