Cayman Athletic SC came up short Sunday night in the Cayman Islands Football Association President’s Cup, with East End UFC mounting a comeback to win the first-round match. “When fatigue started to set in, the boys didn’t have the legs to continue and gave up two goals, and there is nothing we could do about that because they were two good goals,” Athletic coach Ernie ‘Gillie’ Seymour told the Cayman Compass after the game.
At the 10-minute mark of the game, Athletic’s Shameer Seymour, the coach’s son, scored a free kick right outside the 18-yard box to give his team a 1-0 lead after the first half.
In the second half, Athletic’s players earned several breakaways but weren’t able to finish. However, that wasn’t the case for East End’s Kymani Bowen in the 63rd minute after he scored to bring the game level. Teammate Andrew Browning followed that up with a drive from outside the box that flew pass goalkeeper Charles Ebanks for the winning goal, with the game ending 2-1.
“We are putting the team together for next year and this was a good way to start back here at the President’s Cup,” Seymour said. “We can start training now to get the fitness level up because fitness killed some of the older guys who haven’t been training and, of course, the inexperience with some of the younger boys, but it was good exposure for them, getting to taste what men’s football is all about.” The Athletic squad played with six under-17 players, including goal-scorer Seymour.
In addition, Sunset FC came out 3-2 winners Sunday night after a close game against George Town. Sunset FC won a preliminary match earlier this month against Roma USC, to claim a spot in the President’s Cup. George Town SC opened the scoring with a goal in the 16th minute by Dwayne Wright, but just before the whistle blew for halftime Sunset’s Mark Ebanks answered back with a goal in the 44th minute, bringing the first half to a close with a 1-1 scoreline.
In the second half, Ebanks scored again, in the 59th minute, with teammate Anthony Nelson adding another in the 70th minute. George Town’s Andres Ruiz scored in the 87th minute with a controversial goal which Sunset supporters claimed was offside. However, George Town came up short, and Sunset FC moved on to the quarter-finals.
“It felt good, honestly, because, you know, we fought hard; we’re short a few players, but we still came out and did what we were supposed to do,” said Mark Ebanks.
Future SC had an easier time against Alliance FC, taking their round one match 4-1.
From the start, Alliance had no answer for Future’s attacking style, with the West Bay team scoring three times in the first half. Future’s Brandon Ebanks scored 10 minutes in, followed by Colby Seymour in the 22nd minute and Oliver Smith in the 30th, putting Future ahead 3-0 going into the second half. Alliance’s Homer Sanchez Gomes scored in the second half but that was quickly answered by Future’s Joshua Bodden in the 67th minute to knock Alliance FC out of the President’s Cup.
In the final round one match, North Side continued their losing ways against Latinos FC. North Side has been the worst defensive team in the league, conceding 24 goals and losing six consecutive games. That pattern remained in the President’s Cup after they suffered a 3-0 loss to Latinos. Raul Garcia broke through the North Side backline twice during the game, scoring in the 27th and 54th minutes, while teammate Jarol Smith scored in the 42nd.
Bodden Town FC, Scholars ISC, Academy SC and Elite SC were all given first-round byes through to the quarter-finals because of their performances last season.
The President’s Cup resumes on 1 Feb.