Mon | Jun 24, 2019

Charlemont secure Ben Francis crown

Published:Wednesday | November 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer
Shackeil Fuller (right) of Charlemont shields the ball from Petersfield High School’s Shewayne Barton while his Charlemont teammate, Tajuan Wright, looks on in the final of the ISSA/WATA Ben Francis Knockout Cup at the Juici Patties Park in Clarendon on November 23. Charlemont led 2-0 at half-time when rain interrupted play.The second half was played yesterday with Charlemont running out 3-1 winners.

Kavi Meeks, coach of Charlemont High School, is proud of the way his boys managed the remaining 45 minutes of their ISSA Ben Francis Cup final against Petersfield to grab their first schoolboy football title.

The team from St Catherine eventually ran out 3-1 winners over their Westmoreland-based rivals at the Juici Patties Park yesterday to become the newest rural-area knockout champions.

Charlemont went into yesterday's play with a 2-0 lead from last Friday's original kick-off, which was halted at the end of the first half by heavy rains and a waterlogged field. Deron Wildman (14th) and Howard Baker (17th) got those goals.

Despite coming under immense pressure from Petersfield early in yesterday's rescheduled second half, Charlemont were steadfast in defence. In pushing numbers forward, it was actually a Petersfield error at the back that saw their chances slip and Wildman added his second goal of the game in the 67th minute.

Substitute Dujon Bartley pulled one back for Petersfield in 74th minute, but there was no denying Charlemont, who held on for a comfortable win in the end.

"We just played a numbers game, anything they did, we tried to counter with one more body in defence," said Meeks.

"That was one of the plans; and to try and ensure that we scored because if they had scored first, it would have opened up the game. We sat back in defence, and when the opportunity came, we took it. From there, we knew the game was over, so Petersfield scoring back didn't really bother us," he added.

Meeks said that after meeting disappointment in the daCosta Cup quarter-finals, they were determined to take the KO cup.

"The preseason that we had proved we had a quality team. We thought that we had a good enough team to be in the daCosta Cup final, but unfortunately, it wasn't to be. We ensure that the Ben Francis didn't slip us," said Meeks.

"This is the start. To win a title in the first year of starting a new programme, we are motivated. We will reflect on what we did all throughout the season and see what we could do better so we can improve in each area. We are looking forward to the next schoolboy football season," he added.