St. Puis Primary sealed their berth in the final of the Petra Organization/ Courts Guyana in collaboration with Banks DIH Limited Pee Wee U11 football tourney yesterday by defeating East La Penitence 2-0 on penalty kicks in their semi-final fixture.
Played at the Banks DIH Limited Thirst Park ground, the fixture, which could have easily been mistaken for the event’s finale due to the raucous atmosphere of the respective fan bases, got off to an electric start.
Marcus Wilson would fire the first warning shot for St. Puis as his right footed free kick from the right flank in the 10th minute went narrowly wide of sneaking into the top corner of the left post.
East La Penitence almost broke the deadlock three minutes later through a shot from Leroy Sealey from a right sided free kick that forced the St. Pius custodian to save with his legs.
Wilson almost made his presence felt again, firing just over the crossbar from another right sided free kick in the 17th minute as St. Puis began to impose their physical superiority.
Quiet throughout the opening half due to staunch man marking by East La Penitence’s William McKenzie, the tournament’s top scorer with 13 goals Bevney Mark would strike the right upright from just inside the right side of the area in the 19th minute as the half ended. Upon the resumption, Kamacy Davis of St. Puis would force a smart save in the 21st minute from the East La Penitence shot stopper low to his right from a right footed strike from outside the box.
Continued to be shackled by the robust defensive effort of McKenzie, Mark would place his right sided header from just outside the right post in the 28th minute narrowly wide of the top corner.
With the respective fandom barking orders and yelling instructions from the touchline, St. Puis would be awarded a penalty kick in the 31st minute for a handled in the area.
Striking the crossbar from the penalty spot with a venous strike, Mark would have a second bite of the cherry moments later from the left side of the box, only to be denied this time by keeper Keon Tinch with an outstretched right leg.
Luck would continue to evade Mark as he struck the crossbar from the right side of the field after collecting a poor goal kick by Tinch in the 39th minute as extra time loomed.
The opening half of extra time saw the back and forth affair continue as St. Puis continued to throw bodies on the offensive, only for East La Penitence to repel their efforts with stout defending.
Under pressure for his earlier miss from the penalty area, Mark would begin to feel like it was not his day as the right upright would once again be the saviour of East La Penitence, denying the skilful marksman’s effort in the 42nd minute.
With penalty kicks quickly approaching following the commencement of the second half of extra time, Mark would fashion the best chance to put the game to bed in the 44th minute, only for his right footed effort to be denied by Tinch. Forced to be decided by the lottery that is a penalty shootout, St. Puis would convert two of their allocated four strikes as Wilson and Mark converted while Davis missed.
Tame efforts by Shaquille Bennett, Andrew Hope and Sealey were all denied by the St. Puis goalkeeper to seal the hard fought win.
In the other semifinal matchup, West Ruimveldt defeated Tucville Primary 3-2 on penalty kicks following a locked 1-1 score line at the end of regulation and extra time. Michael was on target for the winners in the 19th minute while DeAndre Linton scored in the 13th minute for the losers.
F.E. Pollard defeated St. Margaret 2-1 in the battle for positions 5-8. Dwain Dick and Cordell Charles netted for the winners in the first and 39th minutes respectively while David Scott scored for the losers in the 34th minute.
Ongoing in the same section, St. Gabriel’s led by a Teon Forde double in the 19th and 39th minutes defeated Enterprise Primary 2-0.
In the 9-12 division, South Ruimveldt led by a Christopher Bovell hat trick in the 10th, 24th and 38th minutes defeated Marian Academy 3-0.
North Georgetown crushed St. Stephen’s Primary 3-0 in their 9-12 showdown. Tyriq Saunders led the assault with goals in the 24th and 29th minutes while Oren Williams opened the scoring in the second minute.
Ketley Primary, through goals from Kevon Mullin and Jahime Massiah in the ninth and 21st minutes, edged Redeemer Primary 2-1 in their 13-16 positional battle. Ephraim Pross netted for the losers in the 10th minute.
Continuing in the 13-16 section, J.E. Burnham edged St. Ambrose 3-2 led by an Adriel Wilson double in the 12th and 18th minutes. Keshon David opened the scoring for the winners in the sixth minute. Jermaine Padmore was on target for the losers in the 24th and 33rd minutes.