With the annual Indigenous Heritage Games culminated on Sunday evening, the finals of various sporting disciplines played at the Everest Cricket Club Ground revealed a rich vein of undiscovered talent.St Cuthbert’s, the two-time Female Cricket ChampionsThe annual event began on Friday morning with some 600 athletes participating in cricket, football, volleyball, archery and swimming. After two days filled with activities, the way was paved for the highly anticipated finals of several games to take place on Sunday.ArcheryLaluni, new Champions of the Male CricketArchery saw a commendable turnout, with enough participants to make the competition interesting. In the Under-12 category, the younger archers, given opportunity to exhibit their skills,Ranillo Khanhai excelled in the male category, followed by runners-up Nelon Lucas and Stephon Pearson.For the females, Athena Stanley emerged victorious over Isabelle Ramjohn, and among the 13-17 females Alliyah LeCruz trumped Sereena Clenkian and Rochelle Dondas.Michael Hing took the accolade in the male 13-17 category, while Elroy Jacobs and Joshua Sandweller occupied second and third positions.In the 18-and-over category, competition was fierce among these more experienced archers, but Ivor Williams emerged victorious for the males, followed by Daniel Leacock and Ronnie Lewis in second and third positions respectively.Brenette Gordon dominated the females, with Michelle Schumen and Joanna Samuels in second and third positions respectively.Mabaruma, new Champions of the Male VolleyballFootballSunset brought heightened excitement at the Everest Cricket Ground, with spectators and players alike anticipating action in the biggest event of the night — the male and female football finals.The extremely vocal crowd was openly voicing its expectations, and it was no secret that most persons were backing the Pariuma ladies of Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) to win this tournament.In the female final, defending champions Pariuma came up against Gladiators FC of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) in a rollercoaster match that saw the defending champs down by a goal at half-time.Pariuma seemed calm and collected even as they missed good scoring opportunities; and despite equalising, found themselves with a 2-1 deficit near the end of regulation time.Pariuma and Gladiators FC fight for ball possessionSomehow, they found it in themselves to produce a last minute goal that sent the game into overtime; and within the first three minutes of overtime play, struck again, to which Gladiators soon replied, positioning both teams at 3-3.At the penalty line, Gladiators seemed flustered, while Pariuma used their experience to register a flurry of 4 penalties to Gladiators’ 2. Thus the now three-time champions were able to lift the trophy once again.In the male category, Gold Rush Saints — one of many teams hailing from Region Nine — took on 2017 winners, the very best of Region One (Barima Waini): Port Kaituma.When the starting whistle sounded, the players from both sides were already gunning for the goal; and judging from style and tactics displayed, it was clear that either side had immense talent.Spectators were shocked when Gold Rush scored early, moving the score to 1-0. That goal placed the defending champions Port Kaituma in the awkward position of having to defend their goal while looking for score-levelling opportunities.Half-time passed quickly, and although Port Kaituma had several opportunities at goal, they were unable to convert those opportunities; thus they were dethroned.Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock, speaking at conclusion of the Games, declared them successful, given the motives.“Heritage Games is a great component of nation-building. This is what I would call bringing the hinterland to the coast. And….our capacity and our skills….could make a contribution to the Games generally, nationally, and even internationally,” he said.Port Kaituma and Saints Gold Rush in battleVolleyballThe day started with the Volleyball competition for males and females, wherein defending champions Morcua (males) and Waramuri (females) set out to retain their titles.Things did not go as planned this year, as neither of the two was able to secure a spot in the final, and the way was made for new contenders.In the male final, Mabaruma (Region 1) and Bartica (Region 7), competed in a round of three, with the former displaying their intentions upfront. The match lasted a mere two rounds, which Mabaruma won 15-13 and 15-8 to claim the title for Region 1, as Vance Harding picked up the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award.After that electrifying matchup, the females competed, with Moruca (Region 1) and St Cuthbert’s (Region 4) vying for the title and bragging rights. In the end, Moruca prevailed 15-6 and 15-11 to lift the trophy, with Annalisa Vincente at the forefront.Crowd jubilation could not be contained after Region One had swept both categories of this competition.CricketThe finals of the cricket competition got underway with the female category being played first. Defending champions St Cuthbert’s (Region 4) were playing against young talent, the Kartabo (Region 7) side.Sent in to bat, Kartabo, with lusty blows of pure power, made a whopping 90-2 off their allotted 8 overs.In the chase, St Cuthbert’s lost two early wickets, but Christina (80 not out) and Melanie (5) led them to a resounding win.Region 4 supporters swamped the field when the winning runs were hit, ecstatic that St Cuthbert’s had successfully defended their title to become two-time champions in that sport.The male final between defending champions Mahdia (Region 8) and Laluni saw a new champ being crowned.Mahdia asserted their dominance early to restrict Laluni to 29-5 in their allotted five overs. With 30 needed to win, it seemed a sure victory for Mahdia, but the Laluni bowlers so handled their business that they were able to defend the total and secure a 10-run win over Mahdia, who folded at 19-7 when their overs expired.