FA Cup action was the focus of
football action in two semi-finals of extraordinary quality and high drama at
the TE McField Annex last week.
Defending champions George Town are
the cup connoisseurs at the moment, unbeaten in both the Digicel Cup and FA Cup
last season and so far this term they have won the Digicel Cup and look
unlikely to relinquish the FA Cup lightly.
They grabbed themselves another FA
Cup final place last Wednesday after seeing off First Division North Side but
had to battle all the way to do so.
Fabian Malcolm, dependent
midfielder, broke the deadlock soon after half time. North Side had the
previous week been edged out by Cayman Athletic for a place in the Premier League
next term and were determined to finish the season with a flourish.
Ronald Davies equalised four
minutes from time to take the game into extra time. George Town’s triple strike
force of Justin Pierre, David ‘Starky’ Harding and Tex Whitelocke bombarded
resilient North Side throughout the game but they resisted gallantly until the
110th minute when Pierre slipped the offside trap to steer in the winner.
As if the thrills and spills from
that game were not enough, newly crowned First Division champions Cayman
Athletic topped that against Premiership Tigers the following night.
Tigers have not roared like they
did last season in the league and an FA Cup final place was going to be their
consolation. Only trouble is Ernie ‘Gillie’ Seymour’s Athletic were never going
to roll over and be mauled.
Cayman Athletic settled far quicker
and were rewarded with fine goals by Kyle Santamaria and Lorenzo Brown mid-way
through the first half.
Tigers regrouped, came out more
purposefully in the second half and found the net through Loren Bennett and
then Zico Lewis equalised soon after. When Tigers skipper Nahun Rodriguez
scored from a penalty in the 67th minute, to put them 3-2 up, it looked like a
great comeback win for the mainly Honduran team.
But Antwan ‘Chico’ Seymour levelled
for Athletic in the 75th minute to take the game into extra time.
Tigers defender Kemar Boothe was
sent off after a second yellow card offence when he fouled in his own box to
concede a penalty. Dave McLaughlin tucked it away to put Athletic 4-3 up.
Tigers charged up field looking for
an equaliser, leaving huge gaps in defence. That was handsomely exploited by Raheem
Robinson who hit Athletic’s final goal in the 118th minute to seal it 5-3.
After a brilliant victory like that
Cayman Athletic would have every reason to celebrate, but finger pointing and
acrimony ensued as coach Gillie argued with members of his team, include his
son Antwan and ugly scenes ensued even in the stadium’s total darkness.