Mumbai: With the defending champions out of the frame, it is left to the pretenders to hold the center stage in the MSSA under-16 Division II Inter-school football tournament.
Four teams line up to clash for a place in the final in the contest to be played at the Neville D'Souza ground, Bandra on Saturday. St Anne's Malad take on St Paul, Dadar while in the other St Joseph's Malad clash with Arya Vidya Mandir (AVM), Juhu.
In the last eight stages of the championship at the Cooperage ground here on Friday, St Joseph's High School, Malad romped home with a 7-0 win over Cambridge High School (Kandivali). And it was striker Om Arane who had the most of it netting three goals.
It was business as usual for the boys from Malad as they got down to serious work soon after the kick-off and it was Arane who struck. It was sheer foresight that saw Arane lob the ball over the defenders and the advancing keeper to put them ahead.
This opened the flood gates as the other strikers unleashed their prowess with Aditya Parab and Joy Banerjee making it 3-0 in Malad boys favour.
Cambridge did show some fight back holding on to the ball in the midfield, but St Joseph's turned out to to a hard nut to crack. Yash Koli broke shackle making it 4-0 and take the break on a high note.
Despite the downpour there was nothing that could change the positive move by the boys from Malad as they pumped in three more which included Arane completing his three goals to notch up his hattrick of the tournament.
Atharva Rewale was the star of St Paul as they the Darad lads overcome Lakshadham High School, Goregaon 4-0 to book their place in the semifinal.
Boys (U-16 Div II): St Joseph High School, Malad: 7 (Om Arane 3, Aditya Parab, Joy Banerjee, Yash Koli, Adithyan AP, Aaron Shetty) bt Cambridge High School, Kandivali: 0; St. Paul's High School, Dadar: 4 (Atharva Rewale 2, Yash Nikalje, Tanmay Karehar) bt Lakshadham High School, Goregaon: 0
Div III (League): Campion School, Cooperage: 1 (Rayaan Lala) bt Bombay Scottish High School, Mahim: 0; VCW Arya Vidya Mandir, Bandra: 2 (Neil Gandhi, Ranvi Shinde) bt Aditya Birla World Academy, Tardeo: 0
Girls (league): VCW Arya Vidya Mandir, Bandra: 3 (Theeya Chawla, Diya Dhawan, Saiee Sapre) bt Diamond Jubilee School, Mazgaon: 0; Utpal Sanghavi School, Juhu: 0 drew with DY Patil School, Worli: 0