All to play for in youth FA Cups

Goal mouth action from the Boy’s Under 11 FA Cup semi final between Academy SC Stingrays (white) and 345 FC B. Academy won the game 1-0.

By Neil Murray

With the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) youth leagues all but completed and preliminary rounds in the girls and boys youth FA Cups decided, semi-final games were the focus of attention this past Saturday, 9 June.

Globally, the FA Cup is a very famous annual event, the showpiece of a nation’s favourite pastime signifying the end of a long season and a spectacle for all to enjoy… football’s big day out. In the Cayman Islands, it is no different.

In the semi-finals of the Girl’s Under 13 FA Cup, Academy SC downed George Town SC 2-0 thanks to goals from Eva Bothwell in the 1st minute and Gabrielle Rouse in the 20th minute. After scoring the opener in the 1st minute, what looked to be an easy game for the young ladies from Academy SC actually turned out to be a tough, physical battle with their George Town challengers, who never gave in.

Miss Rouse’s goal in the 20th minute settled the game and a place in the final for Academy SC, but George Town SC ensured that their opponents worked very hard for the victory.

In the Girl’s Under 13 FA Cup final, scheduled for Tuesday, June 19 at 4:30 p.m. at the Annex Field, Academy SC will play Sunset FC, who defeated Elite SC 1-0 in the first semi final played earlier in the week.

In the Boy’s Under 11 FA Cup, Future SC defeated 345 FC A 2-1 and Academy SC Stingrays squeezed past newly crowned 2018 Boy’s Under 11 league champions 345 FC B 1-0.

In the first semi-final, 345 FCs Jaden Verhoeven capitalized on a defensive mix-up in the 1st minute to start the game off with a ‘bang’. Future SC were soon level as Josiah LeBlanc equalized in the 13th minute for the West Bay outfit and Calyb Fredricks , surely a candidate for the Most Valuable Player award for the season, blasted an unstoppable 20-yarder in the 43rd minute to secure the win.

An exceptional performance between the posts from Future SCs goalkeeper Kevin Ebanks kept his team in the game. Two truly ‘world-class’ saves in the second half preserved the victory for the West Bay boys.

In the second semi-final, Academy SC Stingrays outlasted newly crowned league champions 345 FC B 1-0, thanks to a tidy finish from Ned Thorpe in the 9th minute.

Much like the first semi-final, this game would go down to the wire as both teams left it all on the field. Young Thorpe’s finish in the 9th minute against the run of play drove the 345 FC B offence on, but the precise passing spectators have come to expect from 345 was not always there. This, combined with unusually poor finishing, the cross bar and post, determined defending from the Academy rear-guard and wonderful goal keeping from Academy’s Peyton Corbin, ended the season for the 2018 league champions.

The Boy’s Under 11 FA Cup final between Future SC and Academy SC Stingrays for the coveted prize will take place on Saturday, 16 June at 10:00 a.m. at the Annex Field.

In the Boy’s Under 13 FA Cup semi-finals, 345 FC defeated Sunset Stingrays 6-5 in a penalty shootout and Academy SC Jaguars got past Academy SC 1-0 thanks to a Jayden Whittaker strike.

The Boy’s Under 13 FA Cup final between 345 FC and Academy SC Jaguars is scheduled for this Saturday, 16 June at 9:00 a.m. at the CIFA Centre of Excellence.

In the first of two Boy’s Under 17 FA Cup semi-finals, Academy SC ran out 4-0 winners over Future SC thanks to three goals from Under 17 National Team forward Gunnar Studenhofft and a goal from Under 17 National Team midfielder Jonah Sigsworth.

In the Boy’s Under 17 FA Cup final scheduled for Saturday, 16 June, Academy SC will face the winner of the second semi-final between Bodden Town FC and Cayman Athletic SC, which will be played on Saturday.

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