Clarendon in daCosta Cup final
Richard Bryan, Gleaner Writer
"I'd like to go crocodile hunting," declared Clarendon College coach Patrick Jackie Walters, a veiled preference to play St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) in the daCosta Cup final following his team's 2-1 extra-time win over parish rivals Glenmuir High in the semi-finals at the Juici field yesterday.
Omar "Rambo" Wedderburn, coach of St Elizabeth Technical who play Dinthill Technical today at Jarrett Park in the second semi-final, had made those comments, as part of a strategy he had devised to get by Glenmuir in the Ben Francis finals, a week ago. STETHS had beaten Walters' team in the Ben Francis semi-finals. However, Walters' confidence could easily have been broken in yesterday's cliff hanger.
Glenmuir, although looking for long periods the lesser of the teams in terms of creative play, missed a penalty in the final minute of extra-time that would have tied the game at 2-2, which meant penalties would have been next. Clarendon had lost to STETHS via that route in the Ben Francis semi-final at the same venue.
Walters must have felt he would have been spared that anxiety when his team took the lead in the 77th minute through a brilliant 25 yards left-footed strike by Andrew Gutzmore. They were merely seconds from closing the encounter when Glenmuir replied with similar brilliance from header by late substitute Geraldane Bennett in the 89th minute.
Clarendon's lead would be restored from Seigel Knight's well-taken penalty midway the first half of extra-time. Having controlled the tempo of the game, they resorted to defence, a move which back-fired as a defender gifted Glenmuir a penalty when the referee had looked set to be blowing the final whistle.
Glenmuir's spectators came alive as captain Duchuan Campbell stepped up to make the kick, but it was the Clarendon spectators who had the last hurrah as goalkeeper Eric Edwards guessed right to save a feebly taken effort.
Clarendon's passage to the final is their first in 16 years. Interestingly, Walters was the man at the helm in 1998. He left in 2000 to coach Glenmuir. Coaching his beaten parish rivals yesterday, was his assistant at Glenmuir, Warren Simpson.