Big guns book Alberga Cup semi-final spots
The semi-finals of the JISA Alberga Cup have been set with three familiar names and an impressive newcomer left standing in the hunt for top honours in the island’s premier Under-12 football competition.
Hillel Academy joins the usual suspects – Emmanuel Christian Academy (ECA), Sts Peter and Paul, and Mona Prep in the year’s last four after a dramatic final round of matches in the quarter-final group stage on Wednesday.
While Sts Peter and Paul and this year’s favourites ECA strolled comfortably into the semi-finals, Mona and Hillel had to overcome do-or-die scenarios in their respective contests to book their place in the next round.
Trailing Liberty Academy on points and goal difference, Mona, playing away, delivered a sensational 5-0 hammering on their hosts to match Liberty’s six points and top the group on goal difference.
The heavy defeat took Liberty Academy out of contention to qualify as the best second-placed team, as they ended with a goal difference of minus two.
Hillel took that spot after whipping Belair 4-1 in Manchester in a physical contest to finish as the best second-placed team overall with six points and a plus-five goal difference.
Hillel’s only defeat this season came at the hands of Sts Peter and Paul during the quarter-final group stage and the two will meet again in the semi-finals which are scheduled to take place on December 6 at a venue to be confirmed.
In the other semi-finals, two of the most fancied teams in the competition, last year’s beaten finalists ECA and third-place finisher Mona, will lock horns for a place in the trophy match in what is sure to be an exciting clash.
On Wednesday, ECA, who along with Sts Peter and Paul are the two remaining teams in the competition, made light work of Wolmer’s, beating them 3-1 to march into the semis with a maximum nine points, the same as Sts Peter and Paul, who edged AISK 2-1 in their final quarter-final group match.
Vaz Prep started the day with a shot at making it in the final four but were held 2-2 by El Instituto in Mandeville, while dethroned champions Lannaman’s ended the competition on a high with a 2-0 win over Morris Knibb, who also had a chance to push for a semi-final spot.
With two and a half weeks to go before the start of the Alberga Cup semi-finals, the teams will now turn their attention to the knockout competition, the Henriques Cup, which begins on Saturday with the first round of matches.
This round will feature all teams except those that ended the preliminary round ranked among the top eight schools.
Alberga Cup semi-finals fixtures (December 6)
Emmanuel Christian Academy vs Mona Prep
Sts Peter and Paul Prep vs Hillel Academy
Henriques Cup Fixtures (Saturday, November 18)
OLA vs Portmore Missionary @ Maxfield Park, 11:00 am
Vaz vs Alvernia @ Liberty Academy, 12:30 pm
Glenmuir vs Ardenne @ Maxfield Park, 12:30 pm
Stella Maris vs Dunrobin @ St Andrew, 12:30 pm
Liberty vs St Hugh’s @ Liberty Academy, 2:00 pm
Lannaman’s vs Praise Tab @ Maxfield Park, 2:00 pm
St Andrew vs Queen’s @ St Andrew, 2:00 pm
Belair vs West Indies @ Belair, 2:30 pm