Camperdown High suffered their third loss of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup season when they were clipped 4-3 by Mona High at the Courtney Walsh Oval at Excelsior High on Thursday.
Interestingly, it was the best performance by Camperdown this season, despite the loss, as they pushed the unbeaten Mona High all the way in one of the best matches in the Manning Cup this season.
Their head coach Donovan Lofters was not surprised by his team’s performance against the zone leader.
“We had a plan. We dissected Mona, we knew their strengths and we knew their weaknesses and we stopped their threats. It was an end-to-end game.
“I got back most of my players, so the real Camperdown was here for the first time since the start of the season, and we showed Mona that they are not invincible and that we can match them man-to-man. As a matter of fact, we did better than match them, man-to-man.”
Lofters bemoaned that the referees, in his estimation, decided the outcome of the game by missing a big call when the ball appeared to go into touch before it was converted for the third Mona goal.
“It’s just sad that referees again, decided the game again. It’s just sad.”
Camperdown remain stuck in 4th place on eight points in the zone, but Lofters still sees his team finishing second at the end of the round, should everything go his way for the next three match days.
“When I looked at the table, I wanted at least a point (from the game) because a point would have taken me to 18, if Mona continued beating everybody and I would win my other matches.
“Now I haven’t gotten a point, so I can end up on 17, but I can still finish second on 17 because I have my destiny in my own hands.
“I have 9 points to go for and I can get them. My toughest opponent is coming up Tuesday, so if I get that with a good goal average, I can still finish second, so it’s not over yet,” he promised.
The Camperdown team have had their fair share of ups and downs this season, so Lofters doesn’t see this latest setback as one that his boys cannot overcome.
“They will be fine. We lean on the most high and we have been through worst this season. We got red cards and red cards up on top of red cards.”
Lofters was shown the red card for his vehement protest of the third Mona goal, but he said that his protests were justified.
“I had to defend something. I have to stand for something. I can’t sit down and watch things go that badly and obvious calls going against us and don’t say anything, so it’s understandable. My team understands that I will fight for them and it’s not over until it’s over.”
Despite the slim chances of Camperdown advancing, Lofters is still holding out hope of being among the top sixteen teams to make it to the second round of the competition.
“It doesn’t matter who I meet in the second round, it doesn’t matter. I want to get to the second round. It doesn’t matter if I am seeded 16th I don’t care as long as I am seeded,” he maintained.