The youngsters from St. Ignatius Catholic School opened the 2017 CUC Primary Football League (PFL) season with a bang this past Saturday at the Annex Field as they took home the PFL Opening Rally title, defeating Red Bay Primary 2-1 in the final. Under cloudy skies and through intermittent rain showers, St. Ignatius and Red Bay Primary battled for the coveted trophy in what was a very exciting finale and conclusion to a great day of youth football. Ironically, the final was a re-match of an earlier group game as both had advanced into the quarter finals from Zone C.
In the final, Red Bay opened the scoring in the first half through a Myron Cruz blast from half line, which was surely the goal of the day. St. Ignatius battled back and Josh Conen settled his team
mates’ nerves as he brought the scores level going into the final quarter of a pulsating final. With both schools creating goal scoring opportunities at both ends, the cruelty of football reared its
‘ugly head’, at least for Red Bay Primary. A golden chance for the go ahead goal was thwarted by an excellent point-blank save from St. Ignatius’ standout goal keeper Liam Keough off the boot of Red Bay’s forward Jayden Wright, only for Red Bay to concede within a few seconds of that opportunity when Breannach Lynch latched on to a cross from a team mate to clinch the game and win the title for St. Ignatius.
The road to the final wasn’t easy for either school. St. Ignatius defeated Red Bay 2-0 and lost to Sir John A. Cumber Primary 1-2 on penalties on their way to capturing Zone C on goal difference.
Likewise, Red Bay Primary defeated Sir John A. Cumber 2-1 on penalties to advance to the quarter finals on goal difference as the best third place team. In the quarter finals, St. Ignatius defeated Cayman Brac 3-0 and overcame four-time defending champions Cayman Prep 3-2 in the semi finals in a penalty shootout to secure their place in the final.
Red Bay slipped past Savannah Primary 3-2 in a sudden death penalty shootout in the quarter finals and repeated their earlier win over Sir John A. Cumber Primary with a 3-2 penalty shootout in the semi finals. In the third place game, Cayman Prep defeated Sir John A. Cumber 2-1 in a penalty shootout. In Zone A, Prospect Primary, Cayman International School (CIS) and Cayman Brac all advanced to the quarter finals. Prospect Primary won Zone A after defeating CIS and Cayman Brac 2-1 and 1-0 respectively in penalty shootouts and beating George Town Primary 2-1. CIS secured second place in the zone with a 3-0 win over George Town Primary and Cayman Brac. Cayman Brac grabbed the best third place spot in the quarter finals with a 1-0 win over George Town Primary.
In Zone B, Cayman Prep finished first and advanced to the quarter finals following their 3-0 victory over Triple C and 3-0 win over Savannah Primary. Savannah Primary grabbed second place in the zone and a quarter final spot with a 2-0 victory over the boys from Triple C. In Zone C, Sir John A. Cumber secured second spot in the zone and a quarter final spot after defeating eventual Opening Rally champions St. Ignatius 2-1 in a penalty shootout. In the quarter finals, Sir John A. Cumber Primary defeated Prospect Primary 1-0, St. Ignatius overcame Cayman Brac 3-0, Cayman Prep downed CIS 3-0 and Red Bay Primary out shot Savannah Primary 3-2 in a penalty shootout. In the semi finals, Red Bay Primary secured their place in the final after defeating Sir John A. Cumber Primary 3-2 in a penalty shootout and St. Ignatius likewise overcame Cayman Prep 3-2 in a penalty shootout. The Ronnie Roach Most Valuable Player award for the final went to Red Bay’s Myron Cruz who scored a stunner in the final and was a leader and an inspiration for his school, albeit in a losing effort.