Trafalgar easily retains crown

Guinness “Greatest of the Streets” Berbice…

In front of a turnout that has come to be associated with Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ competitions, defending champions Trafalgar eased to a comfortable 2-0 win over hosts New Amsterdam Kings to retain their title as the curtains came down on this year’s tournament on Saturday night at the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling.
Playing in front of a partisan crowd that converged on the venue and converted the atmosphere into a Carnival reverie, the visitors never allowed the absence of senior members Kevin Layne and Delroy Fraser, who were on national duty in Suriname, to affect their pursuit of victory. Instead, the prolific Olvis Mitchell assumed their responsibility very well, and opened the scoring in the final when he raced on to a pass from Delwyn Fraser and slotted his effort between the legs of the Kings’ last stop in the 13th minute, thereby silencing the crowd.
Both teams missed chances to score just before the half, as Trafalgar took a slim 1-0 lead to the break.
Coming out in the final period, the champions were in no mood to halt their offensive forays, and three minutes into the stanza netted their second, which gave them a well-deserved cushion. It came from a counter-attack that involved Layne and Mitchell, who exchanged wonderful passes before a sprinting Tevin McKenzie swept home from close range, much to the disappointment of the host’s band of supporters.
Looking a much improved unit since last year, Trafalgar controlled the ball and tempo to perfection, and dominated possession in the dying moments, while the Kings’ fans urged their team to go forward and attack. But apart from a few attempts by star player Jamal Butts, no other Kings’ player looked menacing; and the final whistle came with the scores unchanged.
Trafalgar has walked away with the top prize of $400,000 along with the winning trophy and a spot secured in the national playoffs.
Kings, for their effort, took home $150,000 and a trophy, but must have left the arena frustrated for not being able to keep the top prize in New Amsterdam, especially with the support they were given.
In the third place playoff, Gunners ensured that at least one East Bank Berbice team was represented when they defeated Lichfield 1-0 in a penalty shootout to capture $100,000. Lichfield took home $75,000, and both teams received trophies.
Earlier, in the semi-final action, Trafalgar beat Lichfield 1-0, with star player Mitchell on target in the 8th minute; while Kings escaped with a 2-0 penalty shootout win over Gunners, after regulation time had failed to resolve a 0-0 stalemate.
In the Plate final, NA Kings (B) won the $50,000 winner-take-all prize.
Among the officials on hand to witness this final were Guinness Brand Manager Lee Baptiste, Outdoor Events Manager Mortimer Stewart, and several top brass at the DIH Berbice Outlet.
Action in the competition now swings to the East Coast of Demerara next month.
Also on board as a sponsor was Colours Boutique of Robb Street.