Last teams standing

Wesley Hall, Grantley Prescod make the final

Wesley Hall and Grantley Prescod will contest the final of the 2014 BICO-sponsored National Sports Council’s Primary Schools Football Competition

Today at the National Stadium Wesley Hall defeated George Lamming 3-2 in a thrilling encounter while Grantley Prescod had a similarly exciting victory, 2-1, over Cuthbert Moore.

Wesley Hall goal-scorer Rivaldo Clarke (left), captain Kemar John (right) and other team-mates celebrate their school's goal.
Wesley Hall goal-scorer Rivaldo Clarke (left), captain Kemar John (right) and other team-mates celebrate their school’s goal.

Grantley Prescod and Cuthbert Moore were engaged in an intriguing and evenly matched tussle from the first whistle but it would be Grantley Prescod who drew first blood in the first half through a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box.

Grantley Prescod captain Devonte Richards’ beautifully executed shot at goal floated through the air and curled precisely into the goal bars.

The boys from Pine South Boulevard, St Michael took the 1-0 lead into the half-time break. They would expand that lead in the second half when Deshawn White passed the ball to right-wing Rashad Haynes who tapped it to Richards. Richards then held off two Cuthbert Moore defenders and striker Ranaldo Roberts who was inside the box took control of the ball and placed it to the right of Cuthbert Moore’s goalkeeper Azario Waithe.

Cuthbert Moore midfielders Shabari Lynch and Jashawn Kirton along with centre-back Enrique Sealy, left-wing Kevin Wickham and left-back Raheem Wickham all went searching for that illusive goal in the second half but Grantley Prescod defender Lamario Springer was exceptional for his team. Springer fought hard to clear anything that came his way and the frustration on the faces of Cuthbert Moore players said it all.

Cuthbert Moore's left-wing Kevin Wickham takes on three Grantley Prescod defenders.
Cuthbert Moore’s left-wing Kevin Wickham takes on three Grantley Prescod defenders.

However, Cuthbert Moore’s prayers were answered in the dying stages of the game when they were awarded a penalty after a Grantley Prescod player handled the ball in the box. Captain Shabari Lynch stepped up to the line to take the shot but was denied by Grantley Prescod goalkeeper Zico Harewood who got his hands to the ball.

Grantley Prescod's goalkeeper Zico Harewood makes a good save against Cuthbert Moore.
Grantley Prescod’s goalkeeper Zico Harewood makes a good save against Cuthbert Moore.

However, Harewood failed to hold on to the ball and Lynch booted the rebound into the back of the nets. The consolation goal came mere seconds before the referee blew his whistle to end the game.

In the other semi-final, George Lamming started off at a frenetic and productive pace with their vice-captain and right-winger Zane Knight scoring two early goals in the first half. Captain Chrislon Green sent in a cross to Knight who was unmarked outside the penalty area and Knight blasted the ball over the Wesley Hall goalkeeper Jacobi Fenty’s head and into the nets. Knight was having a dream game in the first half and he would add another goal for his team when Shawneko Moore took a shot at goal inside the box and the goalkeeper pushed the ball out.

One of the Wesley Hall defenders went to clear the ball, botched the effort, and Knight was at the right place at the right time to slide the ball into the back of the bars. This had Wesley Hall Juniors looking very perturbed but they steadied themselves. Rivaldo Clarke from the right sent in a cross to striker Rael Bowen who scored an easy goal to put the score at 2-1 going into half time.

When play resumed in the second half, Wesley Hall Juniors really came to the party when their captain Kemar John took a free kick and scored what was a gem of a goal. He took the kick from about the half-line and the ball curled and went past George Lamming goalkeeper Kashawn Stoute to level the score at 2-2.

Both teams tried for that deciding goal but it was not to be up to the end of regulation time. The game went into extra time and Wesley Hall found that all important goal through Rivaldo Clarke who was magnificent throughout the game.

Clarke ran up the right flank of the field past three defenders and his right-foot shot ensured the King Street, St Michael school a place in the final next Tuesday.

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