... Trinity, Charlie tie as 2nd round kicks off
A disciplinary committee will rule on Camperdown High's controversial no-show for their rescheduled ISSA/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup clash against Group J rivals St George's College at Constant Spring yesterday.
In the 1:00 pm match at the venue, Charlie Smith and Holy Trinity opened proceedings in the group with a 1-1 draw. Shamar Thompson put Holy Trinity in the lead with a 50th-minute strike, but Deveta McDonald restored parity for Charlie Smith in the 74th.
However, spectators were left feeling short-changed as while the Neville Bell-conditioned St George's were ready for battle, Camperdown failed to show for the 3:00 pm feature, citing an "unreasonable" change by ISSA.
ISSA competitions officer George Forbes, who said information was sent to all the affected schools on Thursday, advising of the change in match date from Monday, October 29, to Saturday, October 27, said Christopher Bender's team "refused to play" and that a ruling will be made on the matter.
"The disciplinary committee will be convened and take whatever action... this is a sponsored competition and they had adequate notice and they refused to play.
"The email (advising of the adjusted schedule) was sent to all schools on Thursday morning. A phone call was also made on Friday morning when I personally spoke to Mr (Lancelot) Livingston from the PE (Physical Education) Department. He assured us that he was going to get in touch with all the relevant persons," Forbes told the Sunday Observer yesterday.
Forbes said with a wet rainy season so far, ISSA decided to push the match forward to facilitate the completion of the schoolboy competition.
"We don't know when it will rain again so we have to play matches as quickly as possible. We looked at it and based on (teams' involvement in the Walker Cup Knockout) that was the only zone that could be played (yesterday) so we made the switch," he said.
However, Camperdown's prinicipal, Valentine Bailey, questioned the wisdom of making the change so soon after the passage of the hurricane which left the school without electricity and forced the closure of its gates.
"They sent information to the school on Thursday, apparently. No one would be at school the day after a hurricane. It's unreasonable and it doesn't make sense.
"We didn't even open school. I don't think we had electricity up to last (Friday) night. The match was scheduled for Monday, so why would you bring the match closer. What's the rationale behind moving the match?" he asked.
Forbes hit back with questions of his own, insisting ISSA had done its part in transmitting the information.
"The principal called me at 11 o' clock (yesterday) saying that nobody contacted him, but the question should be asked, did he check his email or did Mr Livingston follow up and pass on the relevant information? Several calls were made to them and they were adamant that they were not playing.
"The principal even had the audacity to tell me that we are insensitive to set the match for today (yesterday) after the passage of the hurricane. So I want to know if it is (okay) for the other schools to play (in the Walker Cup) yesterday (on Friday), but it is insensitive for Camperdown?" he said.
Forbes said he was also being accused of favouring the star-studded St George's outfit, which have several players who are set to join the national Under-20 setup this week.
"I'm also being accused of bringing the match forward to suit St George's College because after Monday some players will not be able to participate. My understanding is that those boys are part of the national team setup.
"It is irrefutable that Mr Livingston was called and the email was sent. Holy Trinity had a problem and they were saying they were not going to get some players who reside in St Thomas. I made it clear the match would not be postponed and surely all the Holy Trinity boys turned up," he said.