Suba United and Malimba FC clinch ARS Northern Region Tourney
They say all good things must come to an end, but the people of Makeni will be ruing the end of the Airtel Rising Stars northern region tournament at Makeni’s Wusum grounds. Sunday was a day of reckoning as both the grand finals in the boys and girls section of the tournament played out.
Suba United and Malimba FC met in the finals after each team worked a tough way to the finals; they wasted no time in lighting up the action – Mariama Sawaneh opened the scoring on the 5th minute after a sleek move to give her team the lead. The tournaments best girls’ player, Mariatu Conteh scored from the spot after a penalty was awarded in the 30th minute of play. Mariatu Sesay made it 3-0 in favour of Suba United when she pounced on a rebound ball.
This final was about two tough teams in a battle that saw Malimba FC lose but it was also a match that saw Mariatu Conteh imposing herself and her undeniable talent in a tournament that she was clearly the best. No doubt that she received the loudest ovation from the fans when she was called to receive her best player award.
The final in the boys category was a much more even affair, Ocean Boys in white vests battled out a goalless draw with Cheltenham FC in red vests, the match played out more in midfield position as both teams struggled to keep hold on possessions. In the earlier part of the game, goal chances were few and both teams tended to take a more cautious approach. As the game reached its final minutes, Cheltenham FC braved forward in a desperate attempt to get a late goal with striker Foday Sesay denied by a timely tackle as he was about to slot in. Momodu Bah Suma also had a goal bound ball intercepted in injury time.
The uncertainties of a penalty shootout meant that supporters of both clubs were left with the distress of standing on edge as the penalty shoot out went into sudden death when Cheltenham FC goalie saved the penalty that should have handed Ocean Boys victory; Cheltenham FC sub Alimamy Kargbo scored the winning penalty to hand his team the boy’s trophy.
Earlier on, Excel FC beat Sunday Foundation 3-2 after Excel FC striker; Issa B Kamara got a hat-trick. Sunday FC Ibrahim S Kamara scored in the 45th minute and Mohamed N Sesay made it 3-2 in the dying minutes of the game to give false hope to Sunday FC.
In the girls, third place ABC Starlets beat Rising Queens as Starlet top striker Yealie Turay scored in the 21st minute to seat it 1-0.
Yusifu I Koroma won the best player award and for the girls section Mariatu Conteh, a.k.a. Torres stole the best player award to very loud ovation from the fans.
The Airtel Rising star tourney will now move southwards to Sierra Leone second city of Bo.
The ARS aims to offer a platform for upcoming football talent under the age of seventeen to showcase their skills to leading scouts, coaches and have an opportunity to further their football skills. This initiative targets not only boys but girls across Sierra Leone, and is supported by one of the world’s leading sport brands, Manchester United.
Top Goal Scorers
GirlsMalimba FC No 18 Isata K Conteh – 5 goals Suba United No 8 Mariatu Conteh – 5 goals Malimba FC No 10 Helen Sesay – 3 goals Malimba FC No 11 Hawa Conteh – 3 goals Suba United No 12 Mariatu Sesay – 3 goals
BoysExcel FC No 11 Issa B Kamara – 6 goals Sowa FC No 11 Allieu Balla – 4 goals Ocean Boys FC No 10 Abdul Conteh – 3 goals Cheltenham FC No 15 Alex Koroma – 3 goals
by Muctaru Wurie
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