Will champion Sparta Boss secure an unprecedented ‘three-peat’ of titles, or will Gold is Money finally ascend to the throne, when the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Georgetown Championship, concludes tonight at the Demerara Park Tarmac.
These questions will be answered this evening in what is being described as the biggest matchup in the history of the tournament by fans and pundits.
Despite the brilliant form of their opponent, Sparta Boss is the proverbial favourite, owing to their vaunted and envied record in the tournament.
The Spartans, unbeaten in Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ finals, are making an unprecedented fifth final appearance.
Two wins in the National Championships and as many victories in the Georgetown Zone, is evidence of a team that thrives on the grandest of stages.
Conversely, this is Gold is Money’s second final appearance, following their heartbreaking 5-2 loss in the 2011 Georgetown Zone final to Back Circle.
According to a release from the tournament organizers, Three Peat Promotions, “One could easily be tempted to install ‘Gold is Money’ as favourite to win the title, but the defending champs, the most successful team in the history of the competition, have shown a fondness for this event and is usually well prepared for the battle.”
The numbers paint an interesting picture for the impending clash. For the defending champion, six goals have been fashioned by an offence devoid of Devon Millington. Defensively, only one goal has breached their rearguard.
Ol Skool Ballers, Channel-9 Warriors, Norton Street, Queen Street Tigerbay and Leopold Street were the teams that fell to the might and experience of the Spartans.
Rather surprisingly, the champs tasted defeat against Gaza Squad in the group round via penalty kicks, which is their only blemish to date.
Gregory Richardson and Eusi Phillips have shouldered the scoring burden with two goals each in Millington’s absence, with Cleon Forester and an own goal, supplying the rest of the scoring.
On the other hand, Gold is Money has been in superb form, following an unbeaten campaign.
Wins against Smyth Street, Judgement Yard, North Ruimveldt, GTI Ballers, Rising Stars and Bent Street were recorded en route to the championship match.
Despite being without the services of their best player Hubert Pedro, the West Front Road outfit has recorded 11 goals, while only conceding one.
Deon Alfred leads the dangerous strike force with four goals, while Randolph Wagner has supported with three conversions. Siblings Jamal and Michael Pedro have netted twice each.
The release added, “Both teams have been playing without their best players in Sparta’s Devon Millington and Gold is Money’s Hubert Pedro, who are both overseas, but there have been whispers of them being present for the final and if this is true, then what a spectacular final is in the making.”
When the dust eventually settles, the winner will pocket $500,000, a trophy and an automatic berth to the National Championship. The loser receives $250,000 and a trophy.
“Meanwhile, the third place playoff between Leopold Street and Bent Street is anticipated to be a fitting prelude to the final. These two teams possess players with the caliber to maintain the kind of excitement which has typified the entire tournament,” the release concluded.
North East La Penitence will lock horns with Kingston in the finale of the Guinness Plate Championship, with the victor walking away with $60,000.
Prior to the start of the main matches, three exhibition fixtures will be staged from 20:00hrs.
In the opening fixture, Gaza Squad will oppose GTI Ballers, while Albouystown-B engages Stabroek Ballers at 20:30hrs. The final match will pit Alexander Village against Broad Street from 21:00hrs.