We need to put the icing on the cake, says Petersfield coach

By Dwayne Richards
Observer writer

Saturday, November 17, 2018

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Petersfield High School has been knocking on the door in schoolboy football for years, but never before had they made it to a major final.

Now they have!

A comprehensive 3-0 win over Port Antonio High in the semi-finals of the ISSA/Wata Ben Francis Cup at the Juici Park Field on Thursday means that they will chase their first piece of silverware after failing to go beyond the quarter-final and semi-final rounds of the daCosta and Ben Francis Cups in previous years.

A goal midway the first half by Khamali Burley put the Westmoreland-based school ahead before a second-half penalty from Shewayne Barton and a second from Burley completed the rout over a Port Antonio High team lacking cutting edge.

Coach Maurice Duncan was, expectedly, feeling good about making their first-ever final.

“It was a good feeling at the final whistle. After never making it to a schoolboy football final, I don't know who wouldn't feel good. Despite all the odds we came and we played well, got the result and now we are in the final,” he said.

He was honest in his assessment of the game which suggests that he knows there is still work left to be done if Petersfield are to lift the trophy.

“I am pleased with the performance, even though we made a couple mistakes that I think playing another opponent they probably would have capitalised on it. But scoring three goals in a semi-final it's good; it means that we are doing something right and the good thing is we didn't concede,” he reasoned.

“At the end of the day you have to go and play your game, they will play theirs. They have watched us play and we played them already. We lost to Charlemont in the preseason; we both know each other so we just have to go play our game and follow instructions and the better team will come out on top.”

Duncan says that his school is not lacking in talent and it is time for this crop of players to go all the way.

“I have been to a lot of schools and I have never seen a school with so much talent. We don't have to go out and get players to represent Petersfield High school; we have a lot of talent but we lacked something that will put the icing on the cake. We have made it to quarter-finals, to one semi-finals; this is a final that we need to put the icing on the cake, and the boys can do it. As long as they follow instructions we will be good,” he assured.

Meanwhile, Charlemont High assistant coach Andre Hines was grateful to be in the first final as the school celebrates 40 years of existence. They owe their spot in the rural area showpiece knockout final to Howard Barker, who got the winner in the ninth minute of play.

“It's a great feeling. The team, the school, haven't been to a final before. It was a hard-fought battle; Lennon came at us very hard. We got an early goal and we were able to defend it, so we are very grateful.”

Like Petersfield, the performance by Charlemont was less than polished and there is work to be completed ahead of the championship game.

“I think we were poor today in the second half but we are going to go back to the drawing board and put it together, and against Peterfield we should be much, much better,” he promised.

Based on the recent history between Charlemont High and Petersfield High, Hines is quite confident that his team has the quality to have their names etched on the trophy.

“We played Petersfield two times in preseason. We won 8-0. And the other time we won 4-0. So the team is going with confidence against Petersfield. We have a good idea of their team, so it's going to be a great game and we are looking to win that one as well.”

The final of the ISSA/Wata Ben Francis Cup will be played next week Friday.

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