The 2017-18 Liberia National County Sports meet has reached its quarterfinals stage with 16 counties in the kickball and football categories set to battle each other for a place in the semifinals.
There were sorrows and excitements for counties after the final group matches as fans witnessed some big guns bidding farewell. In football, Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Sinoe and River Gee made their way to the quarterfinals stage with Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh making surprising exits.
Meanwhile, the kickball giants, Nimba, lead the list of counties that qualified to the quarterfinals. Nimba qualified along with Lofa, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Maryland, and Grand Kru.
With Nimba already securing a place in the quarterfinals after round two of group matches, it was Bong that needed at least a draw to secure a quarterfinal spot on the last day of group matches. The Kpatawee Boys were able to prevent free-scoring Nimba from scoring as they played to a goalless draw. Both counties qualified from Group B as Lofa and Grand Gedeh bid farewell.
Grand Gedeh managed a win on the last day over Lofa that lost all of their group matches. They won 2-1 over the Wologisi Boys to get their first and only three points from the competition.
In kickball, Nimba thrashed Bong 9-3 while Lofa registered the highest home runs in the competition by whipping Bong 17-3.
The 2016-17 football losing finalist, Maryland, continued its poor form in this year’s competitions as they bowed to Sinoe in their final group game. After drawing their first two matches, they were hoping to get a win against Sinoe to get a place in the quarterfinals. However, the final day turned out to the worse for the Cape Palmers as they lost 2-0 against the group host.
River Gee ensured they left from the group after securing a narrow win over Grand Kru on the last day of group games. A 1-0 win was enough to eliminate Grand Kru and help River Gee advance to the quarterfinals.
Maryland fans might have felt sad over their football team’s early elimination from the tournament but there was something to cheer at the end of the day after their kickball team made it to the quarterfinal sstage. Maryland beat Sinoe 9-6 to advance to the quarterfinals along with Grand Kru, which narrowly lost to River Gee 3-2 home-runs.
Group C turned out to be the toughest group, with three counties finishing at five points. Defending football champions, Montserrado, qualified to the quarterfinals as winner of Group C after a goalless draw with group host, Grand Bassa, which failed to make the quarterfinals. One win and two draws weren’t enough for the Bassa Boys who were unfortunate to not have scored more goals.
Margibi secured a win on the last day of the group games with a 2-1 win over River Cess. River Cess became the only county without a win as they go out with zero points. Margibi and Montserrrado walked out of the group ahead of Grand Bassa, which scored just a single goal in three games.
While Grand Bassa’s football team left the competition, their kickball team advanced to quarterfinals. Bassa’s kickball team gave the people of Grand Bassa reason to keep smiling by continuing their good form in the competition. They secure a 2-0 win over Montserrado to reach the quarterfinals. They qualified along with Margibi, which won their last game over River Cess by 2-0.
Bomi and Grand Cape Mount were the survivors in the group of three with Gbarpolu becoming the group loser in both football and kickball categories. With each county playing two games each, Cape Mount, the host, managed a win and a defeat while Bomi finished as the group leaders after securing two victories. They finished with six points while Cape Mount followed with three points. Gbarpolu ended the group with no win.
Like their football team, Bomi kickball team managed a 6-3 home-run over Gbarpolu to secure a quarterfinal spot along with Grand Cape Mount.
Full Football Group Standings:
Featured photo courtesy of Edwin Dolo