Vurlon Mills Academy crowned EBFA/Ralph Green U-11 champs
The fourth edition of the annual East Bank Football Association (EBFA)/Ralph Green sponsored Under-11 League came to an exciting climax on Saturday afternoon at the Guyana Football Federation’s National Training Centre with Vurlon Mills Academy storming to the championship trophy ahead of Riddim Squad.
One of the three teams invited who are not members of the EBFA, Mills Academy boys stormed back from being a goal down to wrest the title, 2-1. The third place match saw immediate past champs, Timehri Panthers defeating Kuru Kururu Warriors 3-1.
Scoring for the Panthers were Estaban Medina in the third minute, Shaquan Kaleb in the 14th and Jadan Tasher, their most consistent scorer sealing the deal with the third in the 15th minute, his sixth of the tournament. Warriors had their consolation goal off the boot of Levi Madison in the 20th minute.
The final turned out to be an exciting match-up as predicted with both teams evenly matched, however, a few errors by Riddim Squad allowed Mills Academy to drive home their advantage and eventually lift the championship trophy.
Riddim Squad leading player and Captain, Jaheam Lewis, who took away the plaques for being the Most Disciplined and Most Promising Player, handed his side the lead with a well-placed cross which he tapped in at the last post in the fifth minute of play.
The Mocha-based side was looking good and matched the Academy boys up until the 14th minute when mills Academy was awarded a free kick just outside the box after a hand ball.
Riddim Squad failed to set up a wall and this excited the tournament’s Most Valuable Player Malcolm Hendricks, who blasted the ball into the back of the nets with the goalkeeper, Joseph Magaram and two defenders left awe struck as did their teammates and fans.
On the other hand, the powerfully struck goal resulted in Hendricks’ teammates and supporters which included many parents, including fathers erupting in joy as the game was now leveled at 1-1.
On resumption, the game ebbed and flowed at both ends with sponsor Ralph Green and GFF Executive Member, Dion Inniss enjoying proceedings. As the minutes ticked away and seemingly headed towards extra time, it was Hendricks whose presence in the box delivered the knock-out punch and winning goal.
He was positioned at the last post at the right time to punch in well directed pass in the 28th minute to seal the match and ink their names on the championship trophy which was presented to the team by sponsor, Ralph Green.
Innis and Green in brief remarks before the presentation, complimented the association for the sterling work it has been doing to promote youth football. Inniss stated that in a few years time, many of the players on show in the tournament would go on to represent Guyana once they remain focused and disciplined.
He also complimented the EBFA for inviting teams from outside the association and commended the many parents who took the time to be at the matches on a weekly basis. Green committed to his investment of youth development and also thanked the parents for coming out and show vital support to their kids, consistently.
Ending as the tournament’s leading goal scorer with a total of seven (7) goals was Diamond United’s, Rick Ramatar; his tally included a helmet-trick. Copping the Best Coach plaque was Vurlon Mills, while the Team Sportsmanship Award went to Riddim Squad.
Vurlon Mills Academy’s Shakel Marshall was named the Best Goal keeper and received a plaque and pair of goalkeeping gloves, compliments of National Goalkeeper Coach, Ian DeViera.
Riddim Squad’s goalie, Joseph Magaram also received a pair of goalkeeping gloves compliments of GFF Executive Committee Member, Dion Inniss.