By Sulayman Bah
It was Serrekunda West’s first trophy in many years, clinching the gong for the first time after coming close a dozen times in previous attempts.
The whistle following the final penalty-kick was one of indescribable delight to the many cross town Serrekunda neighbours who trooped en masse to get a glimpse of what would later turn out to be pulsating affair as predicted before game start.
Both halves produced no goals forcing referee Mawdo to draw the game to a close and straight to penalties as dusk dawned.
West were reduced to 10 men after they had a player sent off for accumulating two yellow cards and a final red. The finalists kitted by Fi Bank, were guilty of begging chances in either halves. Winner West pocketed D75,000 and a giant trophy whilst runners-up Sukuta had a D50,000 consolation prize.
Saturday’s final ended without major incidents in the face of loose security amidst record turnout of spectators at the Serrekunda East mini-stadium.
The ground was chosen as a neutral venue – ideal to travelling fans of both teams –and for its knack for attracting huge football enthusiasts.
However, while organisers will have little to complain over ticket sales, the final was nearly beset by compromised security with the park full to the brim as dozens more queued outside threatening to force their way in.
As West scooped the staked prize, some sections of disgruntled spectators indiscriminately pelted stones unto the pitch leaving few people injured.