Fri | Nov 24, 2017

Dinthill, Clarendon for Ben Francis final

Published:Sunday | November 5, 2017 | 12:00 AMKavarly Arnold

WESTERN BUREAU:

Dinthill Technical and Clarendon College have advanced to the ISSA-FLOW Ben Francis Cup KO final.

In a thrilling semi-final match at Manchester High, Clarendon came from behind twice before completing a 4-2 extra-time victory over six-time champions St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS).

At the STETHS Sports Complex in Santa Cruz, Dinthill clipped Rusea's High 1-0 in the other semi-final.

Most of the excitement was, however, in Manchester, and Clarendon's coach, Byjeon Thomas, told The Sunday Gleaner after the game that his players showed real heart to come from behind twice to beat a high-quality team. He also singled out the performance of two-goal hero Nicque Daley, who was outstanding once more to get them past this hurdle.

"The only thing I can say is 'heart'. You could see it today - that we wanted it - and we showed it because to beat a strong STETHS team like this after we were down takes a lot of character.

"We are happy to have him (Daley) and happy he is performing right now, and we just hope he can bring it through to the finals.

STETHS coach Omar 'Rambo' Wedderburn said poor game management cost them the game but commended Clarendon on their victory.

"This game lived up to expectation. I'm pleased with the performance, but at times, we lacked the discipline to manage the game. All in all, I think Clarendon deserve this win based on their performance, so I'm not disappointed, but I've learned a lot from this game today," Wedderburn said.

STETHS took the lead in the 22nd minute with a glancing header from Tahjae Palmer and went into the half-time break leading 1-0.

Twenty-one minutes after the break, Clarendon drew level with a goal from top marksman Daley. STETHS regained the lead in the 81st minute, after both teams were reduced to 10 men, but with seconds to go to fulltime, Daley scored again to send the match into extra-time.

Clarendon dominated extra-time. Lamar Walker gave them the lead for the first time in the 115th minute before Ricardo McIntosh sealed the victory with the last kick of the game.