It’s official, the 2023 SKNFA Super Six finalists are Rams Village Superstars and defending champions SL Horfords St. Paul’s United. Both teams confirmed their spots in the finals at the end of their round-robin matches in the Super Six playoffs this past week. Village earned a dramatic 3-2 victory against Conaree FC on Thursday in a crucial match-up at Warner Park.
Scoring for Village
Kimaree Rogers struck twice 39th & 60th min
Tahir Hanley 70th min
Scoring for Conaree
Errol O’loughlin 2 goals 73rd & 90th + 5 min
Conaree’s first-choice goalkeeper Clifford Samuel was substituted in the second half after sustaining an injury.
After the match Coach Steven Clarke of Village, while pleased with the win, chided his players for losing focus and giving up two goals in the dying moment of the match, which could have been costly. “Those are things, if you want to be champion teams, you have to cut out,” Clarke said. “When you have teams on the edge, you don’t allow them back in the game because with one goal, momentum changes and it could go anywhere,” he added.
Knowing it was a must-win for both teams to make finals, Coach Al Richards of Conaree was flabbergasted about his team’s performance but praised his players for a valiant effort in the end. “Honestly, I don’t know what went wrong but I think we bottled it…I don’t know if it’s nerve or fight but all in all, I have to say well done to my team for fighting to the end,” Richards said.
In the previous match that night, MFCR Old Road United Jets were hoping to get a victory over Newtown United, while hoping for a draw in the subsequent Village/Conaree match, which would have assured them their spot in the finals. The latter did not happen, but they enjoyed a 1-0 victory nonetheless over Newtown. Nequan Browne scored in the 12th minute.
Coach Alexis Morris of Old Road was pleased with the effort of his team, not only in this match but in their first-ever playoffs. “Part of the puzzle was basically to come out and just win the game regardless of the score line,” he said. Coach Anthony Isaac of Newtown, said even though they lost, he is very proud of his players. He said they were unable to practice for two weeks as he was away on Concacaf Nations League duty, but they gave their all in the match. “I really appreciate the work that they put out tonight. Even though we lost the game, we outplayed (Old Road),” Isaac said.
Meanwhile on Friday, defending champions St. Paul’s United suffered a 3-1 loss to Flow 4G Cayon Rockets at the Warner Park.
Scoring for Cayon
Dijhron Simmonds 35th min
Devontay Carty 45th+1 min
Dane Weston 46th min
Scoring for St.Pauls
Vinceroy Nelson (pk) 86th min
Coach of Cayon Al Edwards, while pleased with the win, bemoaned the fact they failed to replicate this performance throughout the playoffs. “Everybody wanted the team to play for pride and not to go down losing again…but in reality, we are somewhat disappointed that we didn’t go to the final hurdle,” Edwards said.
Manager of St. Paul’s Derionne Edmeade said knowing they were virtually in the finals; they preserved their regular starters in this match. “We looked at how badly we would have to play to play ourselves out of the tournament…we did expect to win the game based on the guys we put out on the field. We are disappointed but still happy to know that we did enough to make sure that our place in the finals has been secured,” Edmeade said.
Now that the finals have been decided, both teams will begin to rumble in Game 1 on Wednesday, September 23rd, followed by Game 2 on September 26 and if necessary game 3 on September 29th.