The Pride of St Andrews, Paradise FC International successfully defended their 2015 Waggy T Super Knockout title, with a convincing 4-1 victory over neighbours River Sallee Cooperative Credit Union Hard Rock, in the 2016 finals played in front a cheering crowd under the lights at the National Stadium on Saturday.
Starting the game as hot favorites the defending champ opened their tally in the 5th minute of play capitalizing on their very first opportunity from the boot of Jake Renee. Two minutes later that lead was extended when midfielder Stefan Whiteman made use of a blunder on the part of the Hard Rock goalkeeper to put the champion team in a position of comfort going into the second half.
Hard Rock did not give up the ghost, they maintained a steady fight which paid off in the 27th minute of play when Neko Whiteman directed a header from a Jacob Charles corner into the back of the Paradise net to restore some life to the game and a glimmer of hope going into the second half of play.
With the game evenly poised going into the second half, many anticipated a fiery second half with greater purpose from the Hard Rock team, but that was not to be, as Paradise quickly extended their lead in the second half to take the game away from Hard Rock. The score at the end of the final whistle 4 goals to 1 in favor of Paradise FC International, their fourth Super Knockout title.
Saturday’s victory meant that Paradise have won themselves an overall package of $75,000.00. That includes $40,000.00 in cash, an all expense paid trip to St Lucia to play the St. Lucia champion team, and for the first time championship goal rings.
The second place team Hard Rock won themselves $20,000.00.
Meanwhile the third place play-off, which was also played on Saturday, was won by Hurricanes who defeated Queens Park Rangers 4 goals to 2. The Victoria base outfit won themselves $6,500.00.
Meanwhile in a brief ceremony to award outstanding teams and individuals; the award for best defensive player in the 2016 tournament went to Raymond Alleyne of Hard Rock, the award for the most outstanding goalkeeper in the tournament went to Jason Belfon of Paradise, there was a tie for the golden boots award, both players scoring seven goals in the tournament. The winners were Moran Phillip from Hurricanes and Denroy Belfon Daniel of Hard Rock, while the most valuable player award went to Paradise captain Jake Rene.
Saturday’s ceremony also had in attendance representatives from the various sponsors, some of whom were given opportunity to address the stadium crowd. Many commended Wayne Redhead for staging another successful competition and reiterated their continued support to the event. Among those offering congratulations was President of the Grenada Football Association Cheney Joseph who assured football enthusiasts that they could look forward to an exciting year of football at all levels in 2017.
Also addressing the gathering was Executive Director of Mega Force Promotion,organizers of the event Wayne Redhead who commended all who contributed in one way or another to making the eighth Annual Waggy T Super Knockout Tournament a success.
Redhead assured fans that having met his expectation in 2016 they can look forward to a bigger tournament in 2017 when he hopes to have champion teams from the four Windward Island represent at the opening of the tournament.