Cayman Islands’ Under-15 boys secure second victory

The Cayman Islands Under-15 National Team, back row, from left, Tommy Kehoe, Daniel Wallace, Luke Byles, Ciaron Haylock, Gunnar Studenhofft and Theo Whiteside. Front row, from left, Corey Smith, Barry-Dre Tibbetts, Micah O’Garro, Jonah Sigsworth and Jahmai Griffiths.

The Cayman Islands Under 15 Boys’ National Football defeated Bonaire 3-1 in their second victory in the CONCACAF Under-15 Boys Championships on Tuesday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

The Cayman team was scheduled to face Saint Martin in the final Group G game on Wednesday.

Fresh off their opening victory over Aruba on Sunday, the coaching staff took the decision to remain with the same starting line-up.

The local boys attacked from the opening whistle and in the space of 10 minutes, the Bonaire defense was barely hanging on as Cayman notched five shots on target, a press release states.

In the 14th minute, Cayman took the lead. Corey Smith broke down the left flank and sent a low cross into Bonaire’s penalty area near Gunnar Studenhofft, who lifted his shot on to the crossbar, but Jahmai Griffiths was on hand to finish off the rebound.

In the 34th minute, Cayman added to their lead. Goal scorer Jahmai Griffiths’s low drive from just outside the penalty area was parried by Bonaire’s goal keeper directly into the path of Jonah Sigsworth who made no mistake with his effort, the press release states.

In the 54th minute, Bonaire pulled a goal back after a lapse in the Cayman defense. The goal triggered a rash of substitutes from the Cayman bench as Victor Thompson replaced Griffiths, Jackson Kirkconnell entered the game for Jonah Sigsworth, Kameron Bennett replaced Corey Smith, Jared Ebanks came on for Daniel Wallace, Joshua Small replaced Studenhofft and Jahrion Bodden entered the game for Ciaron Haylock.

Bennett restored his team’s two-goal lead as he cut in from the left flank and rounded the Bonaire goalkeeper before depositing his shot into the empty net.

Team captain Luke Byles came close to extending the local boys’ lead but his headed effort from a corner smashed against the post. Bennett and Small had opportunities to add to the lead but their efforts were thwarted by Bonaire’s defense.

“Cayman’s central defenders Luke Byles and Tommy Kehoe and central midfielders Micah O’Garro and Barry-Dre Tibbetts, along with goalkeeper Theo Whiteside, were exceptional throughout the game,” the press release states. “Their staunch defending and vision going forward contributed greatly to the valuable win.”

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