Cumber make a Primary leap

Primary school football’s Opening Rally finally reached a conclusion with Sir John A. Cumber celebrating.

In almost perfect weather conditions, Sir John A. Cumber Primary triumphed at the re-scheduled 2012/13 CUC Primary Football League Opening Rally on Saturday at the hallowed TE McField Sports Annex in George Town.

Reaching their second final in consecutive years, the boys from the west claimed the first silverware of the season by defeating Cayman Prep 3-2 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

The final was a hard-fought encounter with most of the play taking place in midfield. Both defences were called into action many times throughout the game and each stood strong, repelling their opponents attacking forays with pinpoint tackles end excellent goalkeeping.

Sir John A. Cumber’s standout midfielder Barry Dre Tibbetts worked tirelessly up and down the park but could not find that killer pass for his forwards to finish. Likewise, Prep’s Jude Reynolds, David Pitcairn and Aaron Jarvis battled on but were largely held in check by the resilient Sir John A. Cumber backline and poor finishing.

Scoring opportunities were squandered as both sets of forwards could not find that elusive goal that would set their teams on to victory. Both keepers were excellent between the posts, throwing their bodies at everything that came their way. With the score locked at 0-0 after full-time, 10 minutes of overtime was played and still there was no winner.

The 2012/13 final needed penalties to decide a champion and there was no shortage of drama. After the dust had settled following the first round of three penalties, the score was still level after each team had missed one penalty.

Up stepped Sir John A. Cumber’s fourth penalty-taker who buried his shot in the corner. With the pressure on, Cayman Prep’s fourth penalty-taker could only find the body of young Ike Bush in goal and the game was finally over.

With that key save, the young keeper from West Bay disappeared in a sea of red as he was mobbed. For his heroics in goal, Bush collected the final’s Most Valuable Player award. Beaten finalists a year ago, Sir John A. Cumber Primary had turned the tide.

As Zone C winners, Sir John A. Cumber’s road to the final began with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over a resilient Cayman International School in the quarter-finals thanks to goals from Cam’ron Solomon and Jeremy Manderson.

Ben Taylor had put his International School 1-0 up in the first half. In the semis, the West Bay side defeated neighbours Grace Academy 2-0 on penalties.

Grace Academy’s journey to the semis started with a 2-1 quarter final win over defending rally champions George Town Primary thanks to two goals from Gunnar Studenhofft. Zone A winners and finalists Cayman Prep moved straight into the semis as quarter-final opponents Northeast Schools were unable to make the journey to George Town for the tournament. In the semis, Cayman Prep defeated St. Ignatius Prep 2-0 with goals from Jude Reynolds and David Pitcairn.

St. Ignatius Prep had advanced to the semi finals following a 2-0 quarter final win over Red Bay Primary with Corey Smith netting twice.

In the third-placed game, Grace Academy defeated St. Ignatius Prep 2-0 on penalties after a 0-0 full-time score.

Organiser Neil Murray of CUC said: “The PFL Committee thanked the players, coaches, parents and supporters for their participation and support. Special thanks to officials Bruce Blake, Chastine Rankine, Gary Whittaker and Ronnie Roach who handled all the day’s games.

“Now for the regular season, which begins this Saturday with a number of games scheduled at primary school venues across the Island. The 2012/2013 CUC PFL season is off and running and judging from the talent on show at the Opening Rally, we anticipate a great season ahead.”

Reaching their second final in consecutive years, the boys from the west claimed the first silverware of the season by defeating Cayman Prep 3-2 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

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