Part of the opening night’s action between Classic Six (yellow) and Cherokee Park.

Cherokee Park needle Classic Six out of tournament
… Four players hit double strikes

THANKS to Eldon Saul’s solitary strike in the 12th minute, Cherokee Park were able to hand Classic Six their expulsion orders out of this year’s third annual Banks DIH/Linden ‘Guinness Greatest of de Streets’ Futsal football tournament, at last Tuesday’s opening night.

The action took place at the Mackenzie Car Park, where a very supportive crowd witnessed seven exciting matchups in which four players got double strikes for their team, even as Main Street Panthers were a no-show for their contest against Unity.
Banks DIH’s Guinness brand manager Lee Baptiste and other members of the sponsor’s management family including Outdoor Events manager Mortimer Stewart, witnessed the night’s event, with Baptiste doing the ceremonial kick-off for the first game between Classic Six and Cherokee Park.
This contest was a humdinger and certainly set the tone for the rest of the night, as both teams went in search of this year’s first goal throughout the first 10 minutes of play.
However, when nerves settled, it was Saul who drilled home his shot from amidst a sea of players, to hand Cherokee Park the lead and later the win.
In the second game of the night, Ezekiel Daw (8th) and Oral Peters (12th) were the men on target for the diligent Blueberry Gunners, who came away with a 2-1 victory over the hardworking Porkerburg outfit, for whom Brian Tanner found the back of the net.
Dwayne Fraser registered the first double in this year’s tournament, doing so in the 8th and 16th minutes of play for One Mile/Half Mile, which, when coupled with Keon Sears opening goal that was scored in the 4th minute, handed his team a 3-0 win over Goal Getters.
The fourth and final game before the Guinness 30-minute break was contested between Scheme and Wisroc, and the fans saw Andre Chester emulate Dwayne Fraser with a double of his own in the 8th and 20th minute, while his sibling Al Chester got a solitary strike in the 6th minute, handing Scheme a 3-2 win.
However, it was not an easy ride for the Scheme boys, as Orande Wills, who also scored a double, was the first player to register a goal in the contest, doing so in the 4th minute, before Al Chester negated his strike and Andre Chester handed Scheme the lead.
Wills got his second in the 14th minute to level the scoreline in a matchup that had the fans’ eyes moving left to right, based on the see-saw action, before Andre Chester sealed the win by completing his brace just before the final whistle.
Following a break in the action, Troy Nelson registered the third brace for the opening night, doing so for Minibus in the 6th and 14th minutes, to guide them to a 2-1 win over the much-fancied Aliku lineup, for which Ryan Fraser scored a consolation goal in the dying stages of the fixture.
After Unity got the walkover, Corlic Beckles became the fourth player to score a double, doing so in the 4th and 8th minutes, while his teammate Jermaine Saul scored in the 18th minute, as Constab showed Exodus the exit with a 3-0 win, while The Amazing completed the night’s action with their 2-1 penalty kicks win over Coomacka.
The tournament, which has at stake one year’s bragging rights, a place in the national playoffs and $400 000 first prize, continued with eight more first-round matches last night, while tonight the round of 16 will be contested at the New Silvercity Secondary School.

(By Calvin Roberts)