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A Game for the Ages – PC Strikers 1 vs. Traffic FC 2

Sports 14 Feb, 2024 2 Comments Follow News

Players from Traffic FC celebrate their famous victory over PC Strikers. (From left) Brent Hydes, Robert Jefferson and George Jefferson.

By Neil Murray

Sunday, January 15, 1984

In every footballing nation around the globe, it is not uncommon for there to be one, two, three or more games that stand out above the rest and ultimately define what football truly means to those who love ‘the beautiful game’. Maybe it’s a record score line, an upset, a fantastic goal or an unbelievable save… these are the moments and games fans will always remember and forever talk about.

One such game played on a warm Sunday night 40 years ago on January 15, 1984 at the Annex Field, was, to those in attendance, a game for the ages – never to be forgotten. The indomitable PC Strikers versus Traffic FC – George Town versus West Bay - Goliath versus David – league champions versus league strugglers… whichever way you spin it, this was presumed to be an easy win for defending CIFA League champions PC Strikers. But it wasn’t.

A short history lesson may shed some light on the football scene in 1984. PC Strikers was formed in 1982 to challenge the then power houses of local football namely McAlpine FC, CNB FC and Western Scholars  and their immediate impact was indeed noticeable. Champions in 1982/1983, undefeated since their inception and boasting some of the most talented and soon to be famous Caymanian youngsters including Lloyd ‘Stoka’ Ramoon, the Russell brothers – Easton and Sammy, Davis ‘Skyo’ Lawrence, Kim Samuels, Patrick Mcfield, Henry ‘Baker’ McField, Ricky ‘Seven’ Seymour, the deadly duo of Lee Ramoon and Arnold Berry up front and Cecil ‘CI’ Walton between the sticks.

Not to be outdone and certainly ‘bursting at the seams’ with talent, Traffic FC were a West Bay club originating mainly from the Northwest Point area, fielding players the likes of Brent ‘Apo’ Hydes, George ‘Skill’ Jefferson, Robert Jefferson, Sammy Powery, Cleveland Ebanks. Lloyd Ebanks, Johnson Ebanks, Jay Ebanks, Richard Parsons and Stephen Smith. All great players in their own right but probably not seen in the same light as the champions from the capital.

The back page headlines in the Tuesday, January 17, 1984 edition of the Caymanian Compass certainly epitomises the events that unfolded that night. The headline read: “Harder they come, harder they fall!! Traffic 2 PC Strikers 1”. Yes, Traffic FC had done the near impossible by defeating the reigning champions 2-1 in an enthralling game that shocked the entire Cayman community from Northwest Point to Rum

Point to Gun Bay in East End. For the very young, remember now, news in those days was circulated in one of four ways - word-of-mouth, land-based phones, Radio Cayman or via the Caymanian Compass newspaper. There was no e-mail, no cell phones, very few computers and certainly no social media.

As the Compass rightfully put it, “It was a game in which heroes were as numerous as the players on the field and there were ballplayers who rose to the occasion on Sunday night, for in playing the best, it brought out the best in them.”

Things went according to plan for PC Strikers in the first few minutes as talismanic midfielder Ricky ‘Seven’ Seymour opened the scoring in the fifth minute placing the ball past Moses Bonilla in the Traffic goal while leaving a few defenders grounded in his wake.

Unexpectedly, Traffic were level in a matter of minutes as Robert Jefferson chipped a magnificent free kick over the wall and beyond the reach of Cecil Walton in goal. Within 30 minutes, Traffic was in the lead as right-winger Cleveland Ebanks blasted past a helpless Walton in goal after picking up a loose ball that had bounced over an unsuspecting PC Strikers defender. With 15 minutes to go until halftime, Traffic had done what very few teams had done against the champions – come from behind to take the lead. Could the boys from the West do the impossible and keep PC Strikers from scoring?

Although a little surprised, Strikers’ fans weren’t worried. After all, they had Lee Ramoon and Arnold Berry – the two most prolific strikers in the game at that time and Strikers had made a name for themselves as being a second half team.

In the second half, Traffic’s midfield duo of Sammy Powery and Jay Ebanks were excellent as they worked tirelessly to thwart Strikers’ many attacks. Bonilla made a number of key saves as did his counterpart Walton in the opposite goal. Traffic’s powerful Brent ‘Apo’ Hydes did have the ball in the back of the Strikers net only to see his effort disallowed for offside.

Strikers’ normally reliable deadly duo of Ramoon and Berry had their chances but were often uncharacteristically off target and as the game wound down, Traffic’s travelling fans were in fantastic voice. Towards the end, Bonilla parried away a powerful 25-yard drive off the boot of Easton Russell and it seemed all was lost for the defending champs. With the sounding of the final whistle – Traffic had done it. Their fans invaded the field and hoisted their heroes to the heavens. The team in navy blue and yellow had defeated the once invincible red machine.

The Caymanian Compass’ reporter on the night summed up the result perfectly by writing these words, “It was no fluke victory, it was earned.”

This epic game has been tagged throughout the years as one of the, if not, the biggest upset in Cayman’s exciting but relatively short football history.

Unknowingly for all the players involved in that PC Strikers vs. Traffic FC game, their names will live on and be forever etched in the minds of those who were fortunate to be in the stands on that warm Sunday night.


Comments (2)

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Ezra Huntington

15 Feb, 2024

Brilliant game that night and a ZMemory for the Ages.

Thank you Neil.

Kattina Anglin

28 Feb, 2024

Yes! It was a game for the edges and this article brought it back to life! A most delightful read that had me on the field in every moment!