The Goldfield West Bay Hellcats regained flag football supremacy on Saturday with their fourth title in seven years.
So confident of victory were they that they had printed all the years of victory on T-shirts they donned immediately after beating the Dog House Bulldogs 12-6 in overtime; 2003, 2005, 2007 and this year’s.
The match at the Ed Bush Stadium on Saturday lived up to expectations with Perry ‘BoyWonder’ Levy scoring early for Hellcats, Jon Pump equalising late on for Dog House and Phil Brown clinching it in overtime.
Sponsored by Zulu’s Red Bull, this Cayman Islands Flag Football Association season was the best to date.
Phil Brown was all smiles after. He said: ‘I’m very happy about getting the winning touchdown but I’m more happy for my team. It was a total team effort and we pulled it through at the end.
‘They scored near the end but we bend but we never break. We knew we would get a chance to get it back and that’s what we did.
‘Dog House thought they were going to win! That’s news to me, man. They’re a good team and they came with full force and played a good game but we blocked out Phil O’Connor. He’s a good player, we cut off some corners on him and just locked him down like that.’
So where do Hellcats go from here? ‘Well, right now we’re going to down some drinks at Dog House but next year we expect to make it five.’
Hellcats coach George ‘Teddy’ Hydes rates this victory as top of the four. ‘That’s because it is the end of this decade for CIFFA and to come out on top as champions for the end of the decade with four titles, becoming a dynasty, it’s just great. We’ve been together through thick and thin and we’re here to stay and looking to defend it again next year.
‘Titles in alternate years has been our history. When we lose one year it makes us more determined to win. I hope that my guys will stay just as motivated to win next year so that we can do it back to back which has never happened in CIFFA history.
‘Dog House are a great team. Like us, they stay together, practice hard and have been in two or three finals but they’ve never won. They haven’t crossed that bridge yet, it will happen for them but I just didn’t want it to happen this year.’
Dog House running back Phil O’Connor said: ‘Our offense wasn’t really kicking today. There wasn’t that much blocking on our offense. Our defense did a really good job but Hellcats came out strong and they got it. Next year, we’ll get it.’
Levy was probably the happiest man there because he had just seen the women’s team he coaches, Walkers Wonders, beat Hammerheads Lady Sharks 12-0 to take the ladies’ championship.
‘I can’t decide which is best. It was a great season both for my girls, myself and the Hellcats. After last year’s disappointment with both teams losing early on this is the best year of my life in flag football.
‘I was happy to get into the end zone and put points on the board. Our defense is solid so once we scored I knew they would keep us in the game. I don’t care who scores as long as we get the win. Me and Phil were fortunate to score and that’s all it takes.
‘We usually never win back to back but obviously our aim next year is to do it back to back for the first time. Obviously, that will be our focus.
‘I don’t think any team takes the Hellcats lightly. We always come focused and are one of the top teams. Last year we fell off but this time we came back focused and next year we’ll come back strong and try to do it again.’