Sunset FC beamed with family fun

There is no substitute for a relaxing time outdoors.

Throw in competitive football action, women and free beer and the recipe is there for a classic.

Such is the case with the recent Sunset six-a-side football tournament.

The Camana Bay sports field was host to some 16 teams competing on a sweltering Saturday for a pair of trophies.

With bikini-clad women and domino-slamming spectators looking on, the teams squared off for some eight hours in the sun.

In the end two would stand tall above the rest as Maples FC won the Plate trophy while the Gaza All-Stars, lead by national football team player Rene Carter won the Cup.

Carter was not the only football star present at the competition. Between Tom Elliott, Garth Anderson and Arden ‘Cheeky’ Rivers there was no shortage of skilled footballers.

Other local athletes were also present including local volleyball player Shervin Rankin.

All would be rewarded with great refreshments courtesy of Caybrew and Caribo. The duo quelled the thirsts and hungers of the 150 plus people present with free beer and hotdogs.

The action may have come to a halt a few weeks ago but many are still buzzing about their experience at Camana Bay.

Among them was local runner Mark Hogan.

Hogan, known more for competing in road runs than football matches, took the pitch with a social team called Billy Bones.

The squad may not have done that great (finishing last in its division at 0-1-2 without a goal scored) but Hogan enjoyed himself.

‘I think the whole event was very well organized and it was a great turnout and a lot of fun.

‘There were some really good teams out there. The conditions were tough due to the extreme heat and a few people recovering from the full moon party the night before.

‘Maybe next year they could organize it for a cooler time of year.’

For Hogan, who also plies his skills to five-a-side football team at Kings Sports Centre, the free refreshments made up for his team’s performance.

‘I think next year we will probably participate again as it was great fun.

‘Despite not progressing so well the free beer and hotdogs made it even more worthwhile.’

Another happy participant was Robert Woods. Known to many as one of Cayman’s best senior golfers, Woods applied his energy to being a referee throughout the day.

He would be joined by a number of volunteers including Tim McCarthy and Marcus Stafford.

Woods explained how he got involved.

‘As a one-time player on the Sunset team I was asked to assist as a referee. Having been on both the CIFA and FIFA referees list several years ago I agreed to make a comeback and help out.

‘It was a long day with the first game kicking off before 11am and the final being completed in the twilight, but was thoroughly enjoyable.’

Woods had his work cut out for him keeping up with the younger players.

Nevertheless he was happy the games went off without incident.

‘For the most part the teams behaved impeccably with no red cards and only a handful of yellow cards handed out during the whole tournament.

‘Even in the latter stages when teams realised that they could win the ‘big prize’, things stayed well under control and the players, referees and organisers deserve credit for this.

‘For me it was great fun, I realised that I miss the refereeing and I have started a fitness campaign to lose a few pounds! If all goes well, you may well see me out on the Annex again before the year’s end.’

Tournament organizer Mark Keys was in good spirits long after the event due to the feedback and support he received.

Keys talked about his impression of the event.

‘I’m delighted. We had over 106 people playing and a couple dozen watching. With Caybrew coming out and giving the complementary beers and lots of people hanging out it turned into a good family day out, which is fantastic.

‘That was one of things we were striving for. Nothing is better than watching some good football, hanging with your mates and having a cold beer.

‘Without all the sponsors it would not have been possible. Much thanks to Caybrew, Caribo Ltd, MEPCO Ltd (newly appointed club sponsor), The Exchange Bar, Digicel, Cayman Screen Print and Dart Management.’