Defending Georgetown champions St. George’s High opened their campaign on a positive note, edging Dolphin Secondary 4-2 on penalty kicks after normal ended 1-1 when the fourth annual Digicel national u-18 knockout football championship continued yesterday.
Following a scrappy opening period at the Ministry of Education ground where both sides failed to gain any offensive rhythm, Robby McGloggan would fashion the first chance for the champs in the 48th minute but he was denied by the onrushing custodian inside the left side of the area, following a solo run.
Orin Moore almost pushed St. George’s into the lead two minutes later as his powerfully struck 33-yard, right-footed effort from the centre of the field, sailed narrowly over the crossbar.
Behind the eight ball for the majority of the matchup, Dolphin Secondary would steal the lead in the 59th minute through a Leon Richardson effort. Racing into the centre of the box to collect a lobbed through pass, Richardson would evade onrushing custodian Royston Dublin and finish into the empty net.
However, their lead would be short-lived as Travis Cotton equalized five minutes later, volleying his effort from the left side of the area into the back of the net, after latching onto a poorly punched clearance by the opposing custodian from a right sided Quincy Lawrence corner kick.
The North Road outfit almost took the lead in the 76th minute as a right footed, 26-yard Moore free kick from the centre of the field came crashing off the crossbar, leaving the Dolphin goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
Dolphin Secondary almost regained the advantage in the 87th minute but
a powerful Richardson header from the left side of the penalty area following a right sided cross, came cannoning off the crossbar, much to the relief of the St. George’s keeper.
With a winner unable to be found in the normal time and with no extra time interval, penalty kicks was then required to find a winner. Tasked with taking the first spot kick, Dolphin’s Samuel Hunte would have his tame right footed effort denied by Dublin low to the left.
Moore would then push St. George’s into the lead as he netted clinically from the spot. The scores would become 2-1 as both units scored their next penalty kicks.
Dolphin Secondary would go further behind as they missed their third attempt, allowing the defending champions to take a 3-1 lead as Dublin netted from the spot. Job Caesar would net Dolphin’s fourth attempt from the mark to pull the scores to 3-2.
Needing a conversion to seal the hard-fought win, Lawrence would bury his penalty kick to the lower left hand corner to seal his side’s berth in the next round.
The action continues today across three divisions with five matchups. In the Georgetown conference, Christ Church Secondary will faceoff with South Ruimveldt Secondary at 15:30hrs at the Ministry of Education ground.
In the second fixture programmed for the same time, St. John’s College will battle Sophia Special at the Eve Leary ground.
In the Region two zone, Abram Zuil Secondary will face off with Aurora Secondary at 14:00hrs at the Walton Community ground. In the feature matchup of the doubleheader, New Opportunity Corp will tackle Johanna Cecilia Secondary from 16:00hrs.
Over at the Victoria ground, President’s College will engage Plaisance Secondary at 15:30hrs in a Region four divisional matchup.