In the battle for early supremacy at the Tony Spaulding Complex both top of the table contenders produced another high quality epic encounter that gripped the large stadium audience as well as islandwide television viewers and radio listeners for more than 90 minutes, in sudden death extra-time the lethal right foot of Kevin Wilson was enough to bring the orchestrated schemes of both teams to a climax. Arnett were crowned champions.
The 96th minute cracker was a treat for all football enthusiast near and far from the venue as the weeklong hype lived up to its billing and in many areas surpassed it. Three stunning goals punctuated the tense feeling permeating the newly beautified stadium a fitting arena for the Leagues leading gladiators to showcase their talent.
Raw talent abounded from the first minute as players went in search of ‘ first blood’ by trying to establish midfield dominance that created dribbles, passes, one-two combinations, infringements with resulting heart stopping freekicks when the rivals failed, testing long range right and left footed screamers were driven with wicked intentions goalwards as the two former national custodians displayed their acrobatic manouevers to the delight of the fans.
2000 MVP Fabian Davis broke the deadlock after 19 minutes when he converted another 20 yard curling Classic to evade the diving Leeroy Gray inside his near post to lead 1-0. The cry of ‘Arnett,Arnett’ rang out as the Red and Black brigade charged forward through Kwame Richardson, Walter Boyd, Kevin Wilson, Jonathan Williams and Cornel Chinsue initially and the counter-attacking ball possesssion through young Sean Fraser, Jermaine Hue, Jomo Gordon, Marvin Morgan and the diminutive Daniel Shaw who was to produce a beauty of a goal in the 41st minute when his one-two with Fraser let fly a extraordinary blast from 34 yards under pressure to rocket against the far upright hit the back of the diving keeper and lodge in the net to the defeaning silence around the ground disturbed only by jubilant Harbour View Supporters who had travelled to the West Kingston venue.
The score justifiably remained at 1-1 at Halftime.
The second half was as intense as the first as a double substitution at the break of forwards Jomo Gordon and Dino Williams for Nicholas McCreath and Fabian Taylor launched more attacks against the increased presence in the other penalty box of Kevin Wilson and Walter Boyd, still no goals came but immense tension kept fans riveted at the edge of their seats punctuated by bits of individuals flair,long dribbles and defensive interceptions made the drama buildup even more intreging. It was not over after 90 minutes as the avid football connoisseur was heard to plea for extra-time as they yearned for more of the beautiful game.
Their wish was granted for six more pulsating minutes, then the Man of the moment Kevin ‘Pele’ Wilson claimed his territory with a remarkable strike to bring the curtains down of the first round as the new sponsors presented their novel new look trophy to Arnett Gardens.
Congratulations Arnett, extremely well done Harbour View – Football won handsomely today, give us more please.