– Gladiators cop female title
FOLLOWING an enthralling encounter with the Paiwomak Warriors Football Club at the Wada’apna Sports Complex in Lethem last Saturday night, Tabatinga Football Club (Tabatinga FC) emerged as champions of the Rupununi Football Association’s (RFA) Championships.
They triumphed over their North Rupununi rivals by a single goal which was scored at the beginning of the second half. The win will see Tabatinga represent Rupununi at the upcoming Indigenous Heritage Games scheduled for September.
Although competitive, no team found the back of the net in the first half of the game. Tabatinga were more attacking, but failed to capitalise on opportunities to take the lead before the end of the first half.
The second half began with Tabatinga FC redoubling their efforts and pressing Paiwomak Warrriors aggressively.
Their strategy was rewarded in the 49th minute when they earned a corner kick.
A poor clearance by the Paiwomak Warriors defence sent the ball wide and back to the feet of a Tabatinga player, who returned it into the penalty box. The cross found the head of Zaulo Bronze, who headed it past the keeper to the great delight of the Tabatinga FC fans, as they erupted in rapturous celebration.
On the female side of the competition, Gladiators ran away with the final by netting four goals against the Paiwomak Warriors, who had disposed of last year’s winners, Guyana Rush Saints, in the semifinals. The Paiwomak Warriors could manage only one consolation goal before the final whistle was blown.
The result means that Gladiators FC are the new female RFA champions, and will be joining Tabatinga FC in representing the Rupununi at the upcoming Indigenous Heritage Games.
Female Awards: Best Goalkeeper and Most Valuable Player went to Vanessa Adolph and Vandette Henry respectively, both of Gladiators FC.
Best Goalkeeper award went to Dexter Mentore (Tabatinga FC), and Most Valuable Player was Zaulo Bronze (Tabatinga FC).