By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-On a chilly December evening at Warner Park the Rams Village Superstars gave their fans what they dreamed of for years as their side lifted the 2016 Carnival cup with a 2-1 victory over their bitter rivals Hobson Enterprises Garden Hotspurs on Sunday Dec. 18.
Both teams got to the finals on the backs of big wins over the top two teams in the Division Cayon and St. Pauls. On Thursday Garden Hotspurs destroyed 2015 Carnival Cup Champions Cayon 5-1 while the Village side copped a 3-1 victory over St. Pauls
Forward Kimaree Rogers gave Village the lead with a tap in following a rebound from a save from Zelon Morton in the 41st minute.
Things then went from bad to worse for Spurs when a stylish Village move as capped with a beautiful finish from G’Vaune Amory added a second in the 59th minute.
During the second half, many of the Village players struggled to cope with the conditions and looked very winded as the game wore on.
The Spurs received a glimmer of hope when Alexis Saddler got one back in the 81st minute to set up a nervy finish for Village supporters.
With a slender one goal lead and Spurs piling on the pressure, the Village team seemed happy to sit back and defend for the remainder of the game, while the Spurs pushed for an equaliser but couldn’t find a good finish on any of their chances.
Shortly after the fourth official indicated that four minutes would be added on to the second half a good Spurs move was interrupted by a tackle from a Village defender inside the box and saw all the Spurs players and fans appealing for a penalty.
Those appeals were denied by referee Kimbell Ward.This caused a ruckus on the Spurs bench that led to the dismissal of their Head Coach AL Richards.
When the final whistle blew, Village fans in the audience breathed a sigh of relief and turned their nerves into elation as they started to celebrate their first title in five years.
Coach of the Rams Village Superstars Leroy Billy said his team got off to a slow start but picked up in the last 10 minutes of the first half.
“Even when we went up 1-0, I don’t think we were playing to the best of our ability, but sometimes you don’t have to be on your best performance to take the lead,” he said.
In the second half, his team was able to execute the game plan better and were able to add a second to give themselves more of a cushion but started to tire in the latter part of the game.
“Coming close to the end of the game we started to look a bit heavy legged and they got a goal and one or two more chance,” he said.
He singled out praises for their goalkeeper Delroy Delaney and also thanked the fans for their support of the team.
The U-14 Rams Village Superstars also were successful in winning the U- 14 Carnival Cup.
Also winning Carnival Cup titles were Winners Circle Newton who needed penalties to win the Elvis Star Browne Female Carnival Cup over Conaree and Mantab were successful in winning the Division 1 Carnival Cup over St. Thomas Trinity Strikers.
The Carnival Cups featured the top four teams of each division heading into the Christmas/Carnival Break.