Thousands of Sinoe County supporters, including Superintendent J. Milton Teahjay were on Sunday disappointed over the goalless draw in the football match and defeat in the kickball derby on their home soil.
Teahjay’s gloomy expression, in his green-and-white tee-shirt with the inscriptions ‘Sinoe Mandela’ at the front and ‘Chief Patron’ on the back spoke volume of his discontent.
Sinoe County failed to rattle the net despite several chances and ‘more ball possession,’ through Boye Bouley, Adolphus and Konwohn Karblee.
Gbarpolu’s towering defenders, Isaac Wrolloh, Kortu Brown and Fassell Sheriff as well as goalie Jimmy Dorbor mended the net to-the-teeth. Strikers Matthew Wesseh, Rufus Padmore, Tarweh Senneh and Webster Walatee’s pointed moves could not threaten Sinoe’s defense.
Sinoe’s coach Bra Dixon said the draw was their ‘unlucky day’ but he is hopeful of qualifying. Gbarpolu coach Stephen Momo said the draw was ‘unfortunate, but still confident.’
In the second football match, Nimba County defeated Rivercess County, 2-1 through Sam Jackson who sent the red-and-blue fans wild with his 2nd minute goal. Winger George Beah of Rivercess silenced the crowd in the 69th minute.
Sam Jackson again, in the 86th minute, increased the tally through a diagonal kick, a goal that Timothy Paulaus, and Evan B. Somah disputed.
Sinoe coach’s Mortar Fofana said, “Our slogan for this preliminary
round is ‘Operation Clear All’ and we are going to move to the next stage.”
In kickball Gbarpolu County, in the ongoing Group D’s preliminary qualifiers, whipped host, Sinoe County 2-0. The 9-players kickball team, under the captainship of Rachel Garto put up an impressive move in the first two rounds with a point lead, but the Nenwon T. Saye’s side ably assisted by pitcher Edina John reconsolidated and nailed their host, 4-2 5-rounds.
Last year’s runner-up Nimba County narrowly beat 4-time winners, Rivercess County, 1-0. Captain and pitcher Gbemee Nyumah was the ‘Woman of the match.’ Nimba and Rivercess’ kickball man was in progress when this report was sent.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 17, Gbarpolu will lock
horns with Nimba in both football and kickball, while host, Sinoe will engage their traditional rival, Rivercess.
On Saturday night, the eve of the game, at the Doris Null City Hall the acquaintance gathering of the eight teams which was traditionally aimed for players to ‘familiarize and embrace’ each other to foster friendship, fair-play, peace and unity were greeted with self-praise of counties teams. The teams partially refused to honor the objective of the gathering.
Gbarpolu’s football team was the only squad absent due to its late arrival on Friday and prepared for the opener against Sinoe. Rivercess came a day earlier. Both counties rode on old pick-up vehicles – standing and sitting for hours on rocky roads.
Nimba arrived on Wednesday on jeeps and was the most organized in term of transportation. Even though the Cestos and Bopolu players arrived dusty in Greenville, there were smiles on their faces, ready to unleash their ‘kind of magical wand’ to gain qualification, because 50% of their ‘Preliminary Round Contract Funds’ in the tone of US$125 were provided, and the balance, were promised upon their return. Sinoe, the host, came earlier than the other teams but would receive 50% of their money, after their first game.