CLSS returns to pinnacle of schools’ football
November 22, 2013
CLSS returns to pinnacle of schools’ football

The Central Leeward Secondary School (CLSS) has returned to the summit of the senior division of the Secondary Schools’ Football competition in St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

But they had to do so using rope ladders and mountain gear to overcome the human wall erected by the Bethel High School, last Friday afternoon at the Victoria Park.

It took a Chavel Cummingham strike in the second period of extra time for the winning goal to be scored. This, after both teams had played to a stalemate in regulation time. The prolific Cunningham got by two defenders before curling his shot past the bean pole Lemus Christopher between the upright for Bethel High.

A lifeline came Bethel’s way almost immediately, as referee Fitzgerald King awarded them a penalty for a handled ball in the penalty area.

A confident Christopher strode up to the penalty spot, but his shot went wide, much to the consternation of the Bethel High School supporters, who saw their chance of retaining the title evaporate with that missed opportunity.

Central Leeward, who entered the final minus two of their better players in team captain Kyle Edwards and Deno John, who were attending the Digicel Kick Start Clinic in Barbados, did not take advantage of the numerical advantage. Bethel played most of the match with ten players, after defender Kyle Browne was ejected for two bookable offences early in the first half.

Central Leeward had the better of the opening exchanges, with Cunningham forcing Christopher to save after he swiveled before unfolding a rasping right foot shot minutes after the kick-off.

Bethel rebounded from the initial forays as the shields were posted, making it difficult for their opponents to penetrate with any frequency and definitive approach plays.

A smiling coach of the CLSS Richard Hayde told SEARCHLIGHT that despite not having his play maker Kyle Edwards on show, his team was able to get the job done.

“Kyle is our main creator, so we had to change our plans by playing a more compact midfield,” Hayde noted.

Central Leeward lost out to Bethel in last year’s final on kicks from the penalty spot after both had played to a 2-2 draw in regulation and extra time.

It was the third consecutive year that both schools were contesting the finals and the fourth successive year for the Central Leeward Secondary.

The CLSS was beaten by Dr J.P. Eustace 2-nil in 2010, but redeemed themselves in 2011, downing Bethel High by the same margin.

In the immediate lead up to last Friday’s final, the CLSS handed the Bequia Community High School, an 8-1 drubbing, while the Bethel High outgunned the Sandy Bay Secondary six-nil in a high scoring semi-final.

Sandy Bay pouched third place with a 2-nil defeat of Bequia Community High.(RT)