KINGSTON, Jamaica – Corinaldi battled from a goal down to defeat Pembroke Hall 2-1 in the final of the LIME/INSPORTS Primary League at Constant Spring Stadium on Friday June 21.
It is the first time Corinaldi Primary School and the parish of St James were winning the title, going one step better that Irwin who were runners-up last year.
Pembroke Hall, who were also reaching the final for the first time for both team and parish, must wait for another year as the right to be called national primary football champions remain an elusive goal.
St Andrew champions Pembroke Hall started aggressively, pinning Corinaldi in their own half while Corinaldi goalkeeper Peter Sinclair was a busy boy as he was the difference in the early onslaught.
Pembroke Hall’s persistency paid off eventually, as Sinclair was at fault when he spilled Jahdane Barnett’s free kick, allowing Chavelle Henry, who reacted quickest for a simple tap in.
The St Andrew team’s failure to add more goals during a dominant first half, proved costly at the turn of the second half.
With the strong wind, which blew consistently throughout, now in their backs, St James champs Corinaldi went in search for an early equaliser.
And Steve Bucknor’s boys didn’t have to wait too long as Tyrone McClairy arrived at the back post to stab home Richard Thompson’s corner.
Corinaldi surged into the lead when Denyu Ricketts rifled home a short corner after the Pembroke Hall defence was slow to react.
Bjorn Folkes’ lads fought gallantly in a bid to pull level but it wasn’t to be their day, and for the third straight year the visiting team was victorious.
Bucknor, now enjoying a lifelong dream as a football coach after retiring from international umpiring, said his team didn’t panic after being a goal down at half-time.
“It was the first time we were falling behind in a game this season,” Bucknor noted. “But we also won many games in the second half. So it wasn’t surprising to me the way the team came back.”
Folkes, meanwhile believes poor decisions by the officials was a contributing factor behind his team’s defeat but added that they didn’t replicate their performance in the first half.
Earlier Portsmouth of Portmore took third place after blanking Westmoreland’s Petersfield 3-0.
Migual Robinson, Saquan Dawkins and Shantamoi Brown got the goals for the Kevin Reid coached boys who achieved their highest finish in the competition.