Primary Football League gears-up for playoffs

‘Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh is the Lord thy God’s. The sixth day is for football.’ So wrote Anthony Burgess, the late British novelist, critic, composer and avid football fan; words describing the importance of the beautiful game we love and words perfectly suited for the CUC Primary Football League’s playoffs commencing on Saturday, January 12, 2008.

Caymans Primary Football League

There is plenty of skill on display in Caymans Primary Football League. File photo: Guy P. Harrison

But we stray. Let’s review regular season play, and preview what the playoffs have in store. The 2007/2008 regular season concluded on Saturday, December 15 with Cayman Prep U9s cementing their position at the top of Group B with a 2-0 win over the Golden Eagles from First Baptist, and finishing the season undefeated with six victories. Likewise, Cayman Prep’s U11s convincingly defeated their First Baptist counterparts to finish runners-up to rivals Prospect Primary in the U11 Group B. Although leaving the Cayman Prep premises thoroughly beaten, the ever-battling and unyielding Golden Eagles exited the grounds knowing that they never gave-in until the last whistle, a growing trait customary to the Eagle fraternity.

Most coaches and spectators will agree that this year, unlike previous years, most teams competed on a ‘level playing field’ meaning no one team dominated proceedings except maybe for Cayman Prep’s U9s who finished six points clear of second-placed Prospect Primary. Only three or four points separated the top four teams in each of the groups with Cayman International School (U11 Group A), Prospect Primary (U11 Group B), St. Ignatius Prep (U9 Group A), and Cayman Prep (U9 Group B) securing the number one seed in their respective Groups. We also saw six teams going undefeated during the season with Cayman Prep U9s attaining perfection with six wins out of six and scoring 25 goals while conceding only two.

As in the 2006/2007 season, the top four teams in each group advance to the Champions Cup while the bottom three go on to the Consolation Cup. Teams advancing to the Champions Cup in the U11 Division include Cayman International School, St. Ignatius Prep, Savannah Primary, John A. Cumber Primary from Group A; and Prospect Primary, Cayman Prep, Grace Wesleyan and Red Bay Primary from Group B. In the U9 Division, teams advancing to the Champions Cup include St. Ignatius Prep, John A. Cumber Primary, Savannah Primary and Bodden Town Primary from Group A; and Cayman Prep, Prospect Primary, Grace Wesleyan and Red Bay Primary from Group B. Teams advancing to the Consolation Cup in the U11 Division include Bodden Town Primary, Truth For Youth and George Town Primary from Group A; and Triple C, First Baptist, North Side Primary and East End Primary from Group B. In the U9 Division, teams advancing to the Consolation Cup include Truth For Youth, Cayman International School and George Town Primary from Group A; and Triple C, East End Primary and First Baptist from Group B.

On Saturday, January 12, the playoffs commence with the quarterfinal round of games. Match-ups include: U9 Consolation Cup with Cayman International School versus First Baptist, and George Town Primary versus East End Primary (Truth For Youth and Triple C both receive byes to the semi finals); U9 Champions Cup with St. Ignatius Prep versus Red Bay Primary, John A. Cumber versus Grace Wesleyan, Savannah Primary versus Prospect Primary, and Cayman Prep versus Bodden Town Primary; U11 Consolation Cup with Bodden Town Primary versus East End Primary, Truth For Youth versus North Side Primary, and First Baptist versus George Town Primary (Triple C receives a bye to the semi finals); U11 Champions Cup with Cayman International School versus Red Bay Primary, St. Ignatius Prep versus Grace Wesleyan, Savannah Primary versus Cayman Prep, and Prospect Primary versus John A. Cumber Primary.

For followers of ‘the powerful game’, there are some very interesting quarterfinal match-ups, but for those of us who have grown up with football and sports in general, we know to take nothing for granted. In these elimination competitions, it’s anyone’s game… records and points go out the window. Those who play well on the day, leave the victors and advance to the semi finals. The losers can only think of what might have been.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of fields this year, the PFL Committee is still awaiting confirmation of a venue for the playoffs, but players, coaches and spectators alike will be notified during the first week in January. A schedule of games and times will appear in the sport pages of this newspaper in the coming weeks leading up to January 12 so stay tuned. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the ‘sixth day the Lord hath made’ and support ‘the powerful game’ and your team.