Excitement is the order of the day when the Guardian Group Youth Tournament get into finals action on Saturday.
After months of games, it all comes to a head this coming Saturday as champions are decided in finals of the Guardian Group Youth Tournament. Having played through the preliminary round and surviving the cuts in the playoffs, the top teams in the Under-9, Under-11, Under-13 and Under-15 will be going after the number-one spot across their respective age groups.
The SOS Under-9's are ready and rearing to go as their finalists had been decided since the last weekend in December. United Stars Alliance secured their spot with a 3-1 win over Kick Start Hot Shots. Jacob Gollop knocked home the lone consolation for Kick Start while Shaeshon Scantlebury had two goals for United Stars Alliance. The third goal was an own-goal.
The other Under-9 spot went to Fitts Village West Coast after taking a win on penalties over Pro Shottas. With Sacha Pounder knocking the ball home for Pro Shottas in the 12th minute, West Coast replied in the 25th compliments of Jamaro Johnson. At the spot, Pro Shottas were unable to find the nets while United Stars had two for the win.
In the Rejuvenator Under-11 competition this past Saturday at Barclays, both finalists had to be decided on penalties. In the Kick Start/ Pro Shottas grudge match, Kick Start got off the mark with a goal from Seth Jones in the 4th minute. However, Pro Shottas would bounce back and take the lead with back-to-back goals from Zachari Yarde in the 26th and 28th minutes.
Jordan Bryan brought Kick Start back on even terms in the 31st to send the game to the penalty spot. This is where Pro Shottas won the game, beating Kick Start 3-2.
The other Under-11 semi featured Fitts Village West Coast and Pinelands Academy and the two played to a goalless draw at the end of full time. With the game now to be decided on spot kicks, Pinelands would be given their walking papers as the St. James team edging them out, two goals to one.
Similar to the Under-9s, the Liberator Under-13s had their semifinals back in November and Kick Start Hammers are set to square off against the National Sports Council Blenheim Ballers. The Hammers advanced by taking out Fitts Village West Coast, 3-1. Yanni Marshall was good for two goals while Khalil Vanderpool-Nurse added a third. West Coast got their lone goal from Tavian Eastmond.
The Blenheim Ballers had a 5-2 win over Pro Shottas to go forward and braces from Jadon Alleyne and Shamari Harewood put them in good stead. Kishmar Ramsay had the fifth. Pro Shottas goals came from Rovaldo Massiah and Ethan Taylor.
At the Praesidia Under-15 level, it will be Mavericks and Pro Shottas going head-to-head in the final. Mavericks rolled to a comfortable 3-0 win over Cosmos at Parkinson this past Saturday. With neither team finding the nets in the first half, Mavericks made all the moves in the second and had goals from Kemar John (45th), Raequan Jacobi Jones (56th) and Paul Clarke (70th).
Pro Shottas have picked up another finals berth after beating Pinelands in penalties. The score was locked at 1-1 at full time after Janash Jauni netted for Pinelands and Zuhri Morris put Pro Shottas in the game when he converted a penalty. When the dust settled, Pro Shottas came away victorious 4-3.
This coming Saturday, the Under-9s kick things off at 8:30 AM with the other finals going at 9:30 AM, 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM.