Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Third time's a charm for Solomon and Portmore United

Published:Wednesday | April 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMNodley Wright/Gleaner Writer
Portmore’s Damano Solomon (left) tries his best not to foul Waterhouse player Andre McFarlane during the Red Stripe Premier League final at the National Stadium on Monday. Portmore won 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 scoreline in regulation and extra time.

The popular adage states that salvation is for all, but in the context of the 2018 Red Stripe Premier League final, only one team would be able to lay claim to salvation, when Portmore United and Waterhouse FC marched on to the field to battle out who would be crowned champions.

This was the third final in a row for the team based in the Sunshine City. However, they lost the previous two encounters to Montego Bay United and last season to Arnett Gardens. This served as added motivation for the players of Portmore, who fought hard, in particular Damono Solomon, who did not put a foot wrong.

Portmore United won 4-3 on penalties, after repelling waves of attacks from Waterhouse, especially in the second half, during regulation and extra time, thanks in part to an impeccable performance from Solomon, who said he told his team he was not leaving the stadium without the championship trophy.

"Well this means a lot to me, of course. My third consecutive final I had to find an extra gear for this one, especially after the disappointments of the previous seasons. I told my teammates we are not gonna lose this one, no matter what, even if it means taking it to penalties, as I am not walking away tonight without the trophy," said Solomon, who converted the third of his team's four penalties.

The 23-year-old centre back, who put in a Man of the Match display, said he was proud of his work on the night and credited the hard work he has been putting in throughout the season, as the foundation on which such a performance was built.

"Actually, I'm very proud of the performance here tonight (Monday). I have been working very hard all season and this was just the hard work paying off for me," the undersized centreback who is likened to the Italian legend Fabio Cannavaro, said.

The defender, whose commanding and hard-nosed displays, have seen him recalled to the national squad, stated his intent to cement himself in the team. He said it is a matter of simply staying focussed and working hard that will help him achieve this goal.

"Well, my main focus is staying in the national team and so that means continuous hard work and trying to always give my best. I am young, so I have time on my side," added the man, who came to the fore for Old Harbour High School under the guidance of club stalwart Linval Dixon.