As action continued in the 2018 Region Four Heritage Football competition playoffs, a determined and composed St Cuthbert’s Mission defeated Laluni on penalty kicks to set up an eagerly anticipated final with Swan.
St Cuthbert’s Mission was forced to play Laluni in the three way competition after receiving a drubbing in their first match against Swan. Embarrassed by the humiliating defeat which was witnessed by a sizable home crowd, a much more composed St Cuthbert’s Mission returned to play Laluni after being humbled by a much younger team, Swan, 2-4.
With both teams going at each and determined to get the win that would give them a chance of representing the Region, it was Laluni which demonstrated better skills in the first half hour of the game and was rewarded with a clever goal that came off the boot of Junior Persaud in the 23rd minute.
This goal sent the Laluni supporters into a frenzy and evidently saw the fans of St Cuthbert’s Mission looking dejected. However in the second half an inspired St Cuthbert’s team made a few changes which resulted in them scoring a much needed equaliser in the 51st minute through Paul Henry.
The goal lit up the entire St Cuthbert’s ground as spectators and fans of the team began urging them on even as Laluni valiantly fought for an additional goal while the home team was desperate to go ahead. However after some near chances by both teams the match ended in a draw.
Kicks from the penalty mark was required to decide the winner and in the shootout supporters of both teams cheered on their respective teams passionately as if they were playing
a world cup match. St Cuthbert’s Lorenzo Clenkiam once again took the first penalty and like in the match against Swan he messed what many felt was a certain goal.
Laluni also missed their first penalty, Shevin Patterson, the culprit. St Cuthbert’s Duran Adrian sent them up 1-0 when he converted the second penalty for his team. Like their first attempt, Laluni’s Elroy Adams made a mess of his shot much to the disappointment of the fans, the ball was sent over the cross bar.
Carl Henry increased St Cuthbert’s score 2-0, easily converting his penalty. Laluni’s Captain Enoch Aaron was in a no nonsense mood and was determined to cut the lead and he easily did this when he converted, halving the score which was still in favour of St Cuthbert’s Mission.
Raji Dundas converted his shot for St Cuthbert’s carrying eth score to 3-1, Laluni’s Junior Persaud booted in his shot and it was now 3-2 still St Cuthbert’s Mission in charge and they further increased the advantage when Zack Pereira sunk their fourth shot to seal victory, 4-2.
An evidently disappointed Laluni Captain Enoch Aaron said that his team allowed themselves to become complacent, thus allowing St Cuthbert’s to take the upper hand.
“This was a match that we should have won as we saw how they played against Swan and we saw how Swan exploited their weaknesses, therefore, we should not have lost this match noday,” a disappointed Aaron said. The Laluni Captain noted that they were able to hold onto the 1-0 lead but said that it was certainly not enough to win the match noting that had they maximised on the many opportunities that came their way it would have seen them easily winning the match, thus avoiding a shootout.
“St Cuthbert’s Mission has an excellent record in shootouts and therefore we allowed ourselves to be drawn into their territory so complaining now will make no sense but the reality is that we lost a match that many thought that we were going to win,” he conceded.
St Cuthbert’s Mission will now play Swan to determine which of the two teams will move on to the National finals to represent Region Four in this weekend’s Heritage Games slated Georgetown.
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