It was a history-making night Sunday as the Guyana Police Force (GPF) clinched their first ever senior knockout title after arresting the highly favoured Western Tigers 2-0 in the Mayor’s Cup football final.
Ashton Wallace’s first half brace in the 28th and 41st minute sealed the victory in front of a large crowd at the Tucville Community ground earning the lawmen $700,000 and the championship trophy donated by Aruwai Resort.
Additionally, the victorious side will receive hampers donated by Ricks and Sari while the runners-up will pocket $300,000 and the Ansa McAl trophy.
Although the contest was billed as a meeting between a traditional giant and a rising force, the lawmen were given a fighting chance due to their superior all-round numbers in the competition.
Entering the fixture, GPF pitted their vaunted backline which had only been breached once against the attacking might of the West Ruimveldt unit, scorers of 18 goals. In this iteration, it was the defence of the officers that prevailed as they stymied their opponent while flourishing on the offensive end, adding to their tally of nine goals.
Wallace stunned the partisan crowd with a ‘poacher esque’ conversion as he slotted home from inside the area, after an initial strike rebounded off the goalkeeper and fell into his path.
It was the sixth goal conceded by Western Tigers in four matches. The seventh concession soon followed as Wallace clinched his second four minutes before the halftime interval.
Lurking inside the 18-yard area in anticipation of a right side cross from a Dwayne Charles freekick, Wallace broke the heart of the Western Tigers fandom as he rose above his marker to direct his header into the far corner.
The second period didn’t alter the fortunes of the Tigers as they looked toothless going forward, a far cry from the tourney’s leading attack against a resolute rearguard.
GPF thwarted wave after wave of attacking pressure from Western Tigers in a relatively easy manner.
The frustration of being unable to fashion any chances came to the fore as Randolph Wagner was issued a red card after picking up his second yellow card in the 90th minute for a rash challenge.
Western Tigers eventually recorded their best chance of the matchup in the dying seconds when a Philip Rowley right foot attempt from the top of the box, crashed into the crossbar.
Meanwhile, Ann’s Grove edged Linden Outfit Winners Connection 1-0 to claim third place. Nkesi Denny scored the lone goal in the 35th minute.
Ann’s Grove won $200,000 and the John Fernandes sponsored trophy while the fourth placed unit received the package of $100,000 and the Ministry of State accolade.
Dwayne McLennon of Western Tigers won the three-piece suite donated by AH&L Kissoon Furniture Store for being the event’s top scorer with six conversions.