Cayman Prep win 4th straight PFL Rally

Cayman Prep (blue) won its fourth consecutive Opening Rally title

As the old saying goes “records are made to be broken” and the boys from Cayman Prep stayed true to the old saying by winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive Opening Rally title with a 2-1 penalty shootout victory over Cayman International School (CIS) in the final of the 2016/2017 CUC PFL Opening Rally this past Saturday at the Annex Field.

Cayman Prep’s defenders and goal keeper were the heroes in the final for the four-time Rally champions but striker Tom Byrne received the Ronnie Roach Most Valuable Player award for netting his school’s winning penalty.

The final itself was a largely defensive affair with both schools defending resolutely, not giving their opponents any ground or opportunities in the box. To keep a team without shots on goals is virtually impossible even in 20 minute games and both sets of strikers learned midway through the game that shooting from long range just may be the answer. However, both goal keepers were in fine form and pulled off some key saves throughout the game.

With both teams unable to find the back of the net during regulation time, the game went into two five-minute extra time periods. Once again, neither school could find the one goal that would surely clinch the title and so the game would be decided on penalties.

After two of the three designated penalties, both schools were even with each missing one penalty.

The final penalty-taker for Cayman Prep was Tom Byrne and he made sure of his effort. Unfortunately for CIS, their third and final penalty was saved by Prep’s goal keeper Jonathan Scott, who rushed to celebrate with his team mates. The title was Cayman Prep’s once again.

Prospect Primary claimed third place after defeating NorthEast Schools 1-0 thanks to a solitary strike from Joshua Campbell.

NorthEast Schools (yellow) claimed 4th place in the Opening Rally.

NorthEast Schools (yellow) claimed 4th place in the Opening Rally.

Cayman Prep’s road to the final was impressive scoring five goals and not conceding any in capturing first place in Zone B with a 2-0 victory over Savannah Primary and NorthEast Schools and a 1-0 win over Triple C School.

Likewise, Cayman International School’s journey was equally impressive as they clinched Zone A with a 2-0 victory over George Town Primary 11, a 1-0 win over St. Ignatius Prep and an 8-0 rout of George Town Primary 9.

In Zone A, St. Ignatius Prep joined CIS in the quarter finals after finishing second in the group with 5-0 win over George Town Primary 9 and a 1-0 victory over George Town Primary 11. George Town Primary 11 secured one of the third place finishes and a place in the quarters after defeating George Town Primary 3-0.

In Zone B, NorthEast Schools advanced to the quarter finals with Cayman Prep following their 2-0 victory over Triple C and 1-0 win over Savannah Primary. Triple C grabbed third place in the group and the final quarter final spot with a 1-0 victory over the boys from Savannah Primary.

In Zone C, Prospect Primary clinched the group with a 3-2 penalty shootout win over Red Bay Primary and a last minute 3-2 victory over Sir John A. Cumber Primary. Sir John A. Cumber Primary secured second spot in the group and a place in the quarter finals after defeating Red Bay Primary 1-0.

In the quarter finals, CIS defeated Sir John A. Cumber Primary 4-0 thanks to three goals from Liam Heffernan and a fourth from Jackson MacKay. Prospect Primary beat George Town Primary 11 2-1 with Joshua Campbell and Johan Lindo grabbing the goals for Prospect and Emile Powell scoring a consolation goal for the boys from the capitol. In the third quarter final, Cayman Prep squeezed past St. Ignatius Prep 2-1 with Tom Byrne opening the scoring and last year’s Opening Rally MVP Malcolm Hill scoring a late winner after young Kyan Okoil had equalised for St. Ignatius Prep. The final quarter final saw NorthEast Schools defeat Triple C 1-0 thanks to a strike from Derek Russell.

In the semi-finals, Cayman Prep secured their place in the final after defeating Prospect Primary 3-0 thanks to goals from Jakub Neuerill, Tom Byrne and Xavier Marshall and CIS overcame NorthEast Schools 1-0 with Jackson MacKay blasting in a penalty during regulation time.

“Special thanks to youth officials Francisco Murillo-Johnson, Matthew Bodden, Albertini Holness, Oladapo Bailey, Matthew Rich, Nicholas Chung and Alexia Bromfield, who did a superb job controlling the games throughout the day and to Dwayne Ebanks and Chastine Rankine, who kept a watchful eye over the young officials,” said PFL Coordinator Neil Murray.

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