Up and onward

COMBERMERE STORM INTO LAST EIGHT OF SCHOOLS KNOCKOUT TOURNEY

Combermere secured their spot in the quarterfinals of the Barbados Secondary Schools Under 19 knockout competition win a comfortable 3-0 victory over Frederick Smith at Waterford, St Michael this evening.

Still in a celebratory mood, having clinched the division two title on Monday with a 2-0 win over rivals Harrison College after being demoted last year, the newly crowned champions who fielded four of Barbados’ Under-17 players seemingly had an easy day at the office.

Because of the nature of the cup-tie, both teams approached the match timidly, being extremely careful and precise with every pass and tackle.

As expected the home side found their rhythm within the first ten minutes and it was only a matter of time before they got their noses in front.

Combermere’s forward Maxwell Lewis had the first real chance of the match on what proved to be a miserable evening in-front goal for the youngster.

Lewis lost his marker with just a quarter of an hour of play gone and was one-on-one with the Frederick Smith custodian Kyle Smith but he couldn’t keep his composure and rushed his left-footed shot wide of the left of the bar.

It was a chance that Smith didn’t at all regret as five minutes later the Combermere lads took the one-goal lead.

Great forward play from the home team resulted in national player Nathan Skeete being brought down just outside the 18-yard-box in a teasing position for the left-footed Devonte Richards. Richards then stepped up and simply put his shot on target which went straight through the butterfingers of Smith and across the line to give Combermere the 1-0 lead.

Frederick Smith’s Jamol Williams trying to get the ball off Combermere’s Nathan Skeete (Pictures by Anmar Goodridge-Boyce)
Azzi Collymore of Frederick Smith tackling Combermere’s goal-scorer Devonte Richards.

The first goal appeared to be a wake-up call for the boys from Trents who looked deflated after Richards’ strike but held their heads up and decided to play with a little bit more purpose and urgency. But the score remained the same at halftime.

When the players returned from the fifteen-minute break in the company of their coaches, whatever the coach told the Frederick Smith players was still ringing in their ears and they upped the tempo of the game.

Frederick Smith began to mount pressure on the home side and they were some worrying faces around the university of Waterford as the hour mark approached, knocking the ball all around the Waterford midfield but never posing a threat to keeper Riano Edwards.

However, knowing the strength and quality of their squad Combermere remained cool and weathered the Frederick Smith storm.

The second goal would come in the 68th minute and Richards was the man to find the target again.

This time his close-range shot took a huge deflection off Frederick Smith’s centre back Jamol Williams, not giving the keeper who was already diving to the left side enough time to attempt a save. Two minutes and the writing was most definitely on the wall for the visitors when Zidane Clarke sealed the deal for the hosts.

Newly introduced Tariq Sealy founded Lewis again in the box and his initial effort was saved but Clarke was on hand to mop up the muddy floor and celebrate in front of the Combermere faithful with his final kick of the match.

Moments later and Frederick Smith had a chance to get one back when Dewmar Gittens whistled a shot across the box which was equally matched by a phenomenal save from the keeper.

If that goal had gone in, maybe Jaquan Watson would have had added incentive to score a goal seconds later. But he too failed to hit the target after Azzi Collymore did well in the middle of the park to find him but Watson missed the entire ball.

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