Cambridge, Lilliput clash in Sandals Major League final

Saturday, May 25, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Cambridge United qualified for the final of the St James Football Association Sandals Resorts International Major League in their first season in the competition, after beating former champions Violet Kickers 2-1 in their second-leg semi-final at the UDC Field last week Wednesday for a 3-2 aggregate.

Cambridge FC lost in the semi-finals of Division One last year, but were one of three teams promoted, along with Division One champions Bogue FC and Violet Kickers, and made full use of their opportunity coming from a goal down to win 2-1 after the first game a week earlier ended in a 1-1 draw.

The team from upper St James will meet Lilliput Rovers in the final set for today at Jarrett Park.

Last week Wednesday's game surpassed expectations in most areas with two teams matching tactics and wits and the fans were rewarded with three well-taken goals.

Dominice Brissett, who had scored the equaliser in the first game, gave Violet Kickers the lead in the 32nd minute when he was well-placed to capitalise on a defensive error to turn in a cross from the right wing past two defenders and goalkeeper Chad Trough.

Shaquelle West had a golden opportunity to put Cambridge United level in the 38th minute, but his header from six yards hit the ground and flew over the cross bar of the wide open goal.

He made amends early in the second half when he caught the Violet Kickers team napping, and raced past several players and beat the advancing goalkeeper Shemar Thelwell in the 48th minute.

The goal seemed to have breathed life into the Cambridge United team and they lifted their game several levels, but Thelwell, who also plays for Irwin High in the ISSA daCosta Cup schoolboys competition, pulled off a series of saves to keep the scores level.

He and the Violet Kickers defence had little answer in the 75th minute when Obrien Bent turned sweetly on the edge of the area and fired a low, hard right-footer past the goalkeeper.

Violet Kickers stormed back and should have drawn level late in the game, but Cambridge United's goalkeeper Trough brilliantly saved a free kick heading for the top left corner of the goal to preserve his team's lead.

— Paul Reid


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