Chase Academy orchestrates comfortable Digicel title repeat
By Treiston Joseph
Chase Academy footballers were on top of their game and in one of their better showings of the tournament, retained the Digicel National School Football title with a 6-2 win against Annai Secondary on Sunday evening at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora.
Chase opened strong in the first half, attacking Annai’s defence, which showed signs of weakness since their semi-final clash with DC Caesar Fox (formerly Waramadong) on Thursday.
It did not take long for Chase to find the opening they needed with Nicholas McArthur making a nice run from the right side to slot in an easy goal in the ninth minute into the right bottom of the net.
Stephon Reynolds capitalised on the exact same weak right side of Annai’s defence before pushing the ball past the left of the custodian to double Chase’s lead in the 17th minute.
Chase went on to score four goals in the first half with McArthur securing a double in the 20th minute, while Ryan Hackette drilled a screamer from about 25 yards out to make the game 4-0 in the 37th minute.
However, Annai’s never say die attitude resulted in a goal just before the end of the first half from Orville Daniels that give the Region Nine school some glimmer of hope heading into the second half.
Annai, much like they did in the second half of their semi-final when they were down 4-2, came out with energy that resulted in Sherral Daniels, the eventual Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, scoring a scorcher in the 56th minute to make the score 4-2.
However, Chase sealed the deal with two consecutive goals in the in the 69th and 85th minutes from Reynolds, who registered a hat-trick. The win for Chase Academy secured them the top prize of $1,000,000 along with the top trophy, while Annai pocketed $700,000 and the second place trophy.
Captain of Chase, Jeremy Garrett, expressed his gratitude to repeat as champions, commending his players for bringing their “A game” on the final night of the tournament.
CEO of Digicel, Gregory Dean, was pleased with the final, noting that the atmosphere was electric, but hinted that going forward Digicel will need assistance if the tournament is to continue.
Meanwhile, DC Caesar Fox picked up their first ever win against Christianburg Wismar with a 3-1 effort for the third spot, as well as $400,000.
DC Caesar Fox was clearly the better team on this night after meeting the Linden based side for the fifth time in the tournament’s history, losing to them on the four previous occasions.
Reon McNaughton opened the scoring for DC Caesar, while Whitaker Paul and Kevin Hastings added to the score-line in the 25th and 43rd minutes. Darwin Adolphus scored a consolation goal for Christianburg in the 57th minute as the Linden-based side received $350,000 for their effort.