A second half blitz propelled Essequibo Islands into the second round of the seventh annual Digicel Schools Football championships after they whipped Parika Salem Secondary 6-1 yesterday in the tournament opener.
With the score locked at 1-1 at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora, Essequibo Islands punched their ticket to the second round, recording five unanswered goals in a lopsided second half.
Dicquan Clark led the second half rout with a hat-trick in the 70th minute encounter, finding the back of the net in the 44th, 48th and 61st minute.
Supporting with goals were Reon Venture and David Charitar in the 52nd and 64th minute respectively. Venture initially had opened the scoring for the eventual victor in the 13th minute.
For the loser, Jamal Baker scored in the 40th minute. Meeting the teams prior to the kickoff were Director of Sports Christopher Jones and Digicel Head of Marketing Jacqueline James.
The ceremonial kickoff was conducted by the latter. The event will resume today (Tuesday) at the same venue, with Leonora Technical opposing Professional Learning Institute from 15:30hrs.
Tomorrow, Mahaicony Secondary will engage Belladrum Secondary at the Belladrum ground in West Berbice while Patentia will battle Vreed-en-Hoop at the L’Aventure ground. Both matches are scheduled for 15:30hrs.
In New Amsterdam at the Burnham Park ground, Berbice High School will tackle Berbice Educational Institute at 15:30hrs. Meanwhile, the other zones is set to commence shortly.
The tournament, which concludes July 31st, will feature more than 120 schools from each of the 10 administrative regions, competing in an elimination format.
Chase Academy is the defending champion with Christianburg/Wismar the most successful school with four consecutive titles (2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015) in six successive final appearances.
The other winner of the tourney was Government Technical Institute (GTI) in the inaugural edition (2011). Winner of the event will receive $1,000,000 towards a school project and a trophy.
The second, third and fourth place finishers will collect $700,000, $400,000 and $350,000 towards a school initiative and the respective accolade.