The fourth Annual Shepherd’s Cup Indoor Football Tournament, hosted by the Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Commission (CYC), saw new champions crowned at the Woodbrook Youth Indoor Facility on Saturday, August 26.
Each vicariate with the exception of Tobago fielded their best two teams, winners and runners-up of the various vicariate-level football tournaments held between June and August. The ten qualifying teams were:
North – St John the Evangelist, Diego Martin and St Anthony’s, Petit Valley
Suburban – MIQU, Bourg Mulatresse and St John’s, San Juan
Eastern – St Martin de Porres, Coryal and Holy Trinity, Arouca
South – OLPH, San Fernando and St Francis of Assisi, Erin
Central – Gran Couva/Tabaquite and St Phillip and St James, Chaguanas
An online voting campaign also guaranteed the two most popular third place teams a shot at the title. St Francis of Assisi, Sangre Grande, and St Michael’s, Maracas were the winners of the online vote.
The day began with a prayer led by Vicar of the Northern Vicariate, Fr Gerard Bernier, representing Archbishop Joseph Harris, who was regrettably unable to attend. Other ‘shepherds’ who were present to show support were Msgr Michael De Verteuil, Frs Harold Imamshah, Raymond Francis and Matthew Ragbir.
The prayer was followed by the 12 teams standing at attention on the court and the crowd of supporters proudly singing our national anthem.
The group matches flowed smoothly and swiftly, played against the background of crowd chants, rocking rhythm sections, and gospel music from the DJ. Flair, fair play and a high degree of skill were the order of the day from the talented footballers. The lunch hour ushered in surprise entertainment from the performance group, Helter Skelter: these ‘nuns’ brought the house down with songs from the movie ‘Sister Act’.
After lunch, the competition heated up to fever pitch during the quarter finals, and soon enough the four best teams emerged for the semis. St John’s defeated OLPH to clinch the third place spot in the competition. The final was contested between the Suburban Vicariate teams, Bourg Mulatresse and San Juan. After a promising and early two-nil lead, San Juan was outplayed by the gutsy and determined Bourg Mulatresse team, who emerged victorious 5 – 2, to be crowned the 2017 champions of the Shepherd’s Cup Tournament.
Trophies and medals were presented by Winston Garcia, the Episcopal Delegate for Youth, and Stephan Moseley, chair of the Shepherd’s Cup organising committee.
Thanks to the parishes which made donations in cash and kind, the regional youth moderators and priests, all the participating teams and their coordinators, all our volunteers, the Red Cross, the staff at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, and Spalicious for the lovely giveaways. We also thank CYC staff, and the organising committee, whose time, talent and creativity made the entire tournament possible.
Lastly, we thank the Lord for a beautiful day of fun, faith, good football and great Catholic hospitality. – CYC
Photos: Gerard-Paul Wanliss