Real Treasure Beach rule St Bess in LIME Challenge
REAL Treasure Beach rose to the top and is now $100,000 richer as they were crowned St Elizabeth parish champions in the LIME Street Football Challenge at the St Elizabeth High School (STETHS) on Saturday.
The young team, which hails from Treasure Beach in the south of the parish, rose majestically above Brae's River Youth Club in the final to win the game easily by a 5-1 margin.
They will now join earlier parish champions who are in with a chance of copping the ultimate grand prize of $1 million, along with an all-expense paid trip to represent Jamaica at the Guinness Regional Street Football Tournament in Trinidad & Tobago in June.
Real Treasure Beach, along with Brae's River Youth Club, STETHS and Infinity Strikers all advanced to the semi-finals after earlier getting by first and second-round opponents easily.
Brae's River went up against Infinity Strikers in the first semi-final, which was exciting and nail-biting, with both teams ending in a 4-4 draw after regulation and extra-time. Brae's River then edged in front to come out 5-4 winners after the dreaded penalties.
The second game between Real Treasure Beach and STETHS was heading in the same direction after regulation time saw them ending a 1-1, but things changed in extra-time when Real Treasure Beach were awarded a penalty that elevated them to a 2-1 victory.
The final was as exciting as Real Treasure Beach had things all their way as Geon Lyons netted five times to secure his team's victory. The goals came in the 17th, 20th, 28th and 29th minute before the icing was placed on the cake minutes later. Brae's River Youth Club got their consolation on the stroke of full-time.
Rayon Grant of STETHS was awarded the day's Top Goal-scorer prize.
Winning captain Garry Williams was at a loss for words about his team's victory.
"I am so excited right now that words can't explain how I feel. We have worked really hard; the day was fun but by no means easy but it was worth it. We have been playing football together for some time now and our spirit is about community building and that's what keeps us together," he said.
The competition's next stop will be in Hanover and St James on April 12 and 13, respectively.
Hanover teams and the communities from which they hail -- Prospect FC, Prospect; Upsetters, Cross Road; Smokers, Central; Williamsfield Ballers, Williamsfield; Blazers Youths, Burntside; PSG United, Green Island; Young Strikers, Canaan; Central FC, Central; Rum Side, Seaview; Money Munic, Corwell; HQ FC, Johnson Town; Sea Side, Kew; Home Boyz, Mount Peace; Future Boyz, Mount Peace; Guango Tree Youths, Prosper and Rusea's High School.
-- Sherdon Cowan