George Town Primary claimed the first silverware of the 2011/12 CUC Primary Football League season following a hard fought 1-0 victory over old rivals Sir John A. Cumber Primary.
It was in the Opening Rally final last weekend at the TE McField Sports Complex in George Town.
George Town’s prolific scorer D’Andre Rowe was the difference between the two finalists as he secured his team’s victory, scoring deep into extra time.
Sir John A. Cumber’s game plan of slowing down the speedy Rowe worked efficiently well thanks to the discipline of Xavier Comment who shadowed the young forward throughout the game. But like so many standout forwards who have made their mark in the PFL over the years, one split-second is all he needed. From a corner, Rowe lost his marker and through a crowd of players slammed the ball home.
With George Town Primary strategically withdrawing their goal scorer back to defence because of his speed, Sir John A. Cumber could take a few more chances going forward. Sir John A. Cumber’s Kameron Mendez had come close on a few occasions during the game, stinging the palms of George Town Primary’s Jalen Walters in goal but could not find the net.
Beaten finalists a year ago, George Town Primary had turned the tide. D’Andre Rowe received the Final’s Most Valuable Player trophy for his outstanding play and wonder goal.
George Town’s route began well by winning Zone B following a 4-0 win over Grace Academy and a 3-0 defeat of Prospect Primary. In the quarter-finals, they disposed of Red Bay Primary 2-0 thanks to two goals from Francisco Marino and in the semis, they beat a talented Triple C team 3-2 in penalties.
Sir John A. Cumber triumphed in Zone C with a 1-0 win over Savannah Primary and a 2-1 victory over Triple C. In the quarter-finals, they downed Grace Academy 3-0 thanks to goals from Jaheem Webster, Caleb Carter and Barry-Dre Tibbetts, and in the semis, they beat St. Ignatius Prep by a similar scoreline with Alexander Clarke, Jaheem Webster and Barry-Dre Tibbetts securing the win.
In the third and fourth placed game, Zone C runners-up Triple C lost out to Zone D champions St. Ignatius Prep 4-5 on penalties.
Overall the Opening Rally was very eventful with the generally perceived minnow teams close to carving out a few major upsets. NorthEast Schools took perennial powerhouses St. Ignatius Prep and Red Bay Primary to penalties eventually losing 1-2 and 0-3 respectively before defeating a young Cayman Brac team 2-0.
Zone B runners-up Grace Academy triumphed over Prospect Primary in penalties during the group stage before eventually losing out to Sir John A. Cumber in the quarter finals.
Organiser Neil Murray of CUC, said: “We welcomed Cayman Brac back into the fold after a ten-year absence from the PFL. The enthusiastic youngsters did the Brac very proud with their spirited displays against NorthEast Schools, Red Bay Primary and St. Ignatius Prep. Although not scoring a goal, the Brackers were greeted with rapturous applause and cheers of encouragement from the crowd during their three games.
“The PFL Committee thanks the players, coaches, parents and supporters for their participation and support. The 2011/2012 CUC PFL season is off and running and judging from the talent on show, we anticipate a great season ahead.
“Special thanks to Progressive Distributors for again supplying Gatorade to all the participating schools and to Hydes and Sons for their gracious donation of goals for use at the Opening Rally and throughout the playoffs in January 2012.”
The PFL regular season kicks-off this Saturday 15 October at various primary school venues across the Island and supporters are encouraged to turn out.