HSBC’s great deposits

Five-a-side football constantly sees intense games.

Typically, when playoff time rolls around, emotions show up even more.

Last week saw a pair of tense games as four teams went to war to decide who would play for the division two championship of the WestTel five-a-side league.

The epic semi-finals would take place at the WestTel Arena of King’s Sports Centre.

By week’s end HSBC and Paramount All-Stars would be the content teams as they pulled off impressive victories.

HSBC got into the finals with a 4-3 win over Marriott International F.C.

National footballer Chris Ebanks was the hero for the bankers with two goals. The leading goal scorer in the Gold Conference during the regular season, Ebanks brandished relentless footwork and a deft shooting touch.

Forde Pearson chipped in one and Stefan Kormos added another.

Marriott countered with two goals from Lee Parry (the leading goal scorer in the XGen Conference during the regular season) and one from Lee Bridger.

The game was electric from the start. HSBC showed great passing early and soon took the lead.

By half-time the game seemed all but over as HSBC poured in shot after shot and soon had a handful of goals to show for it.

To their credit the Marriott team never gave up and in the second half they mounted a brief come-back with two goals in under three minutes.

However their rally would fall flat as the side lacked fresh legs to come in off the bench.

Meanwhile Paramount booked their slot in the finals with a dramatic 3-3 penalty shoot-out win over McAlpine United.

The game was more a battle of will than of actual skills as the sides let their emotions dictate the pace of the game.

As one could imagine there was some physical play on the court and more than a few fouls. From there the penalties would be issued in force.

The match saw some six penalties with Leighton Elliott of McAlpine coming out the worse for wear with two unsportsmanlike calls.

At least Elliott would contribute on the score sheet as he netted a goal with team-mates Nakia Dunn and Christopher Borton each ramming home a goal.

On the other hand Paramount never backed down. They stood tall and matched McAlpine’s scoring. Cricketer Alvan Babb had a goal with Gary Hinds and Richard Clarke getting in on the scoring action.

Through regulation no one could find the golden goal. The result would be a riveting five minute overtime session.

Neither defense slipped up though so a penalty shoot-out would have to decide the winner.

In the best-of-five shootout Paramount would floor their opposition slotting in their first three goals.

Meanwhile McAlpine clearly were exhausted and their fatigue caused them not to find the back of the net on any of their shots.

What makes the victories even more impressive is HSBC and Paramount were not great teams. Both came into the playoffs in the middle of the pack sporting No.5 seeds.

But the clubs got into another gear in the post-season, making upset after upset to get to the finals.

The result of those games is that tonight will be a defining moment for two sides. On the one hand the division two finals get going at 7pm when HSBC hopes to deposit a bunch of goals on Paramount.

From there a pair of division one teams look to cement their legacies at 8:30pm as perennial contenders RCC Strikers and Burger King square off.

RCC, lead by Antwan Seymour, are defending champions while national team player Renee Carter and company are hungry for their first title.