The semifinals of the Ministry of Education/ Department of Sports Primary Schools’ Football tournament, were played at the ET Willet Park on Thursday 29th November.
A sizeable and vociferous crowd was on hand and the Charlestown Primary School for its part, was well represented with a large contingent of cheer leading girls who made it known that they had ‘come to make a lot of noise for their team.’
In the first match of the afternoon, The Charlestown Primary was the undisputed favourites, as they engaged the Elizabeth Pemberton Primary. After all, Charlestown had won all of their preliminary matches, hands down and EPPS had placed fourth.
So confident were they that one of their coaches, ‘PUCK’, opined that his team would score three goals in the first half and a lot more in the second.
The first half was hard fought and the EPPS team defended stoutly, anything that came in the area of the goal.
At half time, the score was nil-all and EPPS coach Adelvin Phillip, was smiling because obviously a goalless half versus CPS, was almost equivalent to a win..
The second half was equally keenly contested and the crowd was into the game. The tension was obvious.
The question was: Could EPPS hold out long enough to force the game into penalties?
Ten minutes to the end of the game, the unthinkable happened.
The CPS goalie bubbled just slightly with a ball in the box and out of nowhere, one of the EPPS forwards latched on to it and drove hard. Everyone held their breaths and the ball sailed over the cross bar and the CPS supporters breathed a sigh of relief.
Then it happened. As both teams pressed for the crucial goal, there was a bungle in the CPS defence and one of the EPPS forwards got a boot onto the ball and the ball bounced high out of the reach of the hapless goalie and into the back of the net!
The only thing that Headmistress at the EPPS school, Mrs. Pemberton, probably did not do, was a back flip and hand stand, as she raced onto the field in jubilation.
But it was not all over. Now it was the turn of the EPPS team to be tense. The last three minutes of the game, seemed like an hour, as the CPS team, urged on by their coaches and fans, pressed hard to score, but the EPPS team defended stoutly.
Then came the final blast. EPPS had won!
Final score: EPPS 1 CPS nil
Some of the CPS players and supporting cheer leaders wept openly.
The second game saw second placed Ivor Walters Primary, coming up against third placed St. Thomas’ Primary, who are incidentally the defending champions.
This game started with the same intensity but within the first half, one of the St. Thomas’ forwards exploited an error in the IWPS defence and bombed one home.
The half time score was 1 goal to nil with IWPS still in with a chance.
However, all hopes were virtually dashed, when another of the St. Thomas’ forwards, found the net early in the second half.
The IWPS supporters looked as if they were now at a funeral service.
Then out of the blue, young Jaheem for IWPS, pulled off arguably the most stunning goal of the season—a bomber from almost midfield that sailed over the goalie’s head and into the back of the net. It was as sensational strike!
Suddenly the IWPS hopes were revived.
Those hopes were to be dashed again, as even though they gave it their all, in the dying moments of the game, St. Thomas’ Primary defended stoutly, to ensure that there would be no penalty kicks on that day.
Final score: St. Thomas’ Primary 2 Ivor Walters Primary 1
It means therefore that the grand finals will be played between Elizabeth Pemberton Primary and the defending champions, St. Thomas’ Primary and Eddy Richards Caines is adamant, that his team will defend the coveted trophy but EPPS may have some more surprises up their sleeves yet….