Jul 18, 2013 Sports
By Rawle Welch
Displaying superior speed, skills and strength, Region 5 champions Ash Educational Institute (AEI) eased past a game, but clearly outclassed St. Ignatius Secondary as play in the 2013 Digicel Schools Football Championship continued, at the Region 5 ground in West Berbice.
Playing in sodden conditions that seemed to favour the home side AEI, St. Ignatius, three-time champions of Region 9 were quickly placed on the backfoot as early as the second minute of play when double goal-scorer Lester Cummings netted from close range.
It started with a fine run from the nippy winger Akemo Watts, who tore down the right flank and delivered a threatening cross into the penalty box which was flicked on by Ronwell McPherson into the path of a lurking Cummings, who beat goalkeeper Kessie Da Silva to his left.
That quick finish seemed to have surprised the visitors and they were never able to settle as the quickness by the AEI defenders snuffed out any ambitions they would have harboured, while their deadly counter attack was always a worry for the St. Ignatius team.
St. Ignatius did get an opportunity to level the score, but the usually reliable Captain Franklyn Parks instead of firing his trademark powerful right footer into an empty goal chose to be cute and tried to curl the ball past the keeper, who made a partial stop, before recovering to complete the save, thereby denying them the chance to equalise.
That miss proved costly as AEI were able to stretch their lead in the 23rd minute of play through another wonderful exhibition of skill from Cummings, who took full advantage of a piece of poor defending from St. Ignatius’ backline to hammer a fierce right footer into the roof of the net, beating the outstretched hands of DaSilva.
The half came with no addition to the score.
On the resumption, St. Ignatius looked a more settled bunch and orchestrated a few exciting incursions, but the tall and seemingly impenetrable backline of AEI coolly fended off all probable danger.
With the partisan crowd urging on AEI, combined with the unhelpful conditions underfoot, St. Ignatius looked far from at ease and slid and fell with more frequency than their counterparts, making the construction of counter attacks more difficult.
Another chance came for them to pull one back, but this time Scon Kortright slammed wide from inside the penalty area with no player on him. It was a disappointing finish.
St. Ignatius made numerous substitutions, but still could not penetrate the airtight defence of AEI and the final whistle sounded to hand the latter a well deserved win and a place in the national quarter-final where they play defending overall champions Christianburg / Wismar this Sunday, at the Bayroc ground in Linden.
Meanwhile, over in Mabaruma at the Settlement ground, Santa Rosa led by a brace from Brendon Phillips (44th and 45th) and single strikes from Keith DaSilva (57th) and Shane LaRose (63rd) eliminated Mahdia Secondary after defeating them 4-1 yesterday.
Albert Daniels (41st) converted the lone response for Mahdia.
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