Dolphin Secondary and Chase Academy will contest the finale of the third annual Milo Secondary Schools u-20 football tourney, defeating champion Lodge Secondary and Morgan Learning Centre respectively in the semi-finals yesterday.
Holders Lodge Secondary went down to Dolphin Secondary 2-1 in the opening semi-final at the Ministry of Education ground while Chase Academy squeaked past Morgan Learning Centre by a 1-0 score line in the second match of the section.
With the wins, Dolphin Secondary will now face off with Chase Academy in the grand finale on Tuesday, March 31st at the same venue.
The earlier moments of the first match-up saw Shemar Smith giving the defending champs the lead in the 13th minute, finishing into the back of the net after his initial strike was parried back into his path by the opposing custodian.
However Dolphin Secondary would send shock waves within the Lodge camp, equalizing in the 50th minute in the form of Leon Richardson, who clinically converted his penalty kick after being brought down within the area.
With the crowd on their side, Dolphin Secondary would seal their berth through a moment of individual brilliance by Joshua Perreira in the 76th minute.
Receiving the ball just over the halfway line, Perreira would set forth on a solo run, evading multiple challenges in the process before slotting into the left corner from the right side of the box to send the crowd into a frenzy, after rounding the advancing keeper.
In the feature heavyweight contest, Marlon Nedd almost broke the deadlock for Chase Academy in the 12th minute as his right-footed strike from the right side of the box, was denied by the legs of the keeper.
Morgan Learning Centre nearly stole the lead in the 25th minute as Keron Solomon blasted his effort just wide of the right corner, after an initial Ronaldo Dover free kick from the centre of the field 24 yards out, was parried into his path within the right side of the box.
However the Parade Street institution would go-ahead in the 38th minute through a sublime Nedd effort.
Turning his marker within the right side of the box, the dapper forward would unleash an absolute right-footed thunderbolt into the lower left hand corner, sending the venue into contrasting emotions.
The woodwork would then deny Morgan Learning Centre from levelling the score in the 57th minute as a powerful 30-yard strike from Solomon in the centre of the field cannoned into the crossbar, much to the relief of the beaten custodian.
However Josiah Charles almost doubled Chase Academy’s lead in the 69th minute, directing his headed attempt marginally over the crossbar after latching onto a left-sided Keith Caines cornerkick within the centre of the box.
The Parade Street outfit would then seal their hard-fought win as the final whistle was sounded by official Wayne Griffith, sparking celebrations both on and off the field by their large support group.
Winners of the event will pocket the championship trophy and $500,000 towards the building of any school project while the second, third and fourth placed sides will pocket $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 respectively towards the funding of a school venture and the corresponding accolade.
On the individual side, awards will be given for the event’s most valuable player, highest goal scorer and best goal keeper while four full scholarships to attend Chase Academy free of cost will also be up for grabs.