Semifinals were later in the night and we were resting in on Saturday morning after another late night,
to have mid-morning breakfast with catering done by Equipment Manager Michael Jackson. Baths, talks, and the day is never complete without a football game or two. Coach Blaine designed relaxed ball work in the form of 4 teams playing foot tennis as the make-shift 30-inch net was erected. Limited touches, possession, concentration, passing and coordination through teamwork was exercised vigorously in short, intense mini games of winners stay on and losers sit out.
Scrimmage or, if you prefer, futsal in 4 vs 4 formats were up next as all 16 players and Michael enjoyed the workout on the flat, concrete surface until lunch was served from the nearby pizza parlour in the Lower Valley. More rest time was allocated after showers, as the bus returned to carry us to the 6:30pm semifinals of Cavalier SC against The Cuban National Team who we played to a nail-biting 2-2 stalemate in the Brac.
Driver Dennis and the bus are right on time as usual, at 4:30pm, and we were anxiously awaiting the battle of skills, wits and tactics. The referee blew the whistle to start and the Jamaicans start best but very soon lose their composure as the Cubans take charge to score, 1-0.
A speculative shot from distance shot off the slippery surface dampened by afternoon showers, through the hands and legs of the custodian, as even the astroTurf retains a slick exterior. 2-0 until halftime, with Cuba in the driver’s seat and Cavaliers SC not responding favourably.
A third goal about 2 minutes into the second half opened the deficit to 3-0, as both teams lost track of their discipline to get embroiled in physical play and demonstration. A Cavaliers player was booked and then red carded to leave the field with 10 players for the last 16 minutes.The game now out of reach, Cuba hit another to win 4-0, advancing to the finals once more against Manchester City who easily dismissed IMG Academy of Florida, USA.
At dinner, we said our thank yous and goodbyes to everyone as we prepared to head home the following day by 6:55pm courtesy of sponsors Cayman Airways. Special thanks to our friends in the Cayman Brac: Mr. Harold Sanford, Steve Smith, the staff at Brac Caribbean Village Resort, bus company, all the Jamaicans, and our restaurants who prepared and fed us those delicious dishes, Premier Kirk Connell and the Grand Cayman Islands Organisation who assisted, Kerry at the Agricultural Society Pavilion and last but definitely not least, bus driver Dennis and his crew.
Thanks to our club sponsors who were there for us: JN Cayman, MIC Systems, Caribbean Assurance Brokers Limited and the parents, friends, coaches and managers who prepared the squad. Thank you, we are all better human beings for the experience.
Harbour View FC, “The Stars of the East” the youngsters future shines brightly.