Teams gear up for intense showdowns in Bayhill Premier Cup

Abe Sher Sports Complex in Bothasig was packed to the rafters this past weekend following a successful round three of play-offs for the Bayhill Premier Cup under-19 tournament.

Scheduled to take place over the Easter week in March, the 35-year-old football tournament is recognised as one of the country’s most prolific development playgrounds for upcoming footballers.

Over the years, Erica Park in Belhar has been the host venue for the Premier Cup, with the finals taking place at the Athlone Stadium.

On January 13 and 14, a total of 32 teams proceeded to the next round of the play-offs, which will take place on January 20 and 21, and January 27 and 28, at the William Herbert sports complex in Wynberg.

Ocean View secured a 4-2 victory on penalties following a 2-2 draw against Silver Spurs. Premier United won 2-1 against Old Mutual. YSD Macassar beat Woodlands 3-0 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

A 5-4 penalty drama saw Valhalla United proceed to round four after a goalless draw against Cape Town Fushion. Northpine walked away 3-1 victors over Young Lions from the Goodhope Local Football Association. Willow Stars won 3-1 against Jordan Callies. Strandfontein AFC were knocked out by a 1-0 scoreline by Kensington AFC.

The scorching sun did not stop Novo United from putting five unanswered goals past Anadin FC at 1pm. Aberdeen Soccer Club won 3-2 against Riverton FC, while Cape Town Swallows marched on to the next round with a 1-0 win over Manenberg City.

Barca Juniors set the tone for the games at 2.30pm with a 1-0 victory against African Tribes. Salt River Blackpool beat Helderberg Falcons 1-0 in a field B-actioned match. Mighty United won 1-0 over Umtata United while Pro Stars closed the day with a 3-2 victory over Battswood AFC.

On Saturday morning, while drones captured the remaining action of round four, Chelsea AFC secured a 3-1 victory over Athlone’s Goal 50 United. Clarewood made a statement with a 2-1 win over Blue Downs Spurs.

Hanover Park triumphed 1-0 against Camps Bay, while Avendale Athletico emerged victorious, beating Trinitarians 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw.

One of the most significant upsets so far occurred as Vasco was eliminated in the play-offs. Antayasport Cape Town scored two unanswered goals against Vasco. Riverside Rangers won 3-1 against Sporting United AFC. Stephanians Ottery were one of the most prolific teams to watch, winning 3-0 against Nomenti FC.

Everton FC, hailing from Nyanga, is arguably one of the favourites to advance far in the play-offs and the tournament. They secured a convincing 3-0 victory against Wesley United.

Durbanville FC were knocked out of the play-offs by Robinvale Spurs, hailing from Atlantis. FC Kapstadt looked mighty fine against Southampton. FC Kapstadt came back from a 1-0 deficit to win 5-1 over the Hamptons. Edgemead moved on to the next round with a 1-0 scoreline over Spes Bona Academy. Eyethu Academy scored two late goals to win 2-1 against Sunningdale City.

Elsies River were too strong for Hamiltons following a 4-1 win. Juventus AFC clinched a 1-0 victory over Nova Nacional. Grove Academy beat Eerste River 2-1. Heathfield’s Ashford AFC closed the day off with a 4-0 win over Kenpark United.

Leading up to the finals at Athlone Stadium on Easter Monday, April 1, the tournament will have a set of programmes in place to develop football skills, with a holistic approach to community upliftment.

Aside from the play-offs and round robin stage set out for February, a managers’ briefing and the official tournament launch and fixtures draw will take place at the Mayoral Banqueting Hall.

March will feature a life-skills symposium for players and managers – which includes a media briefing and an interactive session with industry professionals on life after football. Players’ vetting and registration will take place late in March at the Western Cape Sports School.

The tournament will officially kick off at Erica Park in Belhar on Wednesday March 27.

Everton FC’s right back, Asange Mbange unleashes a deadly shot during his side’s 3-0 win over Wesley United. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
FC Kapstadt’s Ashton-Lee Fransman drops the shoulder and glides past his Southampton marker during their 5-1 victory. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Grove Soccer Academy warming up ahead of their 2-1 victory over Eerste River. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Ashford AFC’s Cudan Plaatjies, left, and Callum Jacobs, from Heathfield, helped their side to advance to the next stage of the play-offs with a 4-0 win over Kenpark United. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Sunningdale City’s speedster, Josh Lewis, flashes past his Eyethu Academy opponent during their 2-1 defeat in round three of the play-offs in Bothasig. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Stephanian Ottery’s Gianni Almano steps up the pressure against his opponent, Mveli Mpayipheli from Nomenti FC, during their 3-0 win on Sunday. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Nova Nacional’s striker Chibuike Udesike shields the ball during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus AFC. Picture: Lonwabo Marele