'Heads held high' - Disappointed Duckie praises Waterhouse effort
Heading into Monday's Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) final, Waterhouse coach Donovan Duckie was determined to win his first national title and further confirm his reputation as one of the nation's top coaches.
He had taken Waterhouse from a relegation dogfight all the way to the final and was inches away from adding a top-flight trophy to his CV, but it was not to be, after Kemar Beckford and Carlos Barrett missed from the spot, during the crescendo of a tense and unspectacular contest.
The highly respected trainer told The Gleaner after the final whistle, that luck was not on their side, while crediting Portmore United for their success, following their 4-3 penalty shootout win after a 0-0 regulation and extra time deadlock at the National Stadium.
Penalty shoot-out is a toss of the coin. But nobody thought that the team I took up in November would be playing in the final. It (game) was a tale of two different halves. In the first-half we wanted to expose them to our counter, so we allowed them to play out of the back and pressed a little deep. They kept on getting caught in transition and in the first-half, we could have been up one or two (goals) had we been clinical," said Duckie.
"In the second-half we changed our strategy, pressed higher up the pitch and they were getting caught in transition trying to play out of the back. So they were losing possession and we were creating chances, but it didn't happen for us," he said
The national assistant coach, also thought they were superior in the extra period, right through to the end, but the important breakthrough never came for them.
"In extra-time, we were much better in our fitness. We kept the midfield, had the better of play, continued to create chances but it just didn't happen for us, but we were the better team for the 120 minutes," he insisted.
Nevertheless, Duckie thought Portmore and their coach Shavar Thomas were deserving of the championship.
"It didn't happen for us and now we have to say congratulations to Portmore, because with good preparation comes the element of luck and you have to look that this was their third consecutive final, they deserved something, they deserve to win and we say congratulations to them," Duckie offered.
"There is no need to keep looking back at the past, my confidence is intact, this is a coach's dream, we are in the final. It took a lot of work and there is still a lot of work. So it was a good attempt by us and we have a lot of be grateful, so we give thanks," he concluded.