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Brittons Hill, Silver Sands book final berths in next round

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Elsid Miggins of Brittons Hill on the move in Thursday's game against UWI Blackbirds.

The final four became set in stone for the semifinals of the Williams Equipment Preseason Cup after Brittons Hill United and Abrahams United Silver Sands comfortably booked their berths in the final preliminary games of the tournament. Playing at Market Hill on Thursday night, the top-two teams in Zone 1 both ended the night with two goals to their name.

Brittons Hill ended at the top of the group with seven points after coming away with a two-one win over University of the West Indies Blackbirds. Travis Coppin got the party started for Brittons Hill in the 6th minute to see his team move into the break with the 1-0 lead. Misfortune would strike the Blackbirds as Denzil Fordyce would be in prime position for a rebound shot in the 74th minute. Sending the ball on course for the nets past an advancing keeper, UWI's Germain Hughes stuck out a leg in a bid to thwart the effort. However, the ball deflected only slightly and found its way into the nets past Bentley Springer less than five minutes after he replaced Juwon Prescod in the bars.

With their chances at advancing quickly vanishing before their eyes, the Blackbirds were able to pull out a consolation from Mario Harte, who was making his first appearance for the season. The former national team captain scored in the 88th but no other magic would come forth in the remaining time to force a tie.

Silver Sands will be going into the semis as the best second-placed team in the competition after putting two unanswered goals in the less-than-impressive Rendezvous. Both teams seemed to be evenly-stacked in a game that saw Rendezvous fielding their first full team for the season. However that changed as Jomo Brathwaite was given his walking papers with a straight red in the 15th minute for a serious infraction.

At the half, the score was still tied as they were both goalless. That all changed early in the second as Troy Johnson knocked home the first goal in the 54th minute. A second goal came from the boot of Derrine Gale-Forde after he picked up a rebound out of a scrum in front of the bars.

Brittons Hill ended on their seven points from two wins and a draw, while Silver Sands have the same. A goal-difference of nine see Brittons Hill coming on top of the Christ Church side (3). They join Zone 2 winners Crane and Equipment Ellerton and Zone 3 winners Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme in Sunday's first round of the semifinals.

Scheduled for Weymouth, Brittons Hill will face Silver Sands in the first game at 6:00 PM, a replay of Game 2 in Zone 1. Last time the two met, they broke even on three goals each. The nightcap at 8:00 PM will pit the Sports Programme against Ellerton.   

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