San Pedro SeaHawks place second in Prime Minister's Cup

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 22            June 12, 2003

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SeaHawks players with runner-up trophy

The fairytale ending to the first ever appearance in a major final for a San Pedro semi-pro team was not to be, as last Sunday's match finished in a 1-1 draw, which was enough to see Kulture Yabra win the Prime Minister's Cup. Yabra came to Ambergris Caye needing to avoid a three-goal beating and, once again, with a helping hand from the referee, got the result they needed to win the Cup via their first leg victory.

    The San Pedro SeaHawks started out well in a match where they had the difficult task of scoring at least three goals against a team yet to concede any in their previous five games. Difficult was made impossible just before halftime when the ref effectively ended the match with a ridiculous straight red card to SeaHawks defender Flavio Pinero. Coming on top of last week's "goal that wasn't" San Pedro SeaHawks must be wondering if the referees are for Yabra or just against the island team.

    Up to the sending off, the game was attacking, open and entertaining, with both goals in the match coming within a minute of each other. First blood went to San Pedro in the 10th minute when a curling ball from Jarbi Alvarez was chested down by Kalusha, into the path of Landy Pinelo who swept past the defender and drilled it into the corner for the early lead. It should have been the platform to build a further advantage but the SeaHawks were instantly caught out, and with the crowd still celebrating the goal, Deon Frazer got away from the left hand side, outpaced the defense, kept his cool and slotted in the equalizer.

    The game ebbed and flowed as each team tried to get into a rhythm but found that their equally matched opponents thwarted them. Halftime came with no more goals scored despite several attempts and corners, and more significantly, San Pedro reduced to ten men.

    The second half was less of a spectacle as the SeaHawks tried in vain, but with one less man, tired quickly. Yabra, content with the score, sat tight without pushing too many players forward but put their forwards pace on the break to good use. Despite the slower tempo, both sides managed to hit the woodwork late in the game. First, Yabra Tilliman Nunez crashed a header back off the post from a corner, before SeaHawks substitute Ashton Lewis headed goal-bound from a free kick only to see Shane Moody use the faintest of touches to push it onto the bar and over. With five minutes to go, Yabra striker Tilliman Nunez also received a red card for an off-the-ball incident as the game petered out to a finish.

    Kulture Yabra will start the new Belize Premier Football League (BPFL) season with another trophy for their cabinet after the disappointment of losing out last year, and rightly confident of doing well this season. The new formation and line-up looks to have kept their defensive strengths, while allowing more freedom to attack as the tournament record of 11 goals scored against one conceded, shows. The awards presentation saw Vallan Symms, Yabra's Captain and Central Defender, pick up the Most Valuable Player award as well as the Prime Minister's Cup. To the SeaHawks went the consolation of the runners-up trophy, the hope of more bright things to come in the future, and the knowledge that they are now one of the better teams in the BPFL and can compete to be the best, if allowed.
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