By Sean Devers
Tutorial High School beat Queenstown Community High in an exciting final of the Premier Sports Promotions, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport under-17 School’s Football tournament at Ministry of Education ground yesterday to claim a 3-2 win, the championship Trophy and the $200, 000 cash prize.
The 16-team tournament climaxed with an entertaining final which was contested after North Ruimveldt Multilateral got the better of St George’s High 4-2 on penalty kicks in the Third Place play-off which ended scoreless after full time. Multi’s custodian Renaldo Wishart made a crucial save during the penalty kicks to give his team victory and the $100,000 third place prize. St George’s collected $75,000 for their efforts.
With the waves of the Atlantic Ocean pounding the Seawalls just over 100 meters behind the Northern Goal Post and a strong breeze blowing across the ground, a small but raucous crowd saw Tutorial take an early lead when leading goal scorer David Coates opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a long range shot which beat Goal Keeper DosSantos Williamson in overcast conditions
The talented Coates, who started the contest with five goals, the same as Queenstown’s Kelsey ‘Neymar’ Benjamin, scored again in the 25th minute to put his school two up.
It could have been 3-nil shortly after but for an excellent save by Williamson, while Coates was again in the action when he crossed from the right flank to Rudy Richmond, whose kick rebounded from the upright with the Keeper well beaten.
Tutorial dominated possession in the first half which ended 2-nil and the body language of the Queenstown students suggested that they were not far away from giving up as Benjamin, known for his ability to mesmerize the opponents with his flamboyant ‘dribbling’ Skills, was given little freedom the fire his shots.
The tempo picked up when the halves were switched and with the strong wind behind their back as they launched a concerted counter attack, Queenstown seemed to get a ‘second wind’ while Tutorial relaxed a bit.
But it was Tutorial who scored again as both teams played in attacking mode as Queenstown changed their goal Keeper and Ronel Brandis found the back of the net in the 50th minute, and at 3-1, Queenstown seemed to be heading for a crushing defeat.
However, the 15-year-old Benjamin was not be robbed of his spot glory and, with a clinical left-footer from the ‘top of box’ rocketed one past the Keeper in the 65th minute to make it 3-2 to keep hopes of a sensational come from behind victory alive.
Queenstown, led by the diminutive Benjamin, orchestrated an all out attack on Tutorial’s goal as their players seemed to tire despite the heavy cloud cover and Emmanuel Harper scored in the 70th minute in what was to be the last goal of tournament.
Queenstown had to settle for the runner-up spot and $150,000 while Coates (7 goals) was given medals for scoring the most goals and being named MVP of the competition. Tummine Whitney (Best Defender), Rudy Richmond (Best Mid fielder) and Ronaldo Wishart (Best Goal Keeper) all received medals for their efforts.
At the presentation Coates received a pair of shin guards from former West Indies under-19 cricketer Kwame Cross who witnessed every game, while Deputy PS Steve Ninvalle spoke on behalf of the Sports Ministry.
Coordinator of the event Mark Young informed that it was a successful venture and hoped that it would be an annual one. The Trophies and Medals with the exception of the first place Medals were provided by Fazia’s Collection while Onzie People’s Choice Barber Shop in New York provided the hardware for the Champions.
Coates (7), Benjamin (6), Matthew Harrison (4) and Robby McClaggon (3) were the leading goal scorers in the tournament.
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