Wed | Aug 5, 2020

History-making McGrath brace for Clarendon test

Published:Tuesday | November 12, 2019 | 12:24 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Clarendon College head coach Lenworth Hyde.
Clarendon College head coach Lenworth Hyde.

Jermaine Thomas, coach of surprise daCosta Cup semi-finalists McGrath High, says his team has nothing to fear when they face defending champions Clarendon College in the last four of the competition tomorrow at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James at 4:00pm.

In the second match of the double-header, Cornwall College will meet Dinthill Technical at 6:00pm.

McGrath, which is located in deep rural Catherine, will be making their first appearance at this stage of the competition. In fact, this is first time that the institution is advancing from the group stages of the daCosta Cup.

Thomas believes his team has done well in the competition so far and is expecting them to give a good account of themselves against the heavyweights.

“I think we have an excellent chance of winning, but we have to utilise and manage the game as best as possible and take our chances when we get them,” said Thomas.

“We are definitely confident and we are looking forward to the game because it is going to be a huge one and it is going to be the biggest game of the players career and so they are ready and raring to go,” he said.

Thomas pointed out that they will taking a tactical approach to the game given Clarendon’s all round quality.

“I think that once everybody understands their responsibility, then things should be a little easier for us in the game,” said Thomas. “However, they (Clarendon) have been scoring a lot of goals in the competition, and we just have to ensure that we are very solid defensively and that we put away our chances when we get them.”

Meanwhile, Lenworth ‘Teacher’ Hyde, head coach of Clarendon College, says he is aware of his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and will not be taking them lightly despite their inexperience at this level.

Serious approach

“We will have to approach it very seriously as they (McGrath) are a good team because they have reached the semi-finals and it is not easy to do this,” said Hyde.

“They are doing good things, and so we respect them, and we are going out there to play a good brand of football because we are not underestimating anybody we play,” he added.

“We can’t be complacent, and so we just have to be professional. We just have to play hard, and we have to play disciplined football. It is going to be a very big moment for us because it is a title that we want to retain,” Hyde stated.

In 11 matches, McGrath, who topped their zone in the first round, have so far won seven games, while suffering two losses and two draws in the daCosta Cup competition.