Sport

Experienced Big Yard blow away Rangers in devastating style

Saturday, May 25, 2019

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Big Yard created a bit of history when they trounced Rangers 5-0 in three minutes and 50 seconds to win the Drax Hall St Ann leg of the Red Bull Neymar Jr Five football qualifiers at last Sunday.

Led by FLOW Most Valuable Player Dean Andre Thomas, who netted a hat-trick, Big Yard boasted players of the quality of former Arnett Gardens, Portmore and Waterhouse Premier League campaigner Kirk Ramsay, Reggae Boy Daniel Green — who was absent on the day, as well as Thomas, Dunbeholden Football Club's top striker with nine goals in the recent Premier League campaign.

They defeated One Vice 4-0, and lost 1-2 to Young Riders before drawing 0-0 with Red Dragon in the preliminary phase. They stopped Dream Team 1-0 in the round of 16, then followed with similar results against Priory United in the quarter-finals and Red Square in the semi-finals, before unleashing all their venom in a most devastating display in the final, which resulted in Rangers losing all their players before four minutes had elapsed.

The FLOW Most Valuable Player award comes with $50,000 as well as a chance to train with Premier League champions Portmore United at the beginning of next season, with the chance to try and make the team.

However, Thomas indicated that he would not be able to take up such an offer, as he's committed to Dunbeholden Football Club.

“No, because I am playing with a team, Dunbeholden, and I am not leaving,” he assured.

“I am going to try because last season the side wasn't perfect, but management says that they are going to get some players to try to help me and we will see where that leads. So, unfortunately, I have to turn down this offer today and be loyal to Dunbeholden,” added the 23-year-old.

Dubbed the biggest five-a-side football tournament in the world, the event, being hosted in Jamaica for the first time, was started by Brazilian forward Neymar de Silva Santos Junior in 2016, and is now played across six continents — set to bring aspiring Jamaican footballers the opportunity of a lifetime.

The tournament is played with five players on each side, with no goalkeepers. Whenever a team scores the opposition loses a player, which makes the games fast, technical, tactical and great fun. A game lasts 10 minutes or until one team does not have any players left. A team is expected to boast up to seven players, aged 16 to 25, plus two over 25, with no gender limitations, which means there can be mixed teams.

Big Yard now join Kingston's winners Malholtra FC, Medley Mixers, the winners from the St Elizabeth leg, Spartan Elite from Falmouth's leg on the waiting list for the grand finale on June 8 inside National Indoor Sports Centre at 3:00 pm — when the winners from the preliminaries compete against each other to determine the winner of the all-expenses-paid trip to Brazil to compete at the World Final to be hosted at Institute Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil, against players from 42 countries. The winning team at the World Final gets to play with Neymar Jr and his team.

Along with Ramsay, Thomas and Green, Oneil Henry, Andre Hinds, Javaughn Ellis and Segree Murray were the other members of the team.

For Rangers, they defeated Scheme FC 2-1, edged Storm Strikers 1-0, and lost 0-2 to Dream Team in the preliminary stage.

They then displayed resilience by defeating Young Riders, Slash Dash and SMU 1-0 in sudden death/one vs one after playing to 0-0 results in the round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.

Again a number of teams failed to turn up on the day, with only 22 showing — 10 shy of the 32 registered for the day.

Attention now turns to Jamalco in Clarendon today, with St Thomas (Rudolph Elder Park) closing the preliminaries next Saturday. Games will begin at 9:00 am for each qualifier.


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