By Sean Devers
Led by six goals from Jamal Pereira and four from Malcom Miggins, two-time defending Region Three Digicel National Schools Football champions Leonora Secondary made an auspicious start to their 2015 campaign
with an emphatic 16-0 mauling of Professional Learning Institute (PLI) at the National Track & Field Centre, Leonora, yesterday.
The game began 40 minutes late under bright sunny skies and in less than a minute of play Leonora beat the PLI custodian with what turned out to be an off-side goal. The match was to be a nightmare for the young goalie as the largest victory margin in the West Side Zone was achieved yesterday.
The 16-0 drubbing easily eclipsed the 7-nil triumph by Patentia Secondary over Goed Fortune at the same venue on Wednesday but this was not the type of test Leonora, who were beaten at Quarter-Finals stage of the competition by interior School Waramdong Secondary in 2013 and 2014, would have wanted in their first match.
With a small gathering watching, Daniel Clark opened the scoring in the 8th minute when he collected a pass from the left side and hammered it into the back of the net from inside the box.
The Leonora defenders and their Keeper hardly had any work to do throughout the game
against a team which, according to the PLI Teacher had no experience in playing football and were more proficient at cricket but opted to play instead of forfeiting the game.
Miggins scored twice in two minutes to make it 3-0 and at that point it was clearly evident how one-side the contest was going to be as the spectators were busy betting on how many goals Leonora would eventually score.
Pereira got the first of his six goals by converting with a powerful cross past the startled PLI keeper to make it 4-nil in the 18th minute before Jamal Crawford netted in the 22nd minute to extend their lead to 5 to nothing.
By half time Chrison Archer and Stephon Glenn had added two more goals to leave the score at 8-0 with PLI being totally outplayed. PLI changed their Goalie in the second half but this ploy made little difference to the run of play as Leonora enjoyed almost total ball possession as the clouds turned from cotton-wool like to dark grey and produced a drizzle to cool the day.
But despite the cool weather conditions Leonora maintained the heat on the field to totally outclass their opponents. A barrage of shots to goal either hit the uprights or went wide of the mark with the Keeper woefully out of position as Leonora launched a relentless attack on the opposition’s goal.
Pereira scored four more times while Miggins had two more second half goals for Leonora, who will face tougher opposition in teams like Patentia, Uitvlugt and Vergenoegen later in this zone.
Tyrek Grant also netted while Daniel Clark produced the finishing touches with his 56th minute effort as the players on both sides seemed to tire. The only bright spot for the PLI was skipper Kevin Lawrence who looked a skillful forward but got no support from his team mates.
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