The group stage of the 2018/19 National County Sports Meet was concluded at the weekend with some shocking results as two of the tournament’s favorites failed to make it to the last eight.
Champions, Montserrado County were shocked when Gbarpolu County whipped Sinoe County 1-0 to win group one ahead of Nimba County, thus eliminating the two-time champions at the group stage.
Montserrado, who needed a win over Nimba to confirm a place in the quarterfinal, could only manage a 0-0 draw to finish the Group one campaign on 4 points from three matches.
That result qualified Nimba who finished on five points and Gbarpolu County on six points, thus eliminating Sinoe and Montserrado counties.
Grand Bassa failed to reach the big eight for the second year running as they were beaten 1-0 by a spirited Maryland County at the Albert T. White Stadium in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County in Group Two closing fixture.
That victory for Maryland also qualified Grand Gedeh as runner-up in Group Two on two points, while Maryland won the group with four points.
Grand Bassa only manage to pick up a point, making it their worse performance in the competition since the tournament was resumed in 2004.
In Group Three, Lofa County shocked bookmakers and the Kru supporters as they came from a goal down to eliminated Grand Kru County who just needed a point to book a slot in the quarterfinal.
Lofa scored two second half goals to win Grand Kru County 2-1 to pick up the runner-up slot in Group Three.
Margibi defeated Cape Mount 5-1 to win the group on goals fall as Saturday’s results in Kakata saw them finishing level on six points with Lofa and Grand Kru.
Grand Kru dropped by the way side on goal difference with Lofa who had two goals difference to Grand Kru one.
It was also drama in Tubmanburg Bomi County, when Group Four Host, Bomi County scored an injury time goal to beat Group favorite, River Gee County 1-0.
That score was enough to knockout River Gee County and hand the runner-up slot to Bomi County who ended their group campaign on six points. With River Gee finishing third in four points.
Last tournament defeated finalist, Bong County won the group with seven points after trashing already eliminated Rivercess County 6-0.
In kickball, there were also some dramas as Montserrado County Girls defeated Nimba County 2-1 home-runs only to kiss goodbye to the tournament, because, Sinoe County outclassed Gbarpolu County to a 3-2 home-runs win to finish as Group One winners. The two sides played nine rounds of innings before a winner could emerge.
Despite falling in their first match, Sinoe won the group ahead of Nimba with more home-runs scored.
Kickball Champions Grand Bassa County scored the biggest win with a 12-1 home-runs whitewashing of Maryland County to win Group Two ahead of Grand Gedeh County.
In Group Three, Lofa whipped Grand Kru girls 1-0 home-run to finish in the runner-up slot behind Margibi County who lost their final group match to Grand Cape Mount County.
Bomi girls joined Bong County to qualify from Group Four on the last day.
Bomi defeated River Gee 3-1 home-runs to collect the runner-up slot behind Bong County who defeated Rivercess 4-1 home-runs.
Bong Girls are the only kickball team that won all of their group matches.
It was the first time in the county meet history that all quarterfinalists were known on the last day of the group matches.
Those qualified will now move to Paynesville to fave their respective opponents in the quarter-finals which kicked off January 5, 2019 at the Samuel Kenyon Doe Sports Complex.
DAY ONE January 5, 2019
G-43. Sinoe vs Margibi===Kickball
G-44. Lofa vs Nimba=== Kickball
G-45. Gbarpolu vs Lofa==== Football
G-46. Margibi vs Nimba ===== Football
DAY TWO January 6, 2019
G-47. Grand Bassa vs Bomi=====Kickball
G-48. Bong vs Grand Gedeh=====Kickball
G-49. Maryland vs Bomi ======== Football
G-50. Bong vs Grand Gedeh======Football