STAG Nations Cup resumes Wednesday evening at Grove
Rivalry in the STAG Nations Cup knockout football championship is set to resume on Wednesday evening at the Grove Playfield with what is anticipated to be a fierce double-header kicking off from 19:00h, the final two matches in the Round-of-16.
These matches were scheduled for December 23 at the same venue, but due to persistent rainfall, that double-header and remaining matches were put on hold. It’s now back to business for the teams, fans and all others.
Home team Grove Hi Tech, winners of the three-association format of what was the STAG Super 16 in 2014/15 and 2015/16, will be matching skills with Berbice’s New Amsterdam United for the final quarter-final spot up for grabs.
This feature clash will no doubt be keen as both teams will want to be in the reckoning for the top prize of $2 million and they are also the only teams left standing from their association’s quota of three and four, respectively.
Already walking the plank for the East Bank FA are Kuru Kururu Warriors and Herstelling Raiders, while for the Berbice FA, Mahaicony Thunders, Cougars and Rosignol United were booted which makes this match a must-win for either side and a must-see for the fans.
What the sides also share in common is that they are both the number one clubs in their respective associations. NA United won an intense and nerve racking playoff match 4-3 on sudden death kicks from the penalty mark against Golden Stars to get into the Round-of-16.
Their coach revealed that it was the first real competitive match for the year for the club and it is left to be seen how they will stand up to the challenge of taking on the pride of the East Bank.
They will again bank on the services of Captain Adrian Adams, Leonardo Adams, Jason Drakes, Quinn Hazel, Rei Joseph, Delroy Dean, Jamal Butts, Jeremy Samuels, Dexter Allen, Julian Success, Garfield Millington, Shkeel Grant, Ron Lyken, Omari Bentham, Jovano Dos Santos, Keon Williams, Dwayne Alleyne, Graham Thomas, Joshua Wilson, Ray Reddock, Sion Bacchus and Steffon Boucher to bring another win their way as well as a quarter-final berth.
Grove Hi Tech is hoping to, apart from home advantage, bank on the experience and collective on-field skills of Teshawn Blackman, Dexter Archer, Seon Thompson, Orson Francois, Sherman Doris, Trevor Jones, Clive Matthews, Kevin Padmore, Akel Forde, Delroy Dodson, Moses Fraser, Shane Singh, Antony Stanton, Nicholai Matthews, Denzil Crawford, Joel Dick, Mervin Squires, Devon Joseph, Akeem James, Alwyn Haynes, Jermaine Benjamin and Ronaldo Romelho to take them one step closer to the top prize and a possible third title.
The opening clash will be just as intriguing with East Demerara’s Ann’s Grove locking horns with the West Side’s Den Amstel.
Like Grove Hi Tech, this will be Ann’s Grove’s first match of the championship and they will be hopeful of stepping over this first hurdle as they have done successfully in the past two tournaments.
Winning this match will be important to the East Coast unit as they have succumbed in the past two finals to Grove Hi Tech and would want to set that right this time around but would first have to get past a tough Den Amstel which downed Kuru Kururu Warriors 4-2 in their playoff match.
Gavin Graham and Kevaughn Ward, who netted a double each for Den Amstel in their win over the Warriors, would be aiming to transfer that form into tonight’s match to produce another win for their team.
They will have support from Maurice Charles, Kerwin Ward, Clevon Pryce, Travis Hilliman, Akimbo Henry, Joseph Payne, Wycliff Simon, Derron Wilson, Alista Lynch, Keon Marcus, Ryan Hunte, Prince Payne, Kevin Murray, Colin Benn, Jamal Perreira, Kerry Harvey, Welton Jordon and Anton Jackman.
Ann’s Grove will be featuring, Ryan Seales, Quincy Barry, Quincy Johnson, Antonia Jackson, Anil Hernandez, Steve Francis, Daniel Francis, Kevon Barry, Daniel Pellew, Andri Francis, Phillip Williams, Levon Adams, Jermaine Clarke, Mervin Hardy, Gerald Sobers, Odel Gulliver, Travis Allen, Maxton Adams, Navado Denny, Oswald Duke, Nickose Denny and Jamain Rogers as they go after win number one, this year.