Pitt strikes as East get revenge
East All-Stars 5
West All-Stars 1
The East Middle School boys avenged their 2-0 loss last year with a 5-1 thumping of the West in yesterday's opening match at the National Stadium.
Jai Pitt put the East ahead in the 24th minute with a well-struck volley from 30 yards that the West goalkeeper blocked but could not keep out.
The lead only lasted a couple of minutes before Jahrico Butterfield's brilliant free kick found the net. Butterfield's effort from 25 yards hit the underside of the crossbar before striking Mackai Gittens, the goalkeeper, on his back and rolling over the line.
The action was frantic late in the opening half as the East went back on the attack, with Pitt feeding a good pass to Jamori Tyrell before his shot was blocked for a corner by Zavier Smith, the West goalkeeper. Another goal did come before the break with Samuel Darling deflecting Tre McCallan's well struck shot past his goalkeeper in the 32nd minute.
The East never let up in the 35 minutes of the second half and scored three more goals to put the game out of reach. Keaerje Davis made it 3-1 two minutes into the second half when he converted a cross from a corner on the left at the near post.
The match had an unfortunate incident when Samori Greenidge-Saltus of Clearwater jarred his knee after an awkward fall from a tackle early in the second half and lay on the pitch for several minutes in severe pain before being taken to hospital by ambulance.
“It wasn't a malicious tackle, he jarred it as he landed, but hopefully he will come back from that,” said Neil Paynter, the East coach. “He was in a lot of pain.”
The injury seemed to have an effect on both teams and it wasn't until the last three minutes of the match that the East found their scoring touch again, netting twice to complete a convincing victory. Kashe Hall, later named most valuable player for the East, netted his team's fourth in the 67th minute when he converted from close range.
Striker Tyrell wrapped it up with a goal in the final minute when he steered his shot past the goalkeeper.
“Seeing a team-mate go down and how much pain he was in took something out of the players, but they got back to it and asserted themselves well,” said Paynter who was encouraged by the talent on show.
“I thought it was an excellent game, obviously I'm happy the East won. These youngsters showed that they have a lot of talent and potential and I hope they can continue on and remain positive in the game.”
Goalkeeper Zavier Smith was voted the West's most valuable player.
East All-Stars (J Pitt 24, S Darling (og) 32, K Davis 37, K Hall 67, J Tyrell 70)
West All-Stars (J Butterfield 26)
East Team: Yusef Bushara, Chaz Trott, Toby Gibbons (Somersfield Academy); Jalen Commissiong (Mount Saint Agnes Academy); Mackai Gittens, Samori Greenidge-Saltus, Ryan Outerbridge, Tre McCallan (Clearwater Middle School); Kenyade McQueen, Tariq Bean (Dellwood Middle School); Gatwon Minors, Jair Eve, Zakiyah Lee, Seke Spence, Jai Pitt, Kashe Hall, Isiah Blankandal, Jomari Tyrell (Whitney Institute Middle School). Coaches: Vernon Lambe, Quenell Robinson, Neil Paynter, Devarr Boyles.
West Team: Zavier Smith, Kilae Crockwell, Tyrese Caines, Harry Crawford, Samuel Darling, Jayce Fraser (Warwick Academy); Finlay Turnbull, Ajani Burchall, Jarryd Richardson, Jonah Steven, Aaron Booth (Saltus Grammar School); Arnezha Astwood, Rayquon Woodley-Smith, Jahrico Butterfield (TN Tatem Middle School); Zaire Smith, Jayden Ebbin, Kyree Hollis, A'Naije' Keesee-Ming (Sandys Secondary Middle School).