Frome, McGrath High to contest Ben Francis Cup final
MAY PEN, Clarendon – Former champions Frome Technical and first-time finalists McGrath High are through to the final of the ISSA/Ben Francis Cup after contrasting wins over Happy Grove High and St Elizabeth Technical High (STETHS), respectively, in Wednesday’s semi-finals.
Stevaughn Spence scored a hat-trick to lead 2006 champions Frome Technical to a 4-0 win over first time semi-finalists Happy Grove in one game played at Glenmuir High in May Pen.
McGrath High qualified for their first final at this level after holding off six-time champions STETHS 2-1 in their game played at Manchester High in Mandeville.
Frome Technical and McGrath High advanced to the final to be played at the national stadium next week, as a curtain-raiser for the daCosta Cup final between Clarendon College and Glenmuir High.
Cleighton Stephens, the Frome Tech coach, hailed his players after the game, describing the performance as “excellent” adding “they worked for this win and we were well-prepared”.
Vincent Wallace, the Happy Grove coach, was understandably disappointed in the result. “This is the worst game of the season; we did not show up on the day and we did not execute the game plan.”
Uriel Lemphard gave Frome Technical the lead in the 11th minute when Happy Grove High’s goalkeeper Shadance McLeod misplayed a cross from the right and the ball fell to the Frome Tech central defender to tap in from less than a yard at the back post.
Spence, who has scored 25 goals this season, got his first in the 14th minute when he steered a header from a cross from Dwayne Watt past McLeod.
Despite being forced to make an early substitution when Kemroy Brown suffered a head injury mid way the first half, Frome Technical were in control but had to wait until the 60th minute when Spence was on the receiving end of a cross that beat the Happy Grove defence and scored for about two yards out.
Happy Grove had their best chance to score in the 68th minute when Frome Technical’s goalkeeper Oral Davis ventured out of his areas and was beaten but quick reaction from the defenders, cut off the shot just before it got to the goalline.
Spence completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute when he finished off a swift move by his team by heading a lofted pass from Lemphard over the head of the advancing McLeod and two team mates into the unprotected goal.
At Manchester High, Deandre Anderson gave McGrath High the lead in the 29th minute but Abena Wallace drew STETHS level just before half time, in the 44th minute.
Devon Davis scored the winner in the 80th minute to send his team to their first-ever final.
STETHS 1, McGrath High 2
Happy Grove High-0, Frome Tech- 4