(PRESS RELEASE) – The Digicel City Masters Cup… fueled by Mackeson brought excitement, intense competition, friendly rivalry, joy, tears & unforgettably thrilling experiences; to the 180+ registered players, to the hundreds of spectators that came to fields and to the thousands of fans eagerly listening to the weekly results from their homes.
As the curtains come down and the lights go dim the applause go up as a standing ovation brings our great tournament to an end. Small boy!!! Who you calling Ole?
Three matches were scheduled for this last tournament day and in the first “baht-eye” it was Behind The College (BTC) coming up against VSADC. These two teams met just 14 days prior and the lone goal from Ryan Desir had given BTC the 3 points. This game started off with both teams attempting to play a pass & possess style of play but waterlogged conditions made it difficult to move the ball along the ground. BTC changed their game to direct quick attacks and they shortly reaped the rewards of it, with a goal from their “Ace Striker” Ryan Desir giving BTC the 1-0 lead. That goal being Desir’s 2nd for the tournament & the 2nd time he would punish the VSADC defense.
Although 1 goal down VSADC enjoyed greater possession of the ball and coming close to netting a few times but again another quick counter attack would expose VSADC’s vulnerability in the back leading Jerry Reneau to his 1st tournament goal making it a 2-0 lead to BTC. VSADC would come back and get a consolation goal from Trevor “the barber” Philip but in the end it would be BTC 2- VSADC 1.
The 3rd place match between Labowie Connexions & Flow Lancers was awarded to Flow LFC as the weather made it difficult for the Southern boys to get to the venue. An exhibition match between VSADC & Flow LFC entertained the fans while they awaited the grand finale.
VSADC came out with a killer instinct and an intention to score. Again they controlled the majority of possession of the ball but this time showing a greater intent to get that ball forward. And it paid off, the ball would find Mathius GOOFY Jules just outside Lancers’ 18 and a well struck half-volley would beat “the world’s best” Vilan Edward into the far post. It’s not very often that Vilan is scored on from that distance but this time Goofy would do it & give VSADC the 1 goal lead. That goal seemed to have shook some urgency into the boys in blue, Lancers had to wake up and stamp their signature “spread the ball” style of play on this game.
LFC would equalize from a combination play down the right flank followed by an outside foot cross to find the head of new comer Jerry “Rugby fireman” Charles who would head-smash the ball into the far post equalizing for Flow LFC. With only a few minutes left in the game, the 1-1 result was not going to be good enough for the boys in blue, and a surging run from inside their half, down the left flank by another new comer Wendell “JahJee” Prescott dribbling both Vsadc right half & right back. His left footed attempted cross would fail but to his fortune spin into the VSADC close pole eluding the Goal Keeper to give FLOW LFC a 2-1 victory over VSADC.
The main event, big game, Gros Islet vs Marchand. The last time these two teams met Gros Islet walked away with the 3 points off a 3-0 goal victory. Within seconds of the first whistle it was obvious that there was no Love lost between these 2. The game started off more physical than technical but the ref quickly pulled in their reigns & took a handle of it. Neither team could play their possession game as a deteriorating wet muddy surface made this impossible however the game was a good entertaining game.
It was box to box action and both goal keepers worked overtime to keep their respective teams in the game. It would be Marchand to break the deadlock with a well struck left foot shot from just outside the Gros Islet 18, the ball taking a last second deflection off the Gros Islet defender would bounce & crawl into their close pole. 1-0 to tournament favourites Marchand. Looked like vengeance was on the way for Marchand until a well weighted through ball toward the right corner flag from Rafferty Noellien.
would be met by a well-timed outside run by Mike Philip to beat the Marchand outside trap and placing him out wide and a perfect ground cut ball across the Marchand box would beat 2 defenders and the goalkeeper and find Troy Serieux in stride to easily tap it into the net for the equalizer for Gros Islet. 1-1 and it’s game on! High speed high spirited football continued into the half time break but the scores remained 1-1.
Second half started off with both teams seemingly playing it safe, Marchand cautiously venturing forward only after calculating all the risks. Combination plays between mike philip & Raskee Celestin would give Gros islet a few scoring chances but none of these would give gros islet the lead. It would be a ball falling to the feet of Rafferty Noellien on the half line, with a one touch set forward, Rafferty would blast a rocket from just inside the half 40+ yards out, the ball would skip off the wet surface and almost rip a hole in the Marchand nets. 2-1 to gros islet. Match turn up! Forget about safety, both teams holding nothing back now, the excitement quadruples.
Goal to goal action, save after save this final would live up to its nail biting expectation until the spirit & fight of the Marchand team was quenched by a well weighted cross ball from the right flank finding on the back post , a waiting Troy Serieux who would again hit the nets for gros islet for the 2nd time of the match. Final score 3-1 and 2018 Championship goes to Gros Islet Veterans.
The Tournament MVP Mike Philip for his consistent high performance & contributing to every game his team played, has won a brand new Samsung phone complements Digicel the bigger better network! Although there was no award for top goal scorer we would like to highlight the top 3 guns; Troy Serieux & Robert Doo-Dooy Louis both scoring 3 goals, and the Big Ace – Roger Raskee Celetin netting 4 times.
5 Sunday’s, 7 teams, 17 matches, 43 glorious goals & 7 amazing Sponsors… is our recipe for a great veterans football & fantastic family fun.
A super “Thanks” goes out to our sponsors for making this tournament possible; Our Title Sponsor – Digicel the bigger better network! Our Gold Sponsors – Mackeson, Stag beer, Carib beer – Peter & Co. distributors. The official water of the tournament Oasis Water – Reneick & Co. Silver Sponsors; Flow-Trevor Daniel FDP, Blazing FM, Day2Day Soccer-USA, Recreational Center of St Lucia. Special thanks goes to our teams, spectators and the media for making this tournament a great one. Plans are already on the table for the 2019 edition of the City Masters Cup and we promise the teams, fans & sponsors that it will be greater than this year… “Small boy! Who you calling ole?”