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Celtic claims hardware at Sudbury Star Cup

Boasting the deepest bench of any team entered in the Sudbury Star Cup would pay dividends come Monday afternoon at the James Jerome Sports Complex for the Scarborough City Celtic.
The Scarborough City Celtic captured the Sudbury Star Cup.

Boasting the deepest bench of any team entered in the Sudbury Star Cup would pay dividends come Monday afternoon at the James Jerome Sports Complex for the Scarborough City Celtic.

Locked in a scoreless tie, at the half, with four-time tournament champions Mississauga A.C. Diavoli, the Celtic scored early in the final 45, adding a pair of insurance markers just over a minute apart in racking up a 3-0 win and their first ever title.

The contest may have developed differently if not for the work of Celtic keeper Fab Kabongo, named tournament MVP after yet another impressive performance. In the 19th minute, Kabongo turned aside speedy Anthony Halm from some 10 yards out after the Diavoli striker found a slight seam in the Scarborough back line.

Kabongo came up big again in the final minute of the first half, getting a hand out quickly on a touch in tight from Noel Ellerton. While Mississauga enjoyed the better of the scoring chances, the Celtic did counter with one quality look as Jean-Marc Etienne Taylor cut down the left flank, finding some room before sending his shot drifting to the right.

Ironically, it would be Taylor, moving in on a corner kick from his usual post at either left outside fullback or mid, who would open the scoring just three minutes into the second half.

The goal came courtesy of a corner kick, but was anything but a set play.

"That was definitely an impromptu goal," said the Guyanese Torontonian with a laugh. "I saw my player, Luke Morrison, flick the ball from the near post. I was wide open, so I just smashed it home."

In the 52nd minute, Kabongo would be called upon once more, diving to his right to turn aside a blast from 25 yards out, as Scarborough opted to try and defend their one goal advantage 'til the end, allowing Mississauga to attack and re-group on a regular basis.

In the 79th minute, the window for Celtic to land the crushing blow would arrive, as a foul called just outside the 18-yard box was all Scarborough would need. Stephen Martino drilled a shot to the top right corner, just above the wall, and Nick Orton sealed the deal less than two minutes later with Mississauga trying desperately to force the offence.

Combining forces of the previous Toronto Celtic team with the younger Scarborough City crew, the champions travelled to Sudbury with enough players to substitute freely, a huge advantage when playing six games in three days.

"It's really tough," acknowledged Taylor. "We were playing a lot of long balls out there, especially on the grass. It was really hot."

That sentiment was echoed by the men of Croatia Adria, the one local team to advance to semifinal play on Sunday.

Despite fielding the tournament additions of former Laurentian Voyageur Brian Kavaratzis and his southern Ontario teammates Bryan Da Cruz (Niagara University) and Craig Hanton (Rider University), Adria were still hard-pressed to have a whole lot more than 11 players on hand for any single outing.

"We had limited bodies for the weekend, and once the games started piling up, everybody was pretty much gassed," noted defender Akshay Varghese.

A product of the current Impact U21 men's team, Varghese moved to Croatia Adria this year, given the demands of his current university studies.

He acknowledged that bringing in an influx of new talent, while helpful, also presented some challenges.

"We got together for one practice on Friday," he said. "It is tough trying to know people's movements, where they like to move off the ball.

"Saturday was just getting used to everybody, but Sunday we played well as a team."

With a record of two wins and two ties, Croatia Adria finished behind Scarborough City in their pool, falling 2-0 to Mississauga in the Monday morning semifinal before being blanked 1-0 by the Portuguese Soccer Club of Sault Ste. Marie.

Following is a breakdown of all games played over the weekend:

Croatia Adria 0
North Bay Dragons FC 0

Sudbury Athletic Voima 1 (Ko Korenromp)
Sudbury United FC 1 (Javon Annon)

Scarborough City Celtic 1 (Kashiff De Jonge)
Sudbury Impact U21 0

Mississauga A.C. Diavoli 3 (Christopher Picanco-2, Anthony Halm)
SSM Portuguese SC 1 (Dave Szczpaniak)

Croatia Adria 3 (Bryan Da Cruz-2, Craig Hanton)
Sudbury Italia Flyers 1 (Joel Cropp)

Wexford Hi Profile 1 (Francis Farrell)
Sudbury United FC 1 (Yves Kalala)

Scarborough City Celtic 2 (Joe Vaz, Joe LeCava)
North Bay Dragons 0

SSM Portuguese SC 2 (Joseph Iferi-2)
Sudbury Athletic Voima 1 (Nick Charlemagne)

Sudbury Impact U21 1 (Roberto Bagnato)\
Sudbury Italia Flyers 0

Wexford Hi Profile 4 (Jeff Warren-2, Tiye Martin, Francis Farrell)
Mississauga A.C. Diavoli 1 (Jesse Stratton)

North ay Dragons 0
Sudbury Italia Flyers 0

SSM Portuguese SC 1 (Karl Weise)
Wexford Hi Profile 0

Mississauga A.C. Diavoli 5 (Anthony Halm-2, Scott Nesbitt-2, Noel Ellerton)
Sudbury United FC 0

Croatia Adria 1 (Bryan Da Cruz)
Scarborough City Celtic 1 (Kashiff De Jonge)

Wexford Hi Profile 2 (Jeff Warren, Allan Evelyn)
Sudbury Athletic Voima 0

Sudbury Impact U21 1 (Massimo Cimino)
North Bay Dragons 0

Scarborough City Celtic 5 (Kashiff De Jonge-2, Joe Vaz, Luke Morrison, Joe LeCava)
Sudbury Italia Flyers 0

SSM Portuguese SC 3 (Joseph Iferi, Joe Medaglia, Alex Fera)
Sudbury United FC 0

Mississauga A.C. Diavoli 6 (Neil Ellerton-2, Ugo Frankfelli, Anthony Halm, Daniel Pinto, Jesse Stratton)
Sudbury Athletic Voima 1 (Julius Kenyamanyara)

Croatia Adria 2 (Marco Armiento, Craig Hanton)
Sudbury Impact U21 1 (Zach Gallo)

Scarborough City Celtic 2 (Mike Hadden, Joe LeCava)
SSM Portuguese SC 1 (Dave Szczpaniak)

Mississauga A.C. Diavoli 2 (Jesse Stratton, Noel Ellerton)
Croatia Adria 0

Bronze Medal Game
SSM Portuguese SC 1 (Joe Medaglia)
Croatia Adria 0

Championship Final
Scarborough City Celtic 3 (Jean-Marc Etienne Taylor, Stephen Martino, Nick Orton)
Mississauga A.C. Diavoli 0