Two time defending Region #5 champion Bush Lot Secondary, sealed their berth to the semi-final round, edging Mahaicony Secondary 3-2, when the 7th Annual Digicel Schools Football Championship resumed Saturday.
It was a game of two halves at the No. #5 ground in West Coast Berbice, as the holders raced off to a 3-0 lead before the end of the first half.
Bush Lot capitalised on Mahaicony only fielding nine players to start the match, taking the lead in the sixth minute through Ntini August, who flicked on a shot from inside the left of the box, after latching onto a low left corner kick.
It quickly became 2-0 seven minutes onward, with Shaqueel DeHarte etching his name on the scorer’s sheet compliments of a penalty kick, into the lower right corner. The spot-kick was awarded due to a wild challenge inside the left of the box.
The score line ballooned once more in the 18th minute, as DeHarte bagged his second, rifling a powerful shot into the top left corner, after collecting a right side cross inside the left of the box.
However, the introduction of the missing players to start the second period led to Mahaicony reducing the deficit in the 53rd minute, as Jerome McKenzie netted.
Receiving a right side cross which evaded the backline, McKenzie placed his effort into the lower left corner from inside the left of the penalty area. Nebert Sears then sent hearts racing in the Bush Lot camp, halving the deficit in the 63rd minute.
Racing onto a lobbed through pass, Sears sprinted away from his marker, before finishing the ball past the advancing goalkeeper into the left corner. Nevertheless, Bush Lot held out in the final minutes to seal their berth in the next round.
They will now meet Rosignol tomorrow (Monday) at the same venue from 15:00hrs. Meanwhile, Novar Secondary earned a berth in the division’s final, downing Fort Wellington by a 5-0 margin.
Omar Williams opened the scoring in the 20th minute, slotting home into the empty net inside the centre of the box, after an initial shot was parried into his path by the goalkeeper.
Jaison Wronge made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute, lashing his effort into the right side of the net. Novar would have to wait until the 69th minute to increase their lead, scoring in the form of Aubrey Joseph.
Racing into the left side of the box, Joseph placed his attempt into the lower right corner, leaving the goalkeeper rooted to the spot. Wronge then bagged his brace in the 75th minute to extend his team’s lead, lashing his effort down the centre of the net.
The result was sealed in the 82nd, as Joseph unleashed a powerful shot into the left side, from inside the left of the 18 yard box. Over at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora, home side Leonora Secondary brushed aside Goed Fortuin by a 6-1 score line.
Also, Uitvlugt Secondary downed Stewartville 2-0, while Patentia Secondary downed Vreed-en-Hoop 3-2 on penalty kicks, after normal time ended 1-1. In the final fixture, Windsor Forest crushed Zeeburg 5-1.
The tournament will also continue tomorrow (Monday) at the Beterverwagting (BV) Community Centre ground. Annandale Secondary will face-off with LaBonne Intention from 14:00hrs, while Ann’s Grove will lock horns with Buxton United at 16:00hrs.
The championship which is scheduled to conclude on 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.