PFL Moves into Knockout Round

This weekend marks the completion of the Group Stage of the 2006/2007 CUC Primary Football League competition. Come Saturday, January 6, when the players are refreshed after a well-deserved ‘winter’ break (or Christmas break, to be more precise), the Knockout Round takes centre stage. This Saturday, January 9 has been earmarked as the final day of group competition when teams are able to complete games, which for some reason, were postponed during the regular season. On Saturday, Triple C plays Cayman Prep with both the U-9 and U-11 teams scheduled to play.

The format for this years CUC Primary Football League has taken on a new dimension whereby the fourteen U-11 schools were divided into two groups of seven (Group A and Group B), and the twelve U-9 schools were divided into two groups of six (Group A and Group B). From these groups, the top four finishers from each group advance to the Champions Cup and the bottom three (U-11) and bottom two (U-9), advance to the Consolation Cup. The Knockout Round is straight elimination with the winners continuing on until there are two finalists in the U-11 Champions Cup, two finalists in the U-9 Champions Cup, two finalists in the U-11 Consolation Cup, and two finalists in the U-9 Consolation Cup.

For the U-11 Champions Cup, the top four finishers in each Group are seeded as to the position they finished during the regular season. First in Group A plays the fourth finisher in Group B; second in Group A plays third in Group B; third in Group A plays second in Group B; and fourth in Group A plays first in Group B.

For the U-11 Consolation Cup, there will be six schools competing comprising of the bottom three finishers in each Group. Schools finishing fifth during the regular season will automatically receive a bye into the semi-finals. The other two semi-finalists will comprise of the winners of the sixth place finisher in Group A versus the seventh-place finisher in Group B and the seventh-place finisher in Group A versus the sixth-place finisher in Group B.

For the U-9 Champions Cup, the format will be similar to the U-11 Champions Cup where the top finisher plays fourth in Group B, second in Group A plays third in Group B, and so on.

For the U-9 Consolation Cup, the bottom two finishers in each Group advance to the semi-finals where the fifth-place finisher in Group A plays the sixth-place finisher in Group B, and the sixth-place finisher in Group A plays the fifth-place finisher in Group B. Winners of both games advance to the finals.

The dates for the Knockout Round of the competition are Saturday, January 6 for the quarter-finals, Saturday, January 13 for the semi-finals, and Saturday, January 20 for the finals.

‘The season thus far has been excellent,’ said league organizer Neil Murray. ‘In the U-11 Group A, John A. Cumber Primary and St. Ignatius Prep have emerged as favourites to win the prestigious U-11 title with both schools finishing the regular season undefeated. In fact, the two schools faced each other on the final day of competition and battled to a hard-fought 0-0 draw. Not to be outdone, Group B’s Prospect Primary also finished very strongly with five wins and a draw to match John A. Cumber Primary’s league leading record. With a victory over Triple C in Group B this weekend, Cayman Prep could also equal the record of John A. Cumber Primary and Prospect Primary. Rounding off the top four finishers in Group A are Bodden Town Primary and Savannah Primary, and in Group B, Red Bay Primary and Triple C.’

In the U-9 competition, John A. Cumber Primary have dominated proceedings in Group A winning all five games and scoring 21 goals. Making up the top four are Bodden Town Primary, Savannah Primary and Cayman International School. In Group B, Prospect Primary’s sole blemish on an otherwise perfect season was a draw against second-placed Cayman Prep. Rounding off the top four finishers in Group B are newcomers Grace Wesleyan and George Town Primary.

Complete League standings and seedings as well as a schedule of the much anticipated Knockout Round will be published in next week’s sports pages.

‘We’ve only just begun so relax and enjoy the Christmas break,’ added Murray. ‘Come Saturday, January 6, the country’s brightest young football stars will again take centre stage and amaze us as they strap on their shin guards, lace up their boots and don their school colours in search of that perfect game.’

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