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Apr 29, 2002

Kulture Yabra take football title

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Good evening, I’m James Adderley and you are in attendance for this latest issue of Sports Monday, and yes we do have pictures. So we take you out immediately to the People’s Stadium Orange Walk where the defending Regent’s Cup champion Kulture Yabra goes into game two of the three game title series with a one game lead over the host team Fabro’s Juventus Stars.

As we scan this massive crowd we wonder if they knew how close to cancellation game two was because of the additional sanction of five thousand and two years suspension meted out to Yabra sponsor Andrew Brown by the Football Federation of Belize’s disciplinary committee going into yesterday’s match.

Fortunately, the more rational heads inside the Yabra camp prevailed and here we have the two captains, Norman “Tilliman” Nunez and Giovanni Rodriguez tossing for the start of the monster showdown.

It’s some fifteen minutes in when Esteban Perez, green hair and all, centres to Edon “Yellowman” Rawley and the defending champion takes a 1-zip lead. And yes, add imagination to the goal celebration that follows immediately.

The champs look to extend the lead when best mid-fielder Gigante Perez deals to Landy Pinelo, but the left foot sails just high. Offensively, it’s all Yabra right now, and indeed Robert Cunningham could have made it a 2-nil lead here, but he allows Giovanni Rodriguez to shine instead.

Pinelo threads the needle and Tilliman Nunez lashes with the left, but it sails high off target. Of course it’s just a matter of time before O.W. does gets busy and this header by Roberto Burns should move the scoreboard to a tie, but then it doesn’t.

Juventus stays searching for the equaliser and this trick shot from Burns certainly gets Shane Moody’s attention. Downfield its Cunningham with a shot at doubling the lead, but again Giovanni Rodriguez comes up big, and at the half, Yabra boasts a 1-zip lead.

In second half play, Juventus continues to press and should have done better at the end of this spotkick. Mark “Kello” Leslie then mounts this individual effort, but fails to impress the scoreboard. By the way Rudolph Flowers, this is much too much time in which to crank the trigger okay, take it from a veteran.

It’s Flowers again with the offensive for Juventus, only this time his offering in rejected by Shane Moody. For sure, Freddie Tun looks good when he bends this left foot shot inside the goal, but Esteban Perez is well positioned defensively.

Meanwhile, this pass finds Donnie Tun all alone and he takes advantage of his one on one situation with Shane Moody to tie the ballgame at 1 apiece.

But the O.W. joy is short-lived because four minutes later Landy Pinelo replies with a left foot push that makes it a 2-1 Yabra lead. And then Deon Flowers comes off the bench to come up with this spectacular individual effort that seals the Yabra win as they go on to post the 3-1 big W and win the 2002 B.F.L. championship series in two to repeat as champions.

And of course to the victor goes the spoils.

Marvin Ottley, Coach, Kulture Yabra

“Last week I told everybody after the game completed, it was tough for me to soak in that victory, but this one is in and I’m happy for Belize City and what is happening for sports and especially football in Belize City.”

Q: “Did you have any fear coming into a game against a team like Juventus, who has overachieved in my opinion and still have more to go?”

Marvin Ottley

“No, we actually showed no fear for any team in this league, and this was one of the team that seems to have not showed us any fear all season long. But, unfortunately we realised last weekend that they came into the game flat and we capitalised on it. We came out back in the second half, we played the pressure, as soon as our pressure died off, we get our two goals. My team really concentrated and they executed.”

Landy Pinelo, Kulture Yabra

“I feel very happy, I want to give thanks to all: my boss, the coach, the managers, my teammates and all the fans. This win is for them.”

Daniel Fabro, Fabro’s Juventus Stars

“We’re not ashamed. I told the guys after the game that we’re all champions. I’m very proud of the team. We fell a little bit short of our goal, I thought when we had tied it up 1-1 that it would have been our game, but it didn’t work out that way. That’s football, we made some defensive mistakes and somebody’s got to win and somebody’s got to lose and I congratulate Yabra, they’re deserving champions. But I am so very proud of my team because we came back from nowhere and I think we’ve finally awaken a sleeping giant, which is the Juventus Stars club a you saw in the stadium today, and hopefully that will carry forward into the season.”

In closing folks, we don’t know what’s next for two-time champ Kulture Yabra. We don’t know if the new sanctions will force Andrew “Papa” Brown to retire from the sport. Of course, we are going to be looking at this situation rather critically, because there’ll be a void of financial sponsorship if Mr. Brown withdraws totally from Belize City football. He has been very instrumental at this particular juncture, so it’s definitely an incumbent that we weigh the future of the sport against the sanctions meted out to Andrew “Papa” Brown.

Exit football, enter basketball. The semi-pro basketball season kicks off Friday night at the City Centre in a replay of last year’s championship match-up as B.T.L. Nets will be hosted by the defending champion San Cas U.B.

One more thing we got to tell you. Coming up Wednesday May first, Labour Day, in cycling is the Labour Day Cycle Classic, which will run from Orange Walk to Corozal and swing back to finish in front of Courts on the Northern Highway. Courts Powerhouse is sponsoring this particular event.

That’s it for now, we invite you back same time, same place next week, Jah over all, I’m James Adderley.

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