Only four remain in quest for Magnum Futsal title
And then there were four!
Despite the adverse weather conditions, a large gathering braved the elements and descended on the National Park to witness the progression of defending champion Bent Street, Sparta Boss, Gold is Money, and Back Circle to the semi-final round in the Magnum Independence Cup.
The die has been cast! Sparta Boss will resume their bitter skirmishes with fierce rival Bent Street, while traditional giants Back Circle, and Gold is Money will add another chapter to their storied rivalry.
The sporadic showers which highlighted Saturday evening’s proceedings did not deter the enthusiasm of the respective fandoms, in their bid to provide moral support.
Back Circle, a team noted for their large following, overcame an equally popular, North East La Penitence outfit 4-3 in a fixture that set the tone perfectly for the night’s proceedings given the competitive expectation of the fixtures.
Jermaine Beckles was the main protagonist for the aforementioned victor, crafting a hat-trick in the come from behind result with conversions in the eighth, 29th, and 39th minute respectively. Playing his part was Dillon Kelly compliments of a 28th-minute strike.
For the vanquished North East La Penitence unit, Jaleel Hamilton fashioned a brace in the eighth and 24th minute, while Benjamin Opara netted in the 14th minute.
The Gold is Money, and Showstoppers matchup, which ended 9-7 in favour of the former, was a thrilling contest that perfectly followed the standard laid by previous engagement. Several tied scores, and come from behind intervals, underlined the emotional rollercoaster which was thrust upon the teams, and their respective support groups.
Jamal Pedro orchestrated the win for the West Ruimveldt giant, crafting a helmet trick in the 1st, 29th, 36th, and 37th minutes. Recent recruit Deon Alfred provided the perfect foil with a hat-trick in the fourth, sixth, and 30th minutes, while Darren Benjamin and Randolph Wagner played their part via conversions in the 21st and 35th minute apiece.
For the defeated, the ever-improving Stephon Jupiter made his presence felt with a hat-trick in the 10th, 13th, and 22nd minutes, while the physical Delon Lanferman bagged a double in the 19th and 30th minutes. Adding solitary strikes in the 26th, and 39th minute respectively were Olvis Mitchell and Dexroy Adams.
Continuing in the same vein, holders Bent Street overcame a 1-3 deficit to defeat East Coast Demerara heavyweight Melanie 5-4. Although somewhat depleted in their numbers, Bent Street displayed their championship credentials, proverbial badges that have laid the foundation for two titles in the history of the event.
Jermaine Scott fashioned two goals in the 17th, and 26th minute, while the dapper Pernell Schultz recorded a double in the 29th and 30th minute. Captain Daniel Wilson played his part with a ninth-minute strike.
For Melanie, Teshawn Gordon registered a double in the fifth and 22nd minute, while the duo of Dwight Peters and Teon Stewart scored in the 16th, and 27th minutes respectively.
On the other hand, Sparta Boss bucked the trend of the night’s proceedings with a commanding 9-0 result over Future Stars, a performance that sends a clear warning to the remaining aspirants of their ultimate intention, and overall quality.
Jermaine Junior spearheaded the demolition with a five-goal blitz in the eighth, 22nd, 26th, 29th, and 30th. The supporting cast of Job Caesar, Sheldon Shepherd, Ryan Hackett, and Kelsey Benjamin scored in the 12th, 24th, 25th, and 27th minutes respectively.
Meanwhile, the losing quarterfinalists will compete in the Magnum Plate Championship. The eventual winner will receive $40,000. Melanie will oppose Future Stars at 19:00hrs, while North East La Penitence will lock horns with Showstoppers from 19:30hrs.
Winners of the quarterfinal ties will progress to the semi-final round slated for May 14th at the same venue. The winner of the tournament will collect the package of $700,000, and the championship trophy, while the runner-up will receive $400,000 and the corresponding accolade. The third and fourth place finishers will walk away with $200,000 and $100,000 respectively.
The other sponsors of the event are MVP Sport, Nigel Hind Financial Services, Andrews Supermarket, Bold Expressions Barbershop, Fireside Grill ‘N’ Chill, Star Party Rentals, and Lucozade.