By Treiston Joseph
There is a saying that in team sport, you need stars to take over pivotal games and that is exactly what Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson did in the wee hours of Sunday. In the process, he helped Sparta Boss topple Tucville in the final of the Xtreme Clean and Maintenance ‘Gold Rush’ Futsal Tournament that concluded at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue. Richardson, or ‘Jackie Chan’ as he more commonly called, dropped a helmet-trick in the final as Sparta Boss got a 7-4 victory against Tucville.
Sparta Boss was obliviously the better squad from opening whistle, displaying crisper passes as well as an understanding of each other on the court that allowed them to continually advance on Tucville defence with shot after shot that either went straight to the keeper or slightly off.
Nevertheless, Tucville, while being outplayed from a tactical standpoint, countered well and drew first blood in the 10th minute through a goal by Dennis Edwards.
Richardson responded in the 20th minute with a hard right footed shot to bring the score to 1-1. However, Edwards, eight minutes later, scored again for Tucville to give his side a 2-1 lead as the whistle signalled the end of the first half. The second half, after Eusi Phillips equaliser in the 32nd minute, turned into a physical match-up which definitely took a toll on Tucville, frustrating their players with the inability to get forward in attack.
The physical plays allowed Sparta Boss to dissect Tucville with the top side scoring the next four goals with Richardson scoring two in the 33rd and 53rd while Devon Millington dropped another in the 46th and Sheldon Shepherd another in the 52nd minute for a comfortable 6-2 lead.
Tucville then brought the game to 6-4 with Jermaine Junior scoring a double in the 54th and 55th minutes to give his side a glimmer of hope. However, Richardson sealed Tucville’s fate with final nail in the coffin in the 57th minute to secure the inaugural title and 2.5 ounces of gold worth $500,000.
Richardson noted that Sparta Boss simply wanted it more than their opponents while crediting his teammates for the win. Captain of Tucville, Delon Williams stressed that the physicality of the game was determining factor in throwing them of their game plan, but congratulated Sparta Boss on the victory.
Meanwhile, Albouystown topped Sophia 5-3 to take the third spot in the tournament. They collected $100,000. Lennox Cort had a hat-trick for Albouystown with goals in the third, 10th and 20th minutes, while Roy Cassou and Sherwin Fordyce chipped in with goals in the ninth and 14th minutes respectively.
Sophia’s scorers were Omallo Williams (19th), Shem Arthur (25th) and Dwayne Lowe (38th). All the teams received their prizes immediately after the tournament with Richardson winning the Most Valuable Player award and Junior the highest goal scorer with 11 goals.
The tournament was also sponsored by GT Beer.