Shattas snatch victory with last minute strike in heated final

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…of UDFA/GT Beer Football Championship

Silvers Shattas were able to claim their first major title with a last ditch shot from on top the 18-yard box which cannoned to the cross bar and hit beyond the goal-line to score, as they claimed the $1M first prize from Eagles United of Christianburg 1-0 to end the Upper Demerara Football Association’s (UDFA) GT Beer football championship on New Year’s Night at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground in front of a grand crowd.

 Silver Shattas receive the winning cheque and Trophy at the post-match presentation
Silver Shattas receive the winning cheque and Trophy at the post-match presentation
Man of the night was definitely Robin Adams
Man of the night was definitely Robin Adams

That 93rd minute strike for the Shattas uncorked a tough win in front of an expectant crowd that saw a dramatic ending to a tournament which was played on its best ground conditions of the championship, even if it was a bit heavy.

Watched on by President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde, Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland, Chairman of Region 10 Renis Morian, President of the UDFA Sharma Solomon and Banks DIH officials GT Beer Manager Geoff Clement, Outdoor Events Manager Mortimer Stewart and Linden Branch Manager Shondell Easton, the final was well received as both teams never let up in their search for a final’s victory.

Shattas, last year’s losing finalist were pegged back somewhat by the energetic play of the Eagles United side as the first shot fired to goal was by the Christianburg based side; as the Shattas goalkeeper Kellon Major was called into play in the 5th minute. By that time had been doubled from a nice play by Michael Wilson, Silver Shattas were able to respond in kind, even though it went harmlessly over the crossbar.

But the Eagles were up to the test and they were able to jolt the thoughts of Shattas when a shot knocked the cross bar in the ensuing minute of play.

However, Shattas knew that they were in a battle to cash in on the top prize of $1M and their dependable striker Colwyn Drakes slammed a shot into the left upright to the dismay of his supporters. After that Eagles through their prolific forward Yonnick Hercules Simon would show some grit and determination as they pressed forward to see his shot held by the Major in the 27th minute.

Then Shattas through a one-two combination between Wilson and Kenny Benjamin in the 31st minute failed to score and the first half would end without either team being able to get on the scoresheet. Four minutes into the second stanza of this final, Hercules Simon in another good run down the right wing sent a good shot that was a bit too high.

Then Major, in the 53rd minute was called upon to execute a save as the Eagles began to gain their momentum with some timely offensive forays.

Consecutive shots fired goal wards by the Eagles United players in the 68th minute failed to break the 0-0 deadlock from close in and a follow-up one on one opportunity was also missed by the inexperienced Eagles side one minute later.

But the Shattas were standing well to the pressing exploits from their youthful opponents and a left foot shot from Deshawn Freeman was cleared by the Eagles goalkeeper.
Drakes of Shattas was also probing forward and as he made his way inside right, his drive in the 76th minute was cleared by the Eagles goalkeeper Shamar Gittens.

Still the Eagles were clawing their way into the goal mouth and a shot backing the goal was unable to score after a rebound outside in the 84th minute.
In the 88th minute a long ball was kept in touch by Kwesi Quintin of Eagles and his cross was held firmly by the Shattas custodian.

However, the knock out shot came in the 93rd minute when from just outside the 18- yards box on the inside right Robin Adams’ rasping drive seared through to collide to the cross bar and rebound over the goal-line to register for a 1-0 win when referee Maureese Skeete blew for game to the excitement of the fans of the Silver Shattas bringing them their first title in years.

Botafago had earlier scored a 2-0 over Winner Connection through a brace from Kello Primo.
The official presentation is expected to be done on Saturday in Linden. (Guyana Times)

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