St. Michael East (SME) and St. Michael North East (SMNE) will have a derby when they meet in the Under-19 National Sports Council/Youth Development Community Programme Competition final, after winning their semifinal matches last night in Speightstown, St Peter.
Interestingly, both semifinal matches went into extra time and in the opening encounter, SME edged Christ Church West Central (CCWC) 4-2 on penalties after the scoreline remained untroubled during regular and extra time.
Converting their penalties successfully for SME were Tarad Maxius, Damar Maloney, Ackeem Chandler and Joshua Whitehall. Scoring the penalties for an unfortunate CCWC side were goalkeeper Justin Neil and Shimea Trotman.
During the game, SME dominated most of the offence and coming onto the end of the first half should have been up 1-0 when a ball from the left side found national Under-17 player Roshon Gittens who controlled it beautifully but then sent the ball into the waiting gloves of CCWC goalkeeper Neil.
There was a chance to score the follow-up after Neil spilled the ball and Jamario Nicholls attempted to have a go but was denied in the 37th minute by excellent defensive work from CCWC.
SME looked just as confident in the second half and were fortunate not to be down 1-0 after Shakeem Thorne of CCWC took aim from 25-yards and hit the right post of the goal bars.
Despite controlling the narrative on offence, SME were guilty of wasting too much time on the ball and coming on to the end of regular time they appeared tired as CCWC began to control ball possession. CCWC picked up crucial fouls but were unable to find the back of the nets. For example, CCWC picked up a 20-yard free kick in the 22nd minute which was taken by Shimea Trotman but his commendable effort went just over the crossbar.
Minutes before the game went into extra time, CCWC almost scored through Tyrell Walrond but was denied by a wonderful tackle from Joshua Whitehall who played impressively at centre back throughout the game.
Gittens was a constant threat for SME during extra time and within minutes of the first half, he outpaced Daniyel Harewood of CCWC on the right flanks and squared the ball to Tarad Maxius just centre of the goal bar but he missed his shot.
There were numerous opportunities created on both sides of the field but neither of the two teams managed to find the back of the nets which caused the game to go into a penalty shootout.
In the second encounter, the City of Bridgetown were outdone 5-2 by SMNE during extra time in what was a physical showdown. In fact, City captain Ricknico Marshall was expelled in the 112th minute for using threatening language to an opposing player. Prior to that in the 90+1-minute, Marshall’s teammate Janash Jaunai received his second yellow card of the night and marching orders.
Scoring for SMNE were Shawneko Moore in the 50th, Ajani Straughn 93rd, Shadius Wickham 98th, Jaydon Sealy 101st and Tre Byer 105th. Meanwhile, for the City, Kobe Shepherd netted a penalty kick in the 63rd and Nekado Carrington scored in the 94th minute.
The City and SMNE played out a goalless opening half as referee Tonia Deane was kept busy handing out cards for reckless tackles that oftentimes led to flared tempers.
In the second half, SMNE gained a 1-0 advantage after a defensive error from City which allowed Shawneko Moore to score an easy opportunity in the 50th minute.
While Moore was on a high from scoring that goal, he was later heartbroken in the 63rd minute having fouled Kobe Shepherd of the City. That resulted in a penalty successfully taken by Shepherd, a premier league player for University of the West Indies Blackbirds.
Two minutes later Shepherd stole possession and placed a leading ball to striker Abiola Grant in the hopes of securing the go-ahead goal for the City. But Grant, a national Under-17 player, was unable to find the nets.
Shepherd was unstoppable and came up with a delightful cross to substitute Trevor Hall whose shot hit the left post but agonizingly did not go in. The agony continued as both teams fought to secure the winner coming on to the end of regular time.
That was unsuccessful and it was during extra time that SMNE showed their true calibre and took the attack to the City for their match-winning goals.