ExxonMobil Football: Cummings Lodge, East Ruimveldt create new reign
By Akeem Greene
A test of nerves, test of skills, a test of the loudest cheers, which resulted in hidden faces of tears and broad smiles by others.
That was the story from start to finish in the Boys’ final of the ExxonMobil School Under-14 football tournament at the Ministry of Education ground, Carifesta Avenue, on Saturday.
To illustrate how close a match it was, Cummings Lodge Secondary won 5-4 on penalty kicks after their duel with Carmel Secondary ended 2-2 after extra time.
Cummings Lodge’s captain Jitzah Martinez, who scored both goals for his team, placed his side ahead in the 30th minute after a goalless first half. It was virtue a penalty after a player was guilty of hand ball.
The talented Ian Daniels responded 13 minutes later, chipping behind two players to slot it powerfully into the net.
Chances came for both sides, but none were converted and the match played into 12 minutes of extra time. Martinez scored eight minutes into that period, and just as the celebrations were beginning as victory was imminent, Daniels, who had a chance earlier but shot it over the net, took his time to gently nudge over the line.
It was now down to penalties and while both keepers made some impressive saves, it was the East Coast Demerara lads who enjoyed sweet frolic of victory.
For their efforts, Cummings Lodge won $300,000 which goes towards school projects, while Carmel copped $200,000.
Martinez won the Most Valuable Player award and the Golden Boot for his 12 goals in the tournament, while Carmel’s custodian Simeon Allicock copped the Best Goalkeeper award.
Additionally, Dolphin Secondary won the third place playoff 1-0 over Queenstown Secondary, with Nicholas Tappin netting in the 41st. $100,000 went to the Dolphin and $50,000 to Queenstown.
Meanwhile, the Girls’ final, which was shifted from last week due to bad weather, saw 2018 semi-finalist East Ruimveldt winning on the most fortuitous circumstances over New Campbellville Secondary. Imani Maxwell was the culprit via an own goal in the 41st.
The girls’ prizes are same as the boys. Former champions Charlestown Secondary had won the third place 6-0 over Tucville Secondary the previous weekend.
East Ruimveldt’s Sherry Rodrigues copped the MVP award, while Charlestown’s Carlita Ross had six goals to cop the Golden Boot prize.
Co-Director of the Petra Organisation, Troy Mendonca, thanked other partners- Demerara Distillers Limited, through its Pepsi brand, Ministry of Public Health, in particular the Chronic Disease Prevention Unit and the Ministry of Education- for their part in pulling off the successful tournament.
He further spoke of the success of the tournament in helping to bridge the gap between their Under-11 and Under-18 school tournaments.
Deedra Moe, ExxonMobil’s Public and Government Affairs Advisor, applauded all teams for their impressive performances, and urged them to continue to strive for excellence. She added these initiatives are all part of the company’s quest to assist with youth development in Guyana.
Minister of Social Cohesion Dr. George Norton urged parents and guardians to encourage their child/children to participate in sports since it helps develop well-rounded students.