Bayhill United crowned mid-section champions

Premier Cup hosts Bayhill United gave a good account of themselves at this year’s under-19 Easter soccer spectacle, advancing through the group stages to book themselves a spot against Cape Town City in a nail-biting quarter-final fixture. Coach Jayrad “Jimmy” Visagie’s side held on to a 1-0 lead for most of the match but ultimately went down 2-1.

Bayhill United’s Jordan Davids slide tackles Highland Park’s Ofentse Moeletsi during their side’s Premier Cup mid-section final. Bayhill won 7-6 on penalties. Picture: Fuad Esack

They faced former champions Highlands Park in the mid-section final, at Athlone Stadium on Monday, playing to a goalless draw and winning 7-6 on penalties.

“Our preparation went really well,” said Visagie, “we had lots of training matches versus PSL teams and a few teams that were part of the Premier Cup this year. We really ticked all boxes when it came to fitness and tactics.”

He said the squad was fairly new from the one that made it to last year’s quarters with only six players from that side remaining. “We had 14 new guys and ones we identified through assessments,” he said.

“What we did different this year was mainly increasing ball circulation and speed of passing to starve opponents from possession and tire them out and then capitalise on that” he said.

Bayhill’s Caleb Adams, left, tussles for during his side’s Premier Cup mid-section final against Highlands Park. Picture: Fuad Esack

Bayhill’s youngsters made life difficult for City in their quarter-final clash, with Jordan April finding the back of the net from the penalty spot. City equalised 10 minutes from full time, as Bayhill conceded a soft penalty to let them back in the game.

“We dominated the exchange with them and constantly put them under pressure which the spectators enjoyed and we once again warmed and won over many hearts,” Visagie said.

Bayhill goalkeeper Aviwe Solani between the poles during a tense penalty shootout against Highland Park in the Premier Cup mid-section finals, at Athlone Stadium, on Monday. Picture: Fuad Esack