St Catherine club revels after blanking Cavalier 2-0 in KO final
Portmore United Captain Seigle Knight (holding trophy) and teammates celebrate after beating Cavalier 2-0 in the Lynk Cup football final at Sabina Park on Friday. (Photos: Naphtali Junior)

Portmore United Head Coach Phillip Williams could not hide the joy after his team defeated Cavalier FC 2-0 in the Lynk Cup Knock-Out final at Sabina Park on Friday.

Williams was clearly happy because Portmore — powered by goals from Chevaughn Walsh (35th minute) and national player Lamar Walker (63rd) — were composed throughout to mostly dominate their opponents and were resolute in defence when they did come under pressure.

But another reason for his broad smile at the final whistle came from the relief of finally lifting a trophy after years of disappointment in championship matches, particularly as coach of St Andrew Technical in schoolboy football.

"I've been to many finals in the last couple of years and to win is a good feeling," Williams said during a post-match interview.

Portmore United players celebrate their second goal against Cavalier during the Lynk Cup football final at Sabina Park on Friday.

"I mean, I'm lost for words somewhat, in terms of expressing my feeling right now. But to win a final you have to be consistent, you have to keep plugging away and tonight we did that. I think it just wasn't my time as yet, in terms of teams I've coached to the finals, and tonight was just the right time," he told journalists.

Williams said it was a total team effort on the night.

"The defensive unit stood up firm against a very good quality Cavalier team that has been scoring all season. The midfield also did its job, and up front, we got two goals, so it was a complete performance from the team," he explained.

The Lynk Cup final was marred after the Cavalier players and staff returned to their changing room at the half-time break to find it ransacked and valuable items stolen.

Cavalier Technical Director Rudolph Speid, who noted that the robbery affected his team's psyche in the second half, said the players still tried their best to get back in the match.

Portmore United's Alex Marshall falls under the challenge from Cavalier's Adrian Reid during the Lynk Cup football final at Sabina Park on Friday.

"I think they scored the first goal against the run of play, but after that they managed the game very well and were deserved winners. I can't take anything away from Portmore because I think they did exceptionally well and they were more determined than us. It was just difficult to break them down, they were very organised in defence," Speid told the Jamaica Observer.

"We came back out [in the second half]; some players couldn't continue and we tried our best with what we had. You could have seen how badly it affected them… there was no team talk at half-time, nothing, everybody was just inconsolable," he said.

After a balanced start to the game, with both teams trading jabs, Walsh landed a precise hammer blow from way outside the 18-yard box to send Portmore ahead.

The bustling striker, who topped the KO competition with seven goals, pounced on a loose ball and had the presence of mind and skill to lob retreating defenders and goalkeeper Jeadine White.

The Cavalier custodian would've been particularly disappointed about conceding the goal since it stemmed from his ill-directed header at the edge of his box.

Though Portmore were mostly in charge for the rest of the match, Cavalier battled valiantly and did create a few openings.

Their best chance came inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half when Portmore defender Gawain Austin was forced to cleared the ball off the goal line after Ronaldo Webster fired a low shot that beat goalkeeper Benjamin Williams.

The brilliant Walker, who was the engine behind most of Portmore's attacks and their spells of sustained ball possession, put the encounter to rest minutes later. The diminutive player scored off the rebound after Cavalier's Kyle Ming did well on the goal line to block a shot from Walsh.

Though stung by the Lynk Cup disappointment, Cavalier are still engaged in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL), with their first-leg semi-final clash against champions Harbour View FC set for Monday at Sabina Park.

The triumph brought much-needed silverware to Portmore, who had narrowly missed out on the JPL play-offs.

Earlier on Friday, Dunbeholden FC claimed third spot in the Lynk Cup after Shevan James scored in the 57th minute to give them a 1-0 win over Harbour View.

Sanjay Myers

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