Striker David Paye’s double in the 6th and 41st minutes were enough to defeat Nimba 2-1 and to lift the football trophy of the 2013-2014 National County Sports Meet after 24 years at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex.
Nimba’s only consolation goal came through striker Sawtee Nimely in the 57th minute.
Grand Bassa led Group 1; but with the absence of its potent striker Varney Sando owing to a controversial 83th-minute red card in the match against Bong, Bassa went into the game as the underdog.
Nimba was the favorite, after they humiliated Grand Gedeh in the semi-finals with goal punchers Sam Jackson, Yan Dahn and Prince Choppy.
Confident Nimba, with an unbeaten record in the tournament, introduced their usual 4-4-3 pattern, but skipper Kweku Mensah’s Bassa pulled an upset their so-called frightening system, with a disciplined 4-man defense, headed by towering defender Emmanuel Gileh, while David Paye was upfront.
In the end, Grand Gedeh convincingly pinned Bong to win the third place trophy. Nimba bowed to Grand Bassa for second place, and Bassa lifted the soccer trophy for the 2013-14 National County Meet.
High-profile personalities cheering Grand Bassa to victory at the game were Deputy Speaker Hans M. Barchue, Senate Pro-Tempore Gbehzohgar Findley, Senator Nyonblee Karnga –Lawrence as well as Representatives Jeh Byron Browne and Gabriel Smith.
For her part, the big smile on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s face told of her unspoken joy for Bassa’s triumph. But as a twin mother, the beam was short.
It can be recalled that President Sirleaf, during the reign of Julia Duncan Cassell as president of Barrolle, attended the official program of the dedication of Barrolle and her absence during the IE’s headquarters dedication indicated that Barrolle was her team.
Bassa, having hosted the County Meet kick-off last month, proved that dumboy was thicker than GB.
On Saturday Nimba County won the volleyball trophy, whipping defending champions Bomi County 3-2. The mountainous grasped the first set 25-22 points, with star player Mohammed Varney serving as the main smasher and blocker, but Coach-Player Gibson Otis Nyanneh’s Bomi rotated the score 25-19. The seesaw battle saw Nimba increased the score 25-18 in their 3rd and narrowly won the fourth set 24-26 points. In the fifth and final sets, Nimba cracked Bomi 15-12 points.
Earlier, Margibi won Grand Cape Mount County, in a four-set match to clinch the 3rd place trophy. Cape Mount put on a show in the first set 25-19 points; but lost in the remaining three sets: 25-22points, 25-21 points and 26 and 24 points. The games were played at gym of the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex.
In the Basketball edition, on Saturday, Grand Bassa dumped Bong County convincingly to win the golden gigantic trophy. The Gbehzohn boys controlled the floor by four quarters. The Gibi boys, also won the 3rd place trophy, when she flushed Bomi, 83-41 points.
Yesterday, double kickball champs Margibi bowed to Nimba 8-7 points in the grand final. Diamondlyn Wah was awarded the ‘Best Player of the Match.’
Earlier, Nimba County won third the place trophy, when she thumped Gbarpolu 2-1. Gbemee Nyumah was the ‘Best Player of the Match.’
Nimba County completed the 22-events in athletics with 77 medals. The events are 100m (male and female); 200m (male and female); 400m (male and female); 800m (male and female); 1500m (male and female) and 5000m (male and female).
Other events include 4x100m (male and female); 4x400m (male and female); high jump, long jump and shot put.
Grand Cape Mount emerged 2nd with 37 medals, while Grand Bassa settled third with 32 points.
Lucy Massaquoi from Grand Cape Mount, 19, is the Most Valuable Player. She participated in five events; won three gold medals and silver.
About 9 persons, especially females fainted on the field despite the spray of water by the Liberia Fire Service owing to the denseness of the spectators. The over crowdedness broke the wire fence, and spread to the perimeter, which was also crowded.
Most fans blamed the organizer of the tournament for its inability to sell tickets per the number of seats taking into consideration the numbers of officials and staff’s access passes including players’ access.
They also pointed fingers at the various security apparatus, serving as security, including Police, Immigration, AFL, Fire Service, Scout as well as Taekwondo athletes.