December 3, 2020

Captain Ebanks Leads by Example

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Scholars International avoided a third successive Cayman Premier League draw with a convincing and desperately needed victory over George Town Sports Club.

Mark Ebanks was handed the captains armband for this game and it certainly seemed to inspire the young striker as he spearheaded a wonderful attacking display by Scholars. Ebanks created everything Scholars had to offer going forward; the Cayman International Striker is no stranger to hitting the back of the net as he scored all of Cayman’s goals during their recent 2014 FIFA Brazil World Cup Qualifying Campaign.

Having drawn their last two league games – anything but a victory was unthinkable for Scholars as they looked to keep pace with high flying Elite Sports Club and the emerging Bodden Town F.C. All of these clubs rounded up the top three of the Cayman Islands premier league.

The early signs were good for the Scholars and they settled down early in the 8th minute after Thomas Elliot managed to get his head onto a free kick that was whipped in by Scholars new comer Nahun Rodriguez, Elliot beat two George Town defenders and goal keeper Clay Coleman to convert from an acute angle.

Two minutes later George Town was awarded a free kick of their own in a dangerous position just outside the eighteen yard box. Justin Pierre managed to bend his shot up and around the Scholars wall only to be denied by Scholars keeper Alexis Reve who pulled out a superb save diving to his top left to deny Pierre. Shortly after George Town’s Garth Anderson wasted a half chance for GT after Fabian Malcolm pulled the ball back to set up a strike that sailed high and wide.

Scholar’s captain Mark Ebanks took over from mid-way in the first half, Ebanks was instrumental in attack, moving the ball with pace and demonstrating an excellent range of passing that switched the direction of Scholars attack in a heartbeat. George Town were put back on their heels by this and Ebanks made them pay in the 22nd minute leaving the GT defence wanting after receiving a through ball 25 yards out Ebanks put on the jets to create himself a one on one opportunity with the GT goal keeper, Ebanks slotted home bottom right to put his team up 2:0. Ebanks goal certainly backed up his overall performance on the night and laid the platform for a vital win against a George Town side who struggled to retain possession in the face of a bustling and energetic attacking display by Scholars.

George Town came out in the second half with more urgency but failed to create any clear cut opportunities. To their credit, GT never gave up the fight and were rewarded a penalty in the 89th minute after Scholars goal keeper Alexis Reve clattered into GT substitute Kevin Moore. Fabian Malcolm converted the penalty to set up a grand finale.

The last two minutes of regulation plus added time were frantic, George Town pushed forward in numbers and were rewarded a free kick in the closing moments of the game. Unfortunately the resulting corner set up a Scholars counter attack in which man of the match Mark Ebanks broke away with great speed and set up Damalay Howelle who fired home to end the tie. Howelle’s strike wrapped up a good nights work for Scholars who deservedly took all 3 points to keep pace with league leaders Elite SC.

In the early tie at Ed Bush Sports Complex in West Bay, Bodden Town F.C. put on a fantastic display against a struggling Cayman Athletic side that have only picked up one win so far this season. BT put on a pass and move clinic as they moved the ball with speed and created a number of openings throughout the game. Arvid Harris took home the plaudits after bagging two solo efforts for Bodden Town, his first coming in the opening 15 minutes. Luis Calderon hit a superb volley in the 43rd minute just before half time to give BT a two goal advantage before the break. Harris completed the scoring in the 75th minute with another solo effort.

At the T.E. McField (Annex) Sports Complex in George Town struggling teams Future and Roma played out a 1:1 draw in the early fixture, Paul Brown scoring for Future, Marvin Grant for Roma. The late fixture saw current Cayman Premier League Champions and league leaders Elite SC come from a goal behind against Tigers FC to win and continue their superb form. Since losing to Roma on the opening day of the Cayman Islands Premier League, Elite SC have only dropped two points in eight games. Alfredo Challenger put Tigers ahead in the 55th minute, making the most of a rare counter attack. Elite levelled in the 62nd minute through Alex Belcher and completed the comeback in the 80th courtesy of Jairo Sanchez who scored his second goal of the season for Elite.

Week 10 hosts some intriguing match ups, the must see game of the week kicks off at 7:00pm at the T.E McField (Annex) Sports Complex as top club Elite SC host second place Scholars International. At the same time at the Bodden Town field, George Town SC looks to rebound against Bodden Town F.C. who is in great form, winning four of their last five.

In the 5:00pm fixtures, Tigers and Future will battle it out at Bodden Town field, whilst the T.E. McField (Annex) Sports Complex hosts Roma United and Cayman Athletic Sports Club.

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