The NCSM is Liberia’s premium sporting competition since its inception 62 years ago, even though there have been series of pauses due to some political crisis or monetary issues.
First, though, in Group A, Sinoe County was a surprise winner at the Doris Williams Sports Stadium in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County with a famous 2-1 win over last year finalist Margibi County.
The “Gibi Boys,” took the lead midway in the first half following some sluggish defending from the “Sinoeans.” However, the Southeasterners, who were better in attack, reconsolidated in the second period and inflicted a painful defeat on their opponent.
It ended 0-0 between host Grand Bassa and sisterly county River Cess at the jam packed Doris Williams Stadium on Saturday, January 4, 2020, thus leaving several home fans frustrated.
The biggest surprise of the season came in Group B all the way in Voinjama, Lofa County, where host Lofa defeated joint highest winner Nimba County by 1-0.
The “Wologizi Boys,” who are being well-motivated through financial support by county officials and well-meaning citizens, scored the only goal of the match in the first 4 minutes and defended well to the end.
Both sides ended the match by one player down as one player each was red-carded by the central referee for “indecent” behavior.
Grand Gedeh started on a fine footing with a 1-0 win over neighbor River Gee in an-all Southeastern derby in Harper City, Maryland County in Group C. The host-Maryland settled to a scoreless draw with Grand Kru County earlier in the group.
It was another surprise result in Group D as former champions Gbarpolu, defeated Montserrado County by 1-0 at the David Tarweh Stadium in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County to top the group after the first round of matches.
Host Cape Mounty and neighbor Bomi County shared the points after drawing goalless in the same group (Group D).
Over to kickball, host and defending champions Grand Bassa County trailed from 2-0 and later 4-2 homes down to beat River Cess 8-5 homes, while last year finalists Margibi downed Sinoe 8-2 in Group A.
With only three counties in Group B, host Lofa County slumped to a 3-2 defeat against Nimba County, though taking the lead earlier.
Maryland succumbed to an 11-6 defeat to Grand Kru in Group C, and Grand Gedehfailed a major test against River Gee as they were defeated 6-5 homes.
BomiCounty defeated host Grand Cape Mount 1-0 home, and Montserrado thumped Gbarpolu7-2 in Group D.