BrandArena: GTBank MASTERS CUP SEASON 4: Road to the finals

Monday 15 June 2015

GTBank MASTERS CUP SEASON 4: Road to the finals

The Guaranty Trust Bank’s Master Cup season 4 semi-finals on Friday, June 12th and 13th 2015 respectively at the Onikan Stadium Lagos saw Queens College, Ansar-UD-Deen Girls, St Gregory Boys and the foremost secondary school in Lagos, St Finbarr’s as they got their tickets to the finals.

Ariori Dolapo from Queens College. 
The Masters Cup that was formerly known as The Heritage Cup was formed for first generation heritage schools and private schools. It has also become a football championship for the secondary school participants as it serves as a platform for the healthy sportsmanship and ultimately discovers raw football talents by scout agents.

The day one opening match from the female category; Queen’s College Yaba versus Ansar-UD-Deen Girls High School Isolo where the defending winners, Queens College crossed into the finals with a win of 4-0.

It started on a high note when barely three minutes into the match, Ariori Dolapo scored the first goal and later scored two more goals into the match to get a hat trick. At the eleventh minute, Dolapo input her second goal and by this time the Queens College dominated the field of play against Ansar-UD-Deen girls. The third goal came in the second half from Adeleke Adefunke. However, this did not stop the winning team from resting on their evident victory. Ariola Dolapo got his hat trick when she sealed their triumph with a fourth goal.
Fatimah Oyebanji From Ansar-UD-Deen.
But it was a dramatic male semi-final match when Western College, Yaba played St. Gregory’ College Obalende as both team came to play for pride. It was goalless at half time but The Captain Ekene Jebefume of Western College broke the deadlock 9 minutes into the second half. However, Onigbo Oke of St Gregory’s College brought his team back by leveling up 10 minutes before full time.

It all looked like the game will go into penalties but a last minute effort from the Obalende boys saw Frank Okafor scoring at the stroke of regulation time to give St. Gregory’s College the GTBank Masters Cup Finals ticket for the second time in two years.

While commenting on the competition, Mr. Segun Agbaje, Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank said, “At GTBank, we believe that sports and education are fundamental in fostering cohesion amongst youths and imperative to their development. We are therefore proud to be pioneers of this initiative that provides an avenue for students to showcase their talents and passion for the game of football while stressing the importance of education in nation building”.  He further stated “This competition also serves as a platform for the players and students of participating schools to interact with one another in sharing ideas, and creating an atmosphere that promotes team work and encourages fair play.”

Following the tempo set by the schools that played yesterday, Day 2 of the GTBank Masters Cup Semi-finals started with much gusto.

The day 2 opening match: Ansar-UD-Deen Girls High School, Itire defeated debutant Federal Government College, Ijanikin 3-1 in a game that saw both sides scoring in the first 6 minutes. Fatima Oyebanji opened the score line in the 3rd minutes that FGC replied minutes later through Toyosi Towoju's free kick.

However, the Ansar UD-Deen Girls dominated the entire match and Fatima got two more goals to complete the domination.

Speaking to Fatimah Oyebanji, an SS3 student from Ansar-UD-Deen, Itire who won Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award at the just concluded season 4 of the GTBank Masters Cup semi-final held on Saturday June 13, at Onikan stadium. Fatimah scored hat trick that gave her school ticket to the final.

“ I am very happy to help my school with 3 goals today. I really appreciate my parent for their full support when I started my football career as early as 8 years. From 8am-3pm I pay raft attention to my book while from 4, I go to the field for training. As the Captain of the team, love to play for Nigeria National team years to come and help them lift Trophies like Asisat Oshoala”

But it was a different story when St. Finbarr's College, Akoka played Jibril Martins Memorial Grammar School, Iponri. St. Finbarr's were a goal up in the 3rd minutes through a penalty that Opara Nnadozie converted. It was a well-balanced match as both teams pressured each other in a bid to get the needed edge.

St Finbarr's waiting anxiously for the last
 penalty that saw them through to the final
Jibril Martins chance came in the 53rd minute as Okunsanya Faisol broke the compact St. Finbarr's defense line and he slotted in the equalizer taking the match into the first penalty shootout of the tournament this season as the game ended 1-1 at regulation time.

At the penalties, St Finbarr's showed why they are the most successful school in the history of grassroots football in the country as they converted all four of their penalty takes while Jibril Martins only scored 2 and this sends St. Finbarr's College through to the finals.

At the finals the Winners will be rewarded with the sum ofN750,000.00, N500,000.00 and N350,000.00 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners respectively in both the male and female categories.

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is one of the few Nigerian financial institutions that have maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, most especially in sports education. The GTBank Masters Cup as well as the Principals Cup tournament in Lagos and Ogun state are some of the projects the bank has taken up in this regards.

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