Elite hold on against Latinos, as BTFC maintain gap

Elite SC kept pace with leaders Bodden Town FC after the latest round of matches in the Cayman Premier League on 12 February, 2017. Defending champions Scholars International also picked up a win to hold ground in third place.

After feeling each other out for the first quarter of an hour at the Ed Bush Sports Complex, Elite SC and Latinos FC both started opening up and creating chances. Elite, though, appeared to be the more eager side to exert their dominance. In one such effort in the 21st, forward Miguel Simms pressed forward and collided with Latinos keeper Dereck Rivers on the edge of the box, with the netminder going down in a heap. No foul was called and after a bit of attention from the medic, Rivers was all set to go again.

Elite’s Jermaine Wilson (8) disarms Rushane Taylor (17) of Latinos FC

Showing he was okay, seven minutes later, Rivers made a sprawling save to deny a hard-charging Raul Rodriguez, who pressed forward down the left wing. Elite continued to bring the pressure, with Dwayne Wright’s shot missing the mark but their intentions and ability to easily penetrate the Latinos defence would be enough to concern the Latinos keeper.

Any concerns he might have had would have been warranted. The front four of Wright, Simms, Rodriguez and Reeves attacking the goal is enough to make any defender or goal keeper in the league jittery. Add to that, Andres Ruiz still on the bench at coach Greg Ebanks’ disposal.

The potent front line struck in the 33rd minute, when Wright fed a pass to Rodriguez, whose speed got him there ahead of the nearest defender and Rivers stood little to no chance, as Elite went ahead 1-0.

The very next minute, Elite struck again. This time it was Christopher Reeves from the right, who found the back of the net to double the lead, which they preserved through the first 45.

“We went in there with a game plan to come straight at Latinos – hard, fast and quick. Not to give them any room and that’s what we did in the first half especially,” Elite captain Wesley Robinson said in an interview with CaymanSportsBuzz.com afterward.

Rivers would be kept busy when play resumed, being called upon early on to deny Wright, who was fed a beautiful pass from Rodriguez. Another chance came in the 61st when Reeves was taken down about 25 yards out. Up stepped Wright, who picked his spot in the corner of the goal to score his seventh goal of the season – more than anyone in the league not named Jonah Ebanks.

Then they appeared to lose the desire to keep the pressure up, as Latinos refused to be shutout. A penalty kick in the 83rd by Marvel Hyde ensured that didn’t happen but that only served to whet Latinos appetite for another now that the game was still in reach. Elite keeper Danner Taylor denied one such attempt in added time.

With five minutes of added time on the clock, Latinos insisted on getting another, which they did just before play ended when Leonon Martinez struck but it was not enough as the game ended 3-2 in Elite’s favour.

Elsewhere, a late goal from Tevon Levien ensured Bodden Town FC maintained their four-point lead over Elite SC. Levein’s goal in the second minute of added time at the end of the second half broke the deadlock with Roma United at the Haig Bodden Playing Field. A first-minute goal from Robert Robinson gave Roma the lead before Theron Wood put Bodden Town ahead in the 63rd.

At the Annex, Scholars International ran past Sunset FC with a 4-0 win. Rodrick Pearson (11’), Thomas Elliot (33’), Rolly Bodden (37’) and Terrence Thomas (70’) scored for the 2015-16 champions, who separated themselves from Latinos and Academy SC for sole possession of third place in the league with 19 points.

Jonah Ebanks scored two second half goals to save points for Academy SC. Goals from Stephen Tatum and Kareem Foster put Cayman Athletic ahead before the league’s leading scorer continued his prolific form with a brace (his 10th and 11th goals) to secure a 2-2 draw.

There are no to-flight league matches next weekend with the second leg of the CIFA President’s Cup on the calendar. Scholars International and Cayman Athletic meet again after Scholars won the first leg 3-2, while Latinos FC hold an edge over Bodden Town FC after scoring an away goal in their first leg draw.


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