St Jago, Greater Portmore end 0-0 in ISSA schoolgirl football opener

Thursday, February 08, 2018

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Thirty-three schools divided into six zones will vie for the title of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Locker Room Sports, Schoolgirl Football champion this year.

The competition got going on Monday with a dress parade and one game from Zone D between 2014 champions St Jago High and last season's fourth-placed team Greater Portmore at Spanish Town Prison Oval.

Before a ball was kicked in earnest on Monday, Clan Carthy High walked away with the first main trophy of the season when they won the dress parade, edging last year's winners Denham Town High into second place. Bridgeport High finished third.

President of ISSA Dr Walton Small urged the young ladies to balance their academics with football which was a pathway to representing Jamaica.

“This is an opportunity for you to display your talent. You know that this is the league from which they choose people to represent Jamaica, so if you do well you could automatically be representing Jamaica. We want to tell you that we appreciate the sacrifices that you have made. We know what we expect you to also do? Your class work, your homework and your exams, and do well. I am imploring you to balance the football with your academic pursuits.”

He also highlighted the discipline displayed by the schools last year and asked for more of the same this season.

“Last year, for me, I was very, very impressed that there was not one report of any indiscipline with the girls' football. Therefore, I expect that that will continue for this year. I really want to wish all the teams good luck and we expect to have a very good season.”

In the game, St Jago had to settle for a 0-0 draw despite having the better of play over the 80 minutes. The team from Monk Street created the greater number of chances in the contest, but Greater Portmore showed they would be no pushovers as they created a few half chances of their own.

St Jago got off to a quick start and created the first opening of the match, but faulty shooting meant they failed to register a shot on target. Greater Portmore, who possess a few talented players of their own, responded positively, creating a few half chances early on.

The first half was a fairly even one but both sets of strikers failed to really challenge either goalkeeper.

St Jago came out looking the stronger team in the second half as the afternoon sun seemed to take a greater toll on the Greater Portmore players.

Lissane Roofe should have put St Jago ahead midway the second half when she was put through clean on goal, but she kicked the ball straight at Monique Manning when she had the entire goal to aim at. Manning produced a fine save to tip the ball over for a corner kick.

A few minutes later, Manning produced an even better save to deny Shaquilla Forbes as she pushed the fiercely struck ball over the crossbar for yet another corner kick.

Greater Portmore had a rare sight at goal late on but Dejionee Anderson steered the ball wide of the right upright and her chance to be the heroine was lost.

Coach of St Jago High Robert Lewis said that it was unfortunate that his team failed to score, blaming in particular, the first-half display.

“I guess Greater Portmore came prepared, and the ball is round. We didn't expect to just come out here and just get all three points like that. We know that they would have come fighting, but it was a good game anyway.

“In the first half we were a little lacklustre, but they came back in the second half and played a better game; it's just unfortunate that we didn't score, but it's one of those things.”

Lewis also credited his opponents for a good defensive display.

“We just have to go back to the drawing board and look at our weak areas and there are a lot of weak areas that we need to work on for the rest of the season. I have to give credit to Greater Portmore: they played extremely well, defensively.”

Greater Portmore coach Jerome Watt, who is a man of few words, said the game went according to plan.

“We are going to get stronger by the games, one game at a time. One game out of the way, we have nine more to go. We planned for a draw or a win and it played to our favour, so we give thanks. We will see how it plays out at the end of the season.”

The competition is expected to end in April.

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