Belize Bank back in top spot in La Ruta Maya
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and here's this week’s look at Sports Monday. The final schedule in this week’s Belize Bank Super League post season was staged over the weekend and indeed turned up no real surprises. We now head to Dangriga where yesterday league leading and undefeated Valley Renaissance hosted the would be contender from Belize City, Kraal Road F.C. inside the Carl Ramos Stadium. With Texmar Boys having knocked off San Felipe Barcelona 3-zip Saturday night there was basically nothing at stake in this ballgame except a clean sheet for the host team in this round of play but Kraal Road was, nevertheless, determined to finish with a bang so Delroy Andrews immediately attacks off the left wing forcing Woodrow West to make a tough save and then some from his defensive help. This gets the attention of the Valley who counters with this right foot punch just inside the eighteen from Leonard Valdez who sees Elden Linares show off his improved goalkeeping skills. It’s another potent attack for the home team cut short when Denroy Lopez beats Valdez to this ball. The Belize City team then attacks off this set piece with this long distance dial from Delroy Andrews that is solved by a finger touch from goalkeeper West. Still, Kraal Road remains the protagonist early and yes, Raymond Gentle, you should have put this one home. In the meantime, chalk up a third failed attempt to score for Leonard Valdez whose shot on this run inches past the far upright. At the other end, Gentle finds Andrews with this center and his volley is well times but so is the response from Woodrow West.
Early in second half action, Jarret Davis gets this open look at goal and fails miserably to get Kraal Road on to the scoreboard in a scoreless ballgame. Apparently, it’s that kind of day people because at the other end Corinth Williams off the Griga Bench botches this one on one look at Linarez. Leon Jones then works hard to get this look at goal for the visitors only to misfire from pointblank range. People Elden Linares gets a lucky break when he fails to make the clearance on this push from Harrison Tasher as the ball slides outside the sticks. Joining the long list of the can’t score crew, some seventh minutes in is Griga’s Alexander Peters who must be taught that in soccer placement trumps power especially from this proximity. The list gets longer when Jason Santos instead of scoring, launches the ball into orbit. Folks, you make up your minds right here. Byron Perez attempts to shoot but is challenged by Denroy Lopez. The referee doesn’t make the call until he sees the linesmen flag up and then determined it should be a penalty kick. Naturally, it attracts vociferous dissent but the call stands. After the furor settles down, Valley Renaissance sends for goalkeeper Woodrow West and he scores at the seventy-fifth minute in what turns out to be the only goal of the match as the valley wins 1-zip to become the number one seed going into the three game championship series in undefeated fashion.
In the other semi-final match-up, defending champion Texmar Boys easily disposed of San Felipe Barcelona in a 3-zip finish Saturday night at Independence and will defend their title in a three game series with Valley Renaissance of Stann Creek for the twenty-five thousand dollar prize money. Valley Renaissance has given up home field advantage so game one is set for Saturday night inside the Michael Ashcroft Stadium. Game two comes up on Sunday, the twenty-ninth March at Dangriga. If necessary, game three comes to Belize City.
Turning to the cycling scene, the twenty-eighth Belmopan Cycling classic wheeled to an exciting finish in front of Leslie’s Imports yesterday with this big time three man sprint that sees Giovanni ‘Froggy’ Leslie of Santino's step out of a three man sprint to claim the hundred mile win in four hours, twenty-eight minutes, thirty-three seconds. He left Navis Carasco Montoya of Benny’s Megabytes and Roger Troyer of Zamir to settle for second and third respectively. On the female side, Alicia Thompson of Telemedia Swoosh took the seventy mile female ride in three hours fifty-nine minutes, seven seconds beating Shalini Zabaneh by over a minute while Gina Lovell pulled up third. Kyle Gentle of Indeco took the junior seventy miles in three hours thirty-three minutes sixteen seconds, edging out Austin Armstrong of Vega Crystal and Tariq Cano of Indeco in that order respectively. So now look out for the junior Cross Country championship which comes up on April fifth. One the veteran riders’ circuit, Kenneth Butler took the Santino fifty mile race on Saturday in two hours, ten minutes, forty-six seconds forcing Santi Castillo into second and Ken Gladden into third. Hey Butti, you big.
In billiards news, the Belize Billiards Sports Federation presents an Open Nine Ball Team Tournament at Barrio Fino Pool Club inside Belmopan this weekend, fourteenth and fifteenth of March. Contact person to get in is Otto Cattouse at telephone 669-9706.
Turning to La Ruta Maya, ninety-four teams started off for this year’s run from Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio but today on the last leg, which begins at Burrell Boom we’re down to eighty-seven canoes. Here is the Belize Bank Team, led by Armin Lopez, getting ready for the final push towards the Belcan Bridge and they’re protecting an overall lead of just nine seconds. After completing three of the four stages, Belize Bank is uneasy with the challenge mounted by Koop Sheet Metal who could take it all with a ten second stage win today. And they’re off towards Belize City. When the race passes Ladyville Koop Sheet Metal has paddled to the lead with Citrus Products of Belize Limited in second and Belize Bank in fourth place behind Reagans. Sensing disaster, Belize Bank makes its move and indeed it’s truly exciting to watch. We’re now at the Belcan Bridge where the fans have massed in great numbers to view the finish. The top contenders find themselves locked in a bitter struggle to the finish line. Belize Bank tries to pull away, Koop Sheet Metal does not allow that to happen as they make it a two team race. Belize Bank dips into its reserves and pulls away at the last minute to win the stage and more importantly, they overall victory and we say congrats to Armin Lopez, Armando Lopez and Daniel Cruz. Koop Sheet Metal didn’t get the ten seconds win nor the stage win and naturally settles for second place while the C.P.B.L. team pulls up third.Armin Lopez, Captain, Belize Bank Team“We mi have wah challenge dis year wid all di paddles, especially wid Koop Sheet Metal and C.P.B.L. So we just mek sure we noh mek no mistake and we just try hang on. When we si di Belcan Bridge I seh well we gonna sprint for it and I just make sure dat dehn noh beat us by more dan ten seconds because we mi di lead by nine seconds all di way so if dehn beat us by eight, it’s still okay but we still went for our sprint, which we did.”
Hey folks, that’s our show for today. We invite you back same time, same place, next week. Jah over all, I’m James Adderley. http://www.channel5belize.com/archive_detail_story.php?story_id=23481