November 24, 2020

Battle of the West at the Annex

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The third day of the 2011/2012 CUC Primary Football League (PFL) Playoffs took place this past Saturday, January 14 at the Annex Field with the “Battle of the West” being the featured game in the prestigious Under 11 Champions Cup division.

The day’s proceedings began with the Under 9 Consolation Cup as Playoff leaders George Town Primary defeated Triple C 2-0, Cayman International School downed Prospect Primary 2-0 and Red Bay Primary beat Truth For Youth 2-0.

In the Under 9 Champions Cup, a somewhat depleted Cayman Prep maintained top spot in the Playoffs following a hard-fought 2-1 victory over second-placed Sir John A. Cumber Primary even without prolific goal-scorer Aaron Jervis who was off the Island. In other games, St. Ignatius Prep drew 1-1 with Grace Academy following a wonder goal by Brad Lansdell, NorthEast Schools and Savannah Primary drew 0-0 and the impressive South Sound Schools defeated Bodden Town Primary 4-0.

In the Under 11 Consolation Cup, Bodden Town Primary secured a semi final spot as the number one seed in the division after defeating NorthEast Schools 3-0 while Savannah Primary and Prospect Primary drew 1-1. With Bodden Town’s victory, the four remaining teams all have an opportunity to make the final three spots in the semi finals with one Playoff Day to go.

In the Under 11 Champions Cup, George Town secured their spot in the semi finals following a convincing 4-1 victory over Triple C and Truth For Youth defeated Red Bay Primary 3-0. The game between St. Ignatius Prep and Cayman Prep was postponed due to a number of players being off the Island.

In the day’s featured game, Group A champions Sir John A. Cumber Primary planned to keep their undefeated streak intact against a much-improved Grace Academy in the highly anticipated “Battle of the West” showdown.

Although Grace Academy gained only a single point from their two previous Playoff games, last week’s inspiring 0-0 draw with St. Ignatius Prep had renewed their confidence and desire to prove that they are able to compete against the better teams in the PFL.

The game began as expected with a few wayward passes, mistimed tackles and overall scrappy play. The usual slick passing and effortless movements spectators have come to expect from the Sir John A. Cumber outfit was missing. Grace had a plan – control the Sir John A. Cumber dangermen including Kameron Mendez and Jahim Webster.

Grace’s Nathaniel Kelly was assigned to shadow Kameron Mendez and did an excellent job of hounding the Sir John A. Cumber standout. Chances at goal were few and far between with both teams settling for long-range efforts, which never really troubled the goalkeepers.

But, as with any good team, Sir John A. Cumber began to settle and soon broke the deadlock as Jahim Webster powered a shot goal ward which the Grace goalkeeper uncharacteristically let slip through his fingers, between his legs into the net.

Up 1-0, Sir John A. Cumber began to take control of the game as Doujaughn Murray stamped his authority in midfield. Abrahim Gordon and Xavier Comment were keeping Grace’s speedy striker Gunnar Studenhofft in check and Sir John A. Cumber’s forwards were beginning to put Callhan Studenhofft and his defenders under pressure.

Grace’s resilience paid dividends as against the run of play, substitute Jaden Ebanks broke free from the Sir John A. Cumber defence and calmly placed his shot into the left corner of the goal to level the score. Grace’s players and fans were ecstatic and young Jaden was engulfed by teammates.

From the resulting restart, Sir John A. Cumber went in search of the winner and almost immediately, man-of-the-match Doujhaugn Murray put his team back in front for good as he finished off a cross with a superbly taken shot.

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