‘Tull’ on high after derby hat-trick
Arnett Gardens FC striker Kemal 'Tull' Malcolm attributed his good scoring form in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) to hard work and dedication.
The diminutive player struck a hat-trick in his team's 3-2 win against rivals Tivoli Gardens in the second round.
Malcolm scored his goals in the 27th, 36th and 85th minutes, while Tivoli responded with goals by Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson (3rd) and Junior Flemmings (51st).
Malcolm's three goals, which pushed him to nine this season - behind Dino Williams of Montego Bay United (13) and Rivoli United's Cory Burke (12) - were overshadowed by a fiery game at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex last Sunday.
The former St George's College Manning Cup star troubled the Tivoli backline with his pace, skill and dribbling throughout the game and was duly rewarded with his first hat-trick of the season for the reigning RSPL champions.
He was naturally pleased with the Man of the Match performance that pushed Arnett into third place in the 12-team standings, on 32 points from 18 games.
"Well, when you can score a hat-trick in a derby game, it says a lot, because you train hard during the week and come out and get three points, so the only thing you can do is thank God, as He is the one who makes everything possible," Malcolm told The Gleaner after the game.
"I'm just gonna keep focused and continue doing the hard work in training. To be honest, [a] big game like this is one of the easiest for me. Playing against top players brings out the joy in me," he shared. "It is easy for me, but when you go on the field, you have to bring your 'A' game."
He added: "It is a great feeling to score three goals that helped the team to win the game. Well, hard work and dedication is what we do, as in the first game [against Tivoli], there was a lack of concentration. We led 2-1 and they came back and scored two late goals," Malcolm noted.
"[This time] we stuck to the task and followed the coach's (Jerome Waite) instructions and got the three points. We finished the game on a high, and that was what we wanted. This is the first time this season that we've won three games straight, so it says a lot for us.
"Next year, we are going to get back a couple top players like Marvin Morgan Jr and AndrÈ Clennon, so we should get stronger," he predicted.
Waite also had high praises for the player.
"He is on top of his game, and it is good to get another player - otherwise from Sterling (Newton), who got a four-timer - to score a hat-trick. Malcolm has been knocking on the door by creating a lot of chances and assisting, so it was a good one for him," said Waite, who has guided Arnett to three Premier League titles.