Clarendon College rule - Defending champs whipped 3-0 in daCosta final
Paul Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Clarendon College's nearly two decades-long wait to reclaim the ISSA/Lime daCosta Cup title is over, after convincingly defeating St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) 3-0 in the final at the Montego Bay Sports Complex yesterday.
The game was effectively over from the first half when Xhane Reid scored twice within seven minutes. Onando Collins then scored a second-half penalty to seal the victory as Clarendon grabbed hold of the coveted trophy they last won in 1998.
A delighted Patrick 'Jackie' Walters was overwhelmed by jubilant fans at the end. Walters was at the helm for their last title then, and he recently returned to Clarendon from Glenmuir High to once again lead them to another title, the seventh in their history.
"This is marvellous; a great feeling to win this evening. The players dominated the game today and show that they have the ability to perform under pressure," he said.
"It's a very good feeling and I am delighted with the players who, through thick and thin, showed guts and determination to reach the final, and then to put in a really fantastic performance to win the title," he added.
But it all could have been different if STETHS had managed to score just two minutes into the match.
From a left-sided corner, Jovoney Brown flashed his header goalwards and with Eric Edwards, the Clarendon keeper in no man's land, it was left to a defender to head the ball clear off the line.
Clarendon then settled and launched their first real attack in the fifth minute to force a decent save out of STETHS goalie Carson Findlay and then Seigel Knight fired high over the bar in the 19th minute, as Clarendon began dominating the play.
That was but a sign of what was to come, as Clarendon looked to break STETHS through quick counter-attacks and in the opening goal finally came with a tremendous long-range effort from Reid in the 20th minute.
His second was not as beautiful but was equally important as he took advantage of a mix-up between central defender Rushane McClymont and his goalkeeper to poke the ball into the unguarded net for a 2-0 lead in minute 27.
The third came in the 77th minute, when Reid had his defender in trouble and was stopped on his way to goal for the referee to point to the spot.
No real pressure
Collins did his duty, easily scoring from the spot for the 3-0 lead and the title.
Defeated but not disgraced, STETHS were expected to perform much better but they were without deadly striker Donjay Smith, and their forwards failed to put any real pressure on the Clarendon backline.
"The fact that we conceded two goals quickly set us back. It meant that we were constantly chasing the game and the third goal really took it from us," STETHS technical director Wendel Downswell said.
"We lacked conviction in midfield and Clarendon did what they had to do. So congratulations to them and coach Patrick Walters; it was deserved."
Clarendon College will now look to cop the double when they take on Manning Cup winners Jamaica College in the first leg of the Olivier Shield on Saturday at Juici Park.