Cream rises

Cream rises

Champions Clarendon, contenders Dinthill set up tantalising daCosta Cup final battle

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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CATHERINE HALL, St James — Clarendon College stayed on course to win back-to-back titles for the first time in over 40 years after brushing aside first-timers McGrath High 3-0 in their ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup semi-finals at Montego Bay Sports Complex last evening.

Sheldon Smart scored twice for Clarendon, who got all their goals in the second half, after a gallant effort from the St Catherine-based McGrath High in the first half.

Smart hit the back of the net in the 47th and 69th minutes before Jalan Larman put the game out of reach with a goal in the 79th minute, as Clarendon sailed to their third final in a row.

In the second semi-final at the Montego Bay venue, Dinthill Technical stunned former champions Cornwall College 2-1. Lenworth Hyde, the Clarendon College coach, was pleased with his team's effort in the face of a good defensive display from McGrath.

“It was a different team from what we saw [previously]. They made a lot of changes, sat behind the ball, but we were patient and eventually we got our chances and took them,” Hyde told the Jamaica Observer.

Jermaine Thomas, the McGrath coach, bemoaned giving up what he termed “soft goals”.

He added: “I can only commend my team as they did very well to get so far and we played well.”

McGrath held their own for the first half, allowing just one clear-cut opportunity, and had their own chance at the Clarendon defence, pushing them back into their own half for long periods.

But the champions made full use of a lapse in the second minute of the second half to take the lead. Smart was first to a ball that was parried onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Carlos Robinson to poke it into the goal from two feet out.

Clarendon had another chance soon after to add to the tally, but Roderick Granville's shot was blocked at the left post by Robinson in the 50th minute.

Smart doubled the scores in the 69th minute with a brilliant chip over the head of Robinson from close range, with Clarendon hitting on the counter after McGrath had taken over the run of play.

Larman made sure his team would advance to the final when he beat Robinson with a rocket of a shot from inside the area.

McGrath, led by the hard-running Peter McGregor and Dinnath Whittaker, would not go away, but despite creating several chances, they failed to pull a goal back.

—Paul A Reid

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