RED ribbons, a goal in the first minute of play and a hat-rick marked Sunday’s second leg of matches in the recently launched Commissioner’s Cup Football tournament.
During the inaugural match,of the Cup,on June 30, players from the Pinto and Oropune Police Youth Club went home victorious, beating opposing teams, Brazil/San Raphael and Carapo, respectively.
As a result, on Sunday, the two teams squared off at Squadron Grounds, Trincity, in a match which ended with Oropune beating Pinto 6-4.
Oropune’s players sported red ribbons on their wrist, in solidarity against rising crime in their community.
Two murders, just one month apart had rocked the HDC housing scheme and resulted in several headlines outlining the social ills being faced there.
Despite this, the young men were able to stay focused and win for their community.
Kaylon Williams got things started when he volleyed a ball past Pinto’s goal-keeper, Samuel Boodoosingh, during the first minute of the match.
Williams, delivered a hat-trick, scoring three of the team’s winning goals.
His teammate, Josiah Small, quickly followed up with Oropune’s second goal.
Pinto’s players, Jamal Williams and Josiah Hill, were not to be outdone and scored one goal a piece. Their teammate, Anton Phillip netted two more goals against Oropune’s goalie, Makhaya Bob-Simple.
Two of Pinto’s goals were penalty shots.
Accompanied by an energetic rhythm section, a small group of Oropune’s supporters chanted a song of victory, in anticipation of winning.
However, by the middle of the second half, Pinto showed them why they had been declared winners at their first match, bringing the score up, 5-4.
Pinto’s supporters, took it in good stride, with their players giving their all on the field and their dancers, in matching red and white, also encouraging them in song.
While Williams scored a hat-trick,a yellow card saw him ousted from the title of Player of the Match by team captain, Asa Carimbocas.
The Commissioner’s Cup is an Under-17 football tournament, which will take place during this July-August school vacation. It involves 46 police youth clubs from TT.
Pinto’s games co-ordinator, WPC Kathy Hernandez, said she could not have been more proud of her players, as they met Oropune play for play.
Cpl Kevin Greenidge, Oropune’s club leader, on the rising crime situation in their community, said,”We, those that want to see the youths of today, be productive, positive role models for the next generation and all-round adults of the future, do not intend to let crime or whatever ills in our community, stop us from achieving what we set out to do.”
He urged youths across the nation to join clubs in their respective communities and “take full advantage of the opportunities offered”.
Greenidge’s words pre-empted another victory for the Oropune youths, as they retained their title of March Pass champs at the Biannual Northern Division Commissioner’s Police Youth Club Games, yesterday at Constantine Park, Macoya.
Flagged by their King,( Kevin Greenidge Jr), in khaki attire, reminiscent of a senior police officer and their Queen (Tajnique Horsford), in army green and gold scissors-tail military jacket and matching khaki pants, Oropune earned the nod of the judges.
Horsford was also crowned third place queen for her efforts.