Mixed fortunes for Saltus
It was a day of mixed results for Saltus Grammar School in the BSSF semi-final matches yesterday as their under-13 boys beat Sandys Secondary Middle School 1-0 in the under-13 boys match before going down to the same team 4-2 in the over-13 match at the National Sports Centre North Field.
The close under-13 match was decided by Nathan DaCosta's curling shot into the far corner late in the second half after Tristan Robinson did the work with a good run down the right flank.
“It was a good goal at the end of it,” said John Barry Nusum, the Saltus coach. “It was a back and forth game, luckily we got that one chance and put it away. It was a good finish.”
Saltus will meet Warwick Academy in today's final after Warwick Academy edged Whitney Institute 2-1 with both goals scored by Xavi DeRosa at the BFA field. Zaedyn Philpott replied for Whitney.
Sandys worked hard to pull off their victory over Saltus in the over-13 match where Kieron Richardson gave Sandys the lead in the opening minutes before Sachiel Ming equalised from the penalty spot after Tre Burgess was fouled late in the first half. Jayson Simons made it 2-1 to Sandys when he scored through the goalkeeper's legs at the near post, before Richardson netted his second to make it 3-1.
Cole Summers pulled it back to 3-2 for Saltus before Kee-zai Cann made certain of the win with the fourth Sandys goal. “I felt Saltus played the better ball with the under-13s, they knocked the ball around and were more organised,” acknowledged Reggie Tucker Jr, the coach of both Sandys Secondary teams.
“We made a mistake at the back and they capitalised, it was a good finish. Last year, we lost to Saltus again in the unders and some of these [over-15] players played in that game.
“The overs have also been undefeated in the league and it was about leaving their mark so that the unders can look up to you come next year.”
The Sandys over-15s showed character to win their semi-final match, now coach Tucker wants to see more of the same today when they meet Dellwood in the final. Dellwood beat TN Tatem 6-5 on penalty kicks after that match finished in a 2-2 draw. Kentaro Bean and Chyon Thompson scored for Dellwood in the regulation period while Temi Hewey and Shavon Nisbett replied for Tatem.
Whitney also won on kicks from the spot when they beat Warwick Academy 3-2 in the middle school girls semi-final. That match also finished 3-2 with Jahni Simmons and Julianna Viera scoring for Whitney with Adrianna Argent netting both Warwick Academy goals.
Saltus also went down in the middle schools girls match against TN Tatem when a goal in the dying seconds by Katherine Bean-Rosario gave them a 3-2 victory. Bean-Rosario and A'naya Zuill-Wade had earlier given Tatem a 2-0 lead only for Lauren Caldwell to score from two free kicks to tie it up at 2-2.
“I think the players played well, were focused and had a desire to win,” said Tschana Wade, the Tatem coach. “I'm very happy with the character my team showed to come back and win this game.”
The loss was hard to take for the Saltus players, a couple of them fighting back tears. “It was a good game. I thought my team played the best game they have all season. It was unfortunate we didn't capitalise when we had the chances,” said coach Leslie White.
“To come back from 2-0 down to 2-2 and then lose with 30 seconds left in the game, the girls are heartbroken. The most tears came from the girls who are leaving middle school and going on to high school next year. Once they go on to the Saltus senior team they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
Saltus also had strong claims for a handball in the penalty box turned down in the second half. “It was a good game. Tatem played hard, we played hard, unfortunately the result didn't go our way,” White accepted.
National coach Naquita Robinson was watching the action, no doubt looking for new talent. “Tschana and I both used to play and it is good to see that they have organised girls football now,” White said. “When we were growing up, it didn't exist.”
In primary schools semi-finals, Harrington Sound beat Warwick Academy 5-0 with Kalila Dailey netting four goals and Jashay Trott the other. Saltus won the other semi-final, beating BHS 2-0 with Avani Patton their scorer.
In the primary schools division 2 boys semi-finals, Azende Trott-Smith netted four times as St George's Prep beat West End Primary 4-0. Samir Askia got the other goal.
Gilbert Institute beat St David's Primary 5-3 in a high-scoring contest with Blayz Borgesson scoring three times for Gilbert and Calae Young Gibbons and Gabriel Booth the others. Kyha Blyden and Z'naz Jones replied for St David's.
In the senior under-16 boys match, David Blankendal scored twice in Berkeley Gold's 2-0 win over CedarBridge. Today's finals start at 11am.