Sparta still the Boss!

-whip Tucville 7-4 to win Xtreme Cleaners/GT Beer Gold Rush Futsal c/ships

Captain of Sparta Boss Sheldon Shepherd (centre) receiving the championship trophy from Xtreme Cleaners CEO Shanae Gomes in the presence of his teammates following the 7-4 win over Tucville. Also in the picture are Director of Sport Christopher Jones (left) and Banks DIH Limited Outdoor Events Manager Mortimer Stewart (right).

The Sparta Boss dynasty continued on Saturday as a Gregory Richardson helmet-trick secured them the Xtreme Cleaners/GT Beer Gold Rush Futsal championships downing Tucville 7-4 at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.

Drama typified the matchup which was a rematch from the group stage (Tucville won 4-2), as bruising tackles and heated exchanges became common place.

Richardson netted in the 20th, 33rd, 53rd and 57th minute to secure the event’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) accolade with Eusi Philips, Devon Millington and Sheldon Shepherd adding to the score in the 32nd, 46th and 52nd minute respectively.

For Tucville, Dennis Edwards bagged a double in the 10th and 28th minute, while Jermaine Junior scored twice in the 54th and 55th minute to clinch the Highest Goal Scorer title with 11 conversions.

Sparta Boss walked away with $500,000 and a trophy while Tucville copped $200,000 and the runners-up accolade.

Although the showdown was eventually settled by the experience of the veteran forward, the MVPs of the first half were the respective goalkeepers Troy Carrington (Sparta Boss) and Leon Sealey (Tucville).

A combined 17 saves worthy of the highlight reel were recorded by the opposing duo, drawing gasps and faces of disbelief from every section of the mammoth crowd.

Aided by dogged defending, Sealey was especially brilliant between the uprights, denying Sparta with what seemed like consummate ease, minute-after-minute and attack-after-attack.

The victims of his brilliance were Richardson, Millington, Philips and Sheldon Shepherd. His standout performance led to Tucville taking the lead through Edwards 10 minutes into the skirmish.

It was a brilliant goal from the versatile attacker, volleying from the right side with his right foot into the left corner after collecting a lobbed 15 yard pass from Delon Williams.

With the crowd in a celebratory mood following Edwards conversion, Richardson gave his fandom a reason to be jubilant, equalizing with a flat strike into the lower left corner from the right side.

In what seemed like a personal duel, Edwards retaliated at the other end of the playing area two minutes before the end of the first half.

It was the same connection that led to the earlier conversion, as Williams delivered a right side cross into the onrushing path of Edwards, who slotted home into the left side, with the expecting cheers quickly following.

The anticipation for the second half was at a fever pitch with the fixture balanced on the proverbial knife’s edge.

However, Sealey’s first half resilience, alongside his teams’ defensive mindset,  crumbled in the second stanza.

Sparta Boss were gifted the equalizer two minutes into the resumption, with Sealey the culprit for this unfortunate incident.

The shot-stopper spilt an initial strike from the center of the field, allowing the advancing Phillips to bundle the ball over the net.

A counterattack then led to the Spartans taking the lead one minute onward with Richardson registering his second through a placed shot from the left side into the lower right corner.

The double strike knocked the wind out of Tucville’s sails, evident by a further three goals shipped in by the rearguard.

Millington illustrated the dominance of Sparta in the second period, unleashing a cheeky back-heeled goal from inside the box, after collecting a right side pass from Richardson.

Shepherd then rifled a powerful shot into the lower left corner, before Richardson blasted down the center to seal his hat-trick, as Sparta romped to a 6-2 advantage, rendering what seemed to be a classic encounter in the making, a listless climax.

A clearly injured Junior briefly threatened to stage a comeback with two goals in the space of one minute into the top right corner.

Nonetheless, that aspiration was quickly extinguished, as Richardson blasted into the left side to seal his fourth of the night.

Meanwhile, Albouystown downed Sophia by a 5-3 score line to clinch the third position.

Lennox Cort recorded a hat-trick in the third, 10th and 17th minute for the winner to take his tournament haul to nine conversions.

Adding to the win were Roy Cassou and Sherwin Fordyce in the ninth and 14th minute apiece. For the losers, Omallo Williams, Shem Porter and Dwayne Lowe scored in the 19th, 25th and 38th minute respectively.

With the win, Albouystown walked away with $100,000 and the respective trophy. On the other hand, Sophia received $50,000 and the corresponding accolade.

Other sponsors of the event included Fas Grafix, Jefford’s Distribution and Sales, Giftland Distribution Store and FARMSUP Mining Investments Inc.

Meeting the teams before the commencement of the final were Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Director of Sport Christopher Jones, Banks DIH Limited Outdoor Events Manager Mortimer Stewart and Xtreme Cleaners owner Roger Cambridge.

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