Traveling was the order of the day as after dinner, packing of bags, getting clothes ready, midnight cleaning up of each room, and chatter by the boys. Rising at 5am to prepare for departure bus pick-up at 6am is always a stretch at the best of times, but these youngsters are not early risers except for school. Still, all hurried to catch the bus packed with their belongings.
Four teams of Zone C journeyed back to Grand Cayman at 10:24am, delayed from 9am originally, filling the time through lively conversation as mutual respect was obvious. Bahamas returned home later in the day, Honduras on tender hooks awaited the best second place finish from the night’s triple header results, while Cuba scouted their opponents in Cavalier SC and we watched them all plus the new clubs in Zones A and B to learn and continue our group’s development.
Dennis the bus driver organised our safe trip to the Jacques Scott Warehouse to collect the balance of the Grace Foods supplies, the Foster’s Supermarket to buy food items to complement the next few days, and back to The Agricultural Society Pavilion Complex in the Lower Valley. Kerry, our gracious host, was expecting us as she prepared for her flight right after sorting us out. Contract signed, and return flight brought forward to Sunday night at 7pm as the 20 cots were laid out and keys issued; We were back in our new home. Lunch was ordered and delivered. To relax, a walk around the 5-acre property looking for large iguana lizards and a little futsal football game was played before eating.
The bus arranged for the triple header starting at 5pm arrived soon after to the squad sitting on picnic-style hardwood dining benches. West Bay Stadium hosted the 3 games on their artificial turf, not as new or large as the one in the Brac. Game 1: IMG Academy, based in Florida, defeated another US-based team, Alchemy, by 5-1. They came alive in the second half to snatch the all-important best second place spot on goal difference to play Manchester City at 8pm on Saturday, following the interesting match up of Cuba against Cavalier SC at 6:30pm. In game 2, Cavalier SC waltzed by the Cayman Nationals by 5-1 in a one-sided contest disturbed only by the long kick, chase, and score in minute 8 to lead briefly. A red card reduced the Cayman team to 10 players at the halftime whistle. They were then overtaken with 5 unanswered goals, scored by Cavalier to go up against Cuba in the semi finals. Game 3 had DC United clipping Trinidad and Tobago 1-0, ending both campaigns without advancing.
We had dinner and returned home courtesy of our Jamaican bus driver, the affable Dennis. Manager Julie brought the house down in real ‘ragamuffin’ style to tell it like it is, as some unethical approaches were admonished colourfully for all to learn respect. Come-on-the-View, the true spirit of champions lives on!