With the inaugural Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) Challenge League approaching, Academy Sports Club maintained their undefeated record Sunday (24 February) playing to a 1-1 draw versus Future Sports Club in Round 12 of 13 in the CIFA Premier League Regular Season at the Ed Bush Playing Field.
In the 19th minute, Jonah Ebanks pounced on some lax midfield passing, taking a solo run through the Future defensive zone until finding Mark Ebanks unmarked in the box who tapped in for a 1-0 halftime lead.
Action picked up in the second half, as Future aggressively pursued an equalizer, only to be cautioned six times by referee Ben Whitty. The latter two yellows led to red cards in added time for both Barry Dre Tibbetts and Courtney Duval.
The equalizer would come in added time, as a 20-yard Duval free kick was struck over the Academy wall, and one-timed by Jared Yates at point-blank range, narrowly beating Academy keeper Rhon Royer.
Academy (8-4-0) fall to fourth in the table, while Future (7-2-3) sit in six overall.
“I think we played together as a team,” said Future’s Stephen Rivers. “They are on the top, so we had to come on strong. We have a game plan, and we kept it. We went through the preseason saying we wouldn’t be scared of the top teams, and we proved it.”
Scholars International (9-2-1) reclaimed top spot in the CPL tables with a 7-1 thrashing of tenth place East End (4-0-8). Fourth place Roma United (7-4-1) knocked off winless Alliance Football Club (0-0-11) with an 8-0 victory. Second place Bodden Town Football Club (9-2-1) crushed eighth place Sunset Football Club (4-3-5) in a 5-0 win. Seventh place Latinos Football Club (4-3-5) knocked off twelfth place North Side Sports Club (1-1-9) with a 4-2 victory. Elite Sports Club fell to fifth overall (7-3-2) with just their second loss of the season in a 1-0 loss to eleventh placed Cayman Athletic (3-1-8). Ninth place George Town Football Club (3-4-5) mauled thirteenth place Tigers Football Club (1-1-8) in a 7-0 win.
Upon the completion of the CIFA Premier League Regular Season 17 March, the top eight teams will play in the newly formed ‘Challenge League’ starting 23rd March in a seven-week draw. After a preliminary round where teams will be seeded ‘worst through best’ based on regular season final standings, teams will proceed into an elimination format tournament, commencing in a finals match June 2018. The bottom six Premier League teams will play in a five-week Silver League playoff in the same format.
Round 8: CIFA Women’s Premier League
First place Scholars International (5-3-0) and second place Elite Sports Club (4-4-0) played to a goalless draw. Third place Sunset Football Club (2-2-2) defeated fourth place Roma United (0-1-7) in a 1-0 victory.