Clarendon clip STATHS to book Champions Cup semi-final spot

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, November 10, 2019

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Clarendon College booked their spot in the semi-finals of the ISSA/WATA Champions Cup knockout competition with a 2-1 win over St Andrew Technical High school (STATHS), in an intriguing quarter-final contest at Stadium East yesterday.

Roderick Granville with a first-minute strike and Jaland Larmond in the 39th minute found the goals that sent the Chapleton-based team through to their second semi-finals of the season. The in form Warner Brown pulled on back for STATHS in the second minute.

Clarendon College will meet the winner of the Cornwall College versus St George's College contest, which was scheduled as the feature contest of a double-header at Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall last night.

At press time Jamaica College were leading Excelsior 1-0 in the feature game at Stadium East.

With Clarendon College and STATHS in superb form, and by extension already in the semi-finals of the Manning and daCosta Cup competitions, it was always expected to be a humdinger of a clash between these two titans.

It took only a matter of seconds for the contest to take shape, as the frantic start saw Clarendon College quickly breaking the deadlock when Granville fired home.

A minute later, the prolific Brown, who is enjoying impressive goalscoring form across all competitions, ensured that things remained interesting when he pulled STATHS level with a tidy finish.

The contest maintained a steady tempo throughout, as Clarendon College gradually started to assert their dominance in possession and enjoyed a good passage of play which forced STATHS back into their quarters.

The Lenworth Hyde-coached Clarendon College inevitably found the go-ahead goal nine minutes past the half-hour mark, after Granville completed an impressive solo run with a pass to Larmond who had time to set and fire past Ricardo Laing in goal for STATHS.

They should have gone to the break with a two-goal cushion, but Larmond mishit a volley after a cross from Jahiem Rose eluded all and sundry, including Laing, and fell nicely into his path.

The opening five minutes of resumption paled in comparison to the opening stanza, as both teams failed to create any meaningful chances.

Still, Clarendon College maintained their momentum and should have pushed further ahead 13 minutes in when Sheldon Smart got away from two defenders — but his effort in the final third left a lot to be desired.

Clarendon College's finishing was again called into question in the 79th minute, as substitute Andre Nicholson, who scored the winning goal in last year's Olivier Shield final against Kingston College, played in a cross for Smart, who, even with time and space, somehow managed to hit his right-footed effort wide of an open target.

From there it was clear that the scoreline would remain unchanged, despite STATHS finding a new breath of life in the latter stages, but they were unable to cause too many problems for Clarendon College's defence, and as such, will have to wait until next year for another shot at the title.

Winning Coach Hyde praised his team for a workmanlike performance.

“It was a very good game. I must lift my hats to the STATHS team as I think they played excellent...they pushed us on the back foot at times, but I think the true quality of our team was on show today [yesterday],” Hyde told the Jamaica Observer in a post-match interview.

For his counterpart Phillip Williams it's back to the drawing board to plot their way forward in their run for the Manning Cup title.

“We won't use this competition to judge how well we will do in the Manning Cup. This was a learning experience for us in that we saw the areas where we went wrong, and we definitely will be correcting those areas as we switch focus now to the Manning Cup,” Williams noted

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