Gleeful Gilbert praises Dinthill Technical resolve


Gleeful Gilbert praises Dinthill Technical resolve

Observer writer

Friday, November 15, 2019

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CATHERINE HALL, St James — Dinthill Technical Head Coach Xavier Gilbert was overjoyed after his team stunned Cornwall College 2-1 at Montego Bay Sports Complex in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/WATA daCosta Cup semi-final match on Wednesday.

The win, which came against the backdrop of a disastrous start to the season, set up a final clash with defending champions Clarendon College. The Linstead, St Catherine-based school's semi-final success was all the more impressive because it came in Cornwall's backyard in Montego Bay.

In the earlier encounter at the venue, Clarendon spanked first-time semi-finalists McGrath High 3-0.

“I am not sure it is a fairy tale, but nevertheless, we are in the final and credit must be given to the way they played. They showed a lot of heart and lots of spirit and I am happy for the boys and the entire community of Linstead,” Gilbert told the Jamaica Observer, while being mobbed by his ecstatic supporters.

Dinthill, close to being knocked out in the first round before a boardroom decision rescued their campaign, got five big points from two games against Charlemont High, who had used an ineligible player.

Beaten in the semi-final last season, Dinthill had picked up two points from their first five games in Zone K and with a game to go, were for all intents and purposes out of the competition before their appeal against the use of a player in both games against Charlemont High bailed them out.

They still had to win their last game to progress as the second-placed team behind Zone K winners McGrath High. Dinthill Technical have not looked back since, winning their next seven games in the daCosta Cup.

They will hope to add to their two daCosta Cup titles — all the way back in 1979 and 1981.

Rojia Layne was the hero on Wednesday, scoring both goals for Dinthill Technical, sandwiching yet another brilliantly struck free kick from Cornwall's Brandon Curate.

In their two previous games — both in the ISSA Champions Cup — Cornwall College had scored deep in stoppage time to salvage wins, but the late-game heroics from the Montego Bay school did not materialise against Dinthill, leaving the hometown crowd disappointed.

Gilbert said his team deserved the victory.

“The way they played all season, the work and the effort they put in...some people just look at the result and totally forget the journey, and the journey has been rough for them.

“It's not that we were playing badly [earlier in the season]. The zone has always been very competitive and the results were just not coming our way and that is how it is. They have worked hard, the preseason was rough for them but it paid off today,” said the Dinthill coach.

He admitted that job security was a concern after a rocky start, but credited Dinthill Technical Principal Kamar McFarlane for having faith in him.

“He might have been the only person who believed in me in Linstead, as he saw what I brought to the programme from last year,” said Gilbert.

Cornwall College's Head Coach Dean Weatherly cut a disappointed figure.

“Considering the development of this team and where we are coming from, building from strength to strength, its just one of those things. Football is a funny game, but we have no one to blame as the game swung from end to end and both teams were working hard and congrats to Dinthill.

“We still have another game to play so we have to go out and do our best,” he said in reference to the Champions Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

“At the start of the season, no one would have given us any chance of making it to two semi-finals with the team we have, but I knew the mettle of this team. There are many who did not see us getting this far, but this group of players has really stuck to the task and has achieved a lot,” Weatherly said.

Dinthill got off to a fast start and took the lead in the third minute when Layne capitalised on some sloppy defending by the Cornwall team to score from close range.

Cornwall came back and pushed Dinthill deep into their own area for long periods and were rewarded when they were given a free kick from about 23 yards. Curate curled it past goalkeeper Demero Hill in the 32nd minute.

Cornwall College dominated the game in the second half, keeping Dinthill pinned back in their own half, but failed to make use of the dominance and were left to pay for their wasteful ways.

Dinthill retook the lead in the 73rd minute when they managed to get out of their own area and the skilful Kayne worked his way into the Cornwall 18-yard box on the left side before firing into the far corner past goalkeeper Peter Sinclair.

They had a loud shout for penalty a few minutes later, but it was waved off by the referee who was perfectly placed.

Cornwall College had one last chance, deep into time added, but Curate failed to come up with the goods and his free kick was blocked by goalkeeper Hill and cleared away from danger.

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