The DHL Sunday Football League returned to action on Sunday with the highlight of the weekend being the delayed Appleton Cup final at the TE McField Annex between Harry’s and Boca Juniors.
The game was a slow burner with all the drama arriving in the final minutes of the match.
The first half lacked any clear-cut openings with both keepers enjoying an untroubled start to the match with both teams defending well.
Free kicks from the edge of the boxes provided both teams with ideal opportunities to break the deadlock, but these failed to test the keepers, and with the game still in stalemate in the second half the game looked to be heading for penalty kicks. However, two goals were eventually scored in the final five minutes to win the cup for Harry’s.
The first goal was well worth the wait and worthy of any final when Forde Pierson connected with the bouncing ball 35 yards out to send it in a high arcing trajectory to land it just over the line, catching the Boca keeper completely unawares.
Boca had no choice but to send players forward to search for an equalizer, but in the last minute Harry’s scored their second when Floyd “Irons” McKenzie broke on the counterattack to roll the ball into the path of Kris Pearson who, with the last kick of the game, had a simple tap in from five yards to make it 2-0.
The game that followed was the league match between Fidel’s Old Boys and Whiskey Mist.
Old Boys started the brighter, but Whiskey Mist were first to score when a cross from the right fell nicely for the unmarked Ambrose Guilfoyle who struck a sweet shot across the keeper into the corner of the net.
Although the goal arrived against the run of play, the Old Boys continued to press forward and made up the deficit a few minutes later when a cross from Chris Taylor was headed home by Razvan Olar.
Then, just prior to halftime Old Boys were awarded a free kick around 30 yards out.
Ryan Ebanks in the Mist goal made a good save to block the initial shot but was helpless to prevent the rebound being headed home by new signing Jamie Sanford to put Old Boys 2-1 up.
The second half began at a high tempo with Whiskey Mist probing for an equalizer and Old Boys looking to capitalize on the counterattack – and on one occasion Mani Valencia sprinted through on goal but was brought down by veteran Mist defender Mike Treacy who earned himself a red card.
Despite this setback, Mist continued to probe and were rewarded with a penalty a few minutes before the final whistle, but player-coach Chris Turrell’s well-struck spot-kick was expertly parried by Patrick Diaz to deny Mist a share of the points.
At Ed Bush in West Bay, new boys Bounty Hunters were given a harsh introduction to the competitiveness of the Sunday League by conceding 13 goals without reply to the league’s reigning champions OtisAir Wanderers.
It was a slick performance from Wanderers, who raced to a two-goal lead within 11 minutes through Frank Ramos. By halftime it was 5-0 with further strikes from Ruel “Teacher” Haughton, Alwin Brooks and a fine long range drive from Cornell Bartley.
Despite changing goalkeepers during the break, Bounty Hunters’s luck did not improve in the second half, with Ramos claiming his third and Brooks scoring two more, it provided two debutant players with opening day hat tricks.
The remaining goals arrived from Haughton, his second of the day, and from Derron Campbell, who pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire home. Alexander Dunn angled a drive into the bottom corner of the net, and midfielder Raphael Harvey scored a brace.
The remaining game from the weekend saw Maples Revolution take a 10th-minute lead through striker James Plowright in their game against Luca.
Luca hit back on the half-hour mark when Jonatas Borges da Silva equalized, but at the start of the second half, Plowright restored his side’s advantage.
Maples’ midfielder Colm Flanagan made sure of the three points for his side after he converted an opportunity six minutes from time to finish the game 3-1.
This weekend at the TE McField Annex, it is Maples against Bounty Hunters, while Harry’s take on Old Boys. At Ed Bush it’s the Wanderers against Luca and Boca Juniors versus Whiskey Mist.