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Akademiks, Gorillas in dream Classic final

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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Akademiks?and Black Gorillas will meet tonight in a dream final of the Pinelands Youth Football Academy’s Rossi Straughn Memorial Classic at Parkinson Community Centre Field.
The teams set up this showdown with convincing semi-final victories Friday night as Akademiks thrashed Fatini Ballers 4-1 and Black Gorillas trounced John John United 5-2.
Jermaine Caesar, Jason “Bullet” Goodridge, Lionel Paul and Randy Burrowes each scored for Akademiks, while Dario Wilson scored the lone goal for Fatini.
In the second match, Dwayne Stanford logged a hat-trick to carry his tally to a tournament-high 11 goals, while Ricky Barnes and John Hawkesworth scored the other two goals for the Gorillas.
Curtis Odle and Shane Yearwood were on target for the Bottom Close-based John John United.
The two losing semi-finalists John John United and Fatini will now meet at 6:30 p.m. in the third-place play-off which will precede the grand final at 8 p.m.
This final will see Stanford and Barnes, two of Barbados’ most lethal strikers as well as Haldane Payne, going up against an Akademiks’ defence marshalled by Omar Primus and Caesar with Romayne “Spider Man” Primus between the uprights.
At the other end, Goodridge and Paul will be seeking to penetrate the Gorillas’ backline, manned by Tito Beckles, Prince “Shaka” Cooke and Paul Alexander as they try to protect young goalkeeper Romario Browne.
The midfield battle should be keenly contested as Burrowes and Paul battle with Barbados and successful City of Bridgetown captain Jeffrey Williams, Nicholas Best, Omar Marshall and Hawkesworth.
The tournament, held under the patronage of Senator Santia Bradshaw, is being held in memory of Straughn, who played junior football for Regents. He died in an auto accident at the tender age of 17. (EZS)