Primary school football action started over the weekend and there were plenty of thrills and spills to keep the children and their supporters entertained.
Reigning Under-11 champions Cayman Prep defeated an improving Prospect Primary, 2-1, in the final of the 2013/14 CUC Primary Football League Opening Rally on Saturday at the T.E. McField Sports Field.
Coincidentally, the finale was a rematch of when the teams faced each other in Zone B along with Bodden Town Primary.
In that encounter, Cayman Prep won on penalties after both teams failed to find the net during regular time.
Cayman Prep’s influential midfielder Harrison Hew – the Most Valuable Player of the final – was the central figure in a majority of Cayman Prep’s attacks.
He rounded off his superb performance with the first goal for his team and played a major part in the second goal as Nick McCallum rounded off the scoring.
Prospect came close on several occasions but was unable to put the finishing touches on many enterprising attacks.
Louie Bodden, younger brother of Prospect Primary legend Rico Bodden, could not find the net with Cayman Prep’s goalkeeper having an excellent game himself.
Prospect’s Angelo Forbes found a gap in Cayman Prep’s back line and blasted his side back into contention with a well-taken goal.
The action continued as Prospect fought bravely for the equalizer, but it was not to be, as Cayman Prep secured the season’s first silverware.
Cayman Prep’s journey to the final began with the penalty shootout victory over Prospect and a 6-2 defeat of Bodden Town to top Zone B. A quarterfinal victory over George Town on penalties and a 3-1 semifinal win over NorthEast Schools ensured their place in the final.
Prospect finished in second place in Zone B after a 2-1 victory over Bodden Town Primary. In the quarterfinals, they met reigning opening rally champions Sir John A. Cumber Primary.
A 1-0 victory over the West Bay boys coupled with a 3-1 defeat of St. Ignatius Prep in the semifinals, booked Prospect’s place in the final.
The surprise team of the tournament was NorthEast Schools, which for the first time in Primary Football League history, got their hands on a trophy after securing a third place finish with a penalty shootout win over St. Ignatius Prep.
As runners-up in Zone C, Northeast Schools defeated Zone A winners South Sound Schools, 1-0, in the quarterfinals and lost 3-1 to Cayman Prep in the semis.
St. Ignatius Prep’s passage to the third-place game started with a 1-0 loss to South Sound Schools, a 2-0 win over Red Bay Primary in Zone A, a quarter-final victory over Zone D winners Savannah Primary in a penalty shootout and a 3-1 semifinal loss to Prospect.
Organizer Neil Murray of CUC said, “Special thanks to youth referees Thompson Hew, Collin Ebanks and Rico Bodden, under the tutelage of Dwayne Ebanks and Chastine Rankine, for officiating the day’s games. Thanks also to all the parents and supporters who continue to cheer on the league, players and schools.”
Traditionally, the opening rally marks the beginning of a new Primary Football League season. The 2013/14 PFL regular season begins Saturday with several games scheduled at various primary school venues around Grand Cayman.