By Duncan Saul in Mabaruma
Region Five champions Bush Lot Secondary upset Region One champions Port Kaituma Secondary 3-1 in their national playoffs when the Digicel National Secondary Schools U-18 football tourney commenced yesterday.
Hosted at the Mabaruma Community ground under wet conditions, the Berbice unit stole the early lead, silencing the partisan crowd in the seventh minute through a Marlon Nicholson strike into the right-hand corner of the goal, after pouncing on a deflected strike by the keeper inside the area.
However, their lead would only last 10 minutes as James Chand netted, placing his right-footed penalty kick conversion into
the lower right-hand corner of the goal, following a hand ball infringement within the penalty box.
The Region One champions almost took the lead in the 27th minute as they were awarded another penalty for a similar offence, only for Chand’s attempt to be denied by the diving Shane James low to his right.
Ralph Parris almost found the go-ahead goal for Port Kaituma in the 43rd minute as his right-footed effort sailed marginally wide of sneaking into the right-hand corner, after evading multiple markers within the right side of the area following a solo run.
Jermel McKenzie would eventually push the Berbicians back into the lead in the 75th minute, rifling his right-footed effort into the roof of the net from within the right side of the area, after racing onto a defence-splitting through pass from the centre of the field.
Region One hearts would then be broken in the 89th minute as Enlon Fordyce netted, placing his attempt to the back of the net from within the centre of the area, following a one-on-one situation with the opposing custodian.
Over at the St. Ignatius ground, Region Nine champions Annai Secondary crushed Region Two title holders Charity Secondary by a 8-1 margin.