Georgetown and national heavyweight, Sparta Boss secured their first ever Guinness ‘Cage’ Streetball Championship, dismissing the youthful Uprising 3-1 yesterday at the Haslington Market Tarmac.
It was a clinical performance to conclude a splendid and exiting tournament, as the North East La Penitence unit outclassed the Golden Grove outfit for the title that had previously evaded their grasp.
Sparta Boss overcame the mammoth raucous crowd which descended on the venue and made their loyalty known from the opening whistle of the physical encounter.
A staple of many championship matches, Sparta Boss, who overcame the always formidable Leopold Street unit in the earlier semi-final round, silenced the rabid gathering, as Jermin Junior netted in the sixth minute.
Following waves of continuous attacking pressure, the plucky Uprising outfit fell behind as Junior slotted into the back of the net.
The opening goal forced the home side into attack mode and this played into the hands of the experienced visitors, who doubled their lead in the 11th minute under fortuitous circumstances.
The versatile Sheldon Shepherd uncorked a powerful strike, following a marauding run which was inadvertently directed into the back of the net by an opposing defender.
Notwithstanding the deficit, the viewership increased their decibel level in the hope of inspiring their troops to stage another come-from-behind result following their upset semi-final victory over Broad Street.
Phillip Williams came the closest to reducing the deficit, blasting a powerful effort onto the woodwork in the 14th minute, as Uprising continue to attack fanatically.
However, the contest was put further out of their reach when Junior tallied his second goal in the 18th minute, smashing his effort into the right corner.
Les Charles-Critchlow eventually fashioned a consolation goal in the 29th minute which was celebrated by the loyal fan base.
Sparta Boss pocketed the championship trophy and $400,000 while Uprising received $150,000 and the runners-up accolade.
In the third place playoff, Leopold Street downed Broad Street 2-0. Okeene Fraser bagged a brace in the sixth and 12th minute. With the win, Leopold Street copped the third place trophy and $100,000.
Broad Street walked away with $50,000 and the fourth place accolade. All four teams were also presented with the 2018 Adidas Telstar FIFA World Cup ball.
On the individual side of the presentation, Junior was adjudged the Most Valuable Player [MVP] of the tourney and walked away with an 11 cubic foot Hisense Refrigerator compliments of Queensway.
Also, Jamal Cozier of Broad Street pocketed a $16,000 Gift Voucher from Colours Boutique for finishing as the event’s Highest Goal Scorer with nine conversions.
In the earlier semi-final round, Sparta Boss downed Leopold Street 2-0. Junior recorded the fastest goal in the history of the tournament as he found the back of the net in two seconds. He would also score in the 17th minute to seal the result.
Meanwhile, Uprising overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat Broad Street 5-4. Phillip Williams recorded a helmet-trick of penalty kick conversions, after Broad Street had accumulated unwanted fouls.
Williams scored in the eighth, 18th, 22nd and 24th minute. Les Charles Critchlow then completed the come-from-behind result with a 31st minute strike.
For Broad Street, Jamal Cozier tallied a hat-trick in the third, sixth and 14th minute while Kevin Cummings scored in the 16th minute.
Prior the commencement of the finale, a minute of silence was conducted for Back Circle and Future Stars football star Akeemo Anthony, who passed away over on Sunday following an accident.
The tournament was organized to forge integration among the participating communities in an effort to create a better understanding among its inhabitants.
Among the entities that supported the event were Banks DIH under its Guinness and Power Wine brands, Clarks footwear giants Chetsons, E- Networks Inc., KSM Investments, Yhip’s Bakery, Brass Aluminum & Cast Iron Foundry [BACIF], Ray’s Auto Sales, Insurance Brokers Guyana Limited [IGBL], Y.K. Investments, Trophy Stall, Express Shipping, Woodpecker Products, National Sports Commission, ‘C’ Division of the Guyana Police Force, Jai Signs & Auto Designs, Gaming Authority, West Vybz Sports Bar & Restaurant, Colours Boutique, Julius Variety Store and C & C Prestigious Styles.
Several lucky patrons displaying their backpacks with school supplies that was won during the fan appreciation section. They were donated by T&J Bookstore at the Guinness ‘Cage’ Streetball Championship
Sparta Boss-3 vs Uprising-1
Jermin Junior-6th and 18th
Les Charles Critchlow-29th
Leopold Street-2 vs Broad Street-0
Okeene Fraser-6th and 12th
Broad Street-4 vs Uprising-5
Phillip Williams-8th, 18th, 22nd and 24th
Les Charles Critchlow-31st
Broad Street Scorers
Jamal Cozier-3rd, 6th and 14th
vs Leopold Street-0
Jermin Junior-2 second