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Final two

West Terrace’s Izaiah Norris about to blast at goalie Azario Waithe while Cuthbert Moore’s defenders desperately try to intercept.

West Terrace’s Izaiah Norris about to blast at goalie Azario Waithe while Cuthbert Moore’s defenders desperately try to intercept.

After weeks of exciting football across the island Wilkie Cumberbatch and West Terrace have emerged as the two top primary school football teams in Barbados.

And on June 20 they will battle it out at Trents, St. James to determine who takes away the silverware in the Bico-sponsored National Sports Council’s Primary Schools Football Tournament.

Today in the semi-final battles at Trents, St. James Wilkie Cumberbatch defeated St. Bartholomew’s 1-0, while the still unbeaten West Terrace defeated the previously unbeaten Cuthbert Moore 3-0.

Wilkie Cumberbatch entered the semi-final with a slightly inferior tournament record to St. Bartholomew’s having lost two of their nine games, while St. Bartholomew’s entered the fixture having also won seven games, while losing one game and drawing  the other. The closeness of the records was evident in the tightness of the semi-final with both teams defending for dear life and particular attention being paid to the dangerous Thierry Gale by the Wilkie Cumberbatch defenders.

Gale, who has terrorised defenders throughout the competition with his speed and goal-scoring knack, simply could make no definitive pathway through the Wilkie Cumberbatch defence and when St. Bartholomew’s did pose a danger Jayden Blanche, arguably among the tournament’s best custodians, was in position to thwart their progress.

The ebb and flow of the clash went deep into the game with the likes of Tavio Hope-Beckles, Tajio James, Kennie King and Donte Greenidge finding equal difficulty making any decisive threat on Jediah Blades’ goal. Kaylon Jones, Shakado Scott, Thierry Jones and Jared Stoute were among those who worked extremely hard to repel the offensive efforts of Wilkie Cumberbatch.

With parents, guardians, school officials and supporters giving their advice from the side-lines the official 40 minutes expired and the game went into extra time. Then in the 43rd minute, from a free kick situation, Greenidge brought joy to the Pinelands, St. Michael school’s fans when he slotted in the only goal of the encounter. This was almost immediately followed by the final whistle.

The second semi-final was basically one-way traffic with Cuthbert Moore being totally out-played by West Terrace. Both teams entered their semi-final battle with similar 9-0 records but the actual game play would not have suggested that.

West Terrace managed to shut out Cuthbert Moore’s main threat in Shabari Lynch and that was basically about 60 per cent of their offensive strength stymied. Kevin Wickham worked tirelessly the entire game as did the likes of Krishna Quintyne but they were simply swamped by a better drilled team that now look the favourites to go all the way to the top of the podium.

At the half-time break West Terrace had a 1-0 lead but turned up the heat on the St. George school in the second half. Khamal Cumberbatch blasted two goals past goalie Azario Waithe while Izaiah Norris notched the third. The final whistle was the signal for celebration for the youngsters and their supporters and a few tears for the game but defeated Cuthbert Moore lads.

Now, Thursday’s final beckons.

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