Clarendon College midfield trio delivers deadly sting

Thursday, November 09, 2017


SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Nicque Daley's goalscoring exploits might have grabbed many a headline this season, and rightly so.

But Clarendon College's dynamic midfield trio of Demario Phillips, Shande James and Lamar Walker represent the engine from which all plays flow.

Indeed, Daley brought his team level with a 55th-minute equaliser after Dinthill Technical had taken a fourth-minute lead through Shamari Davis, a scoreline which forced 20 minutes of extra time in yesterday's ISSA/FLOW Ben Francis Cup at St Elizabeth Sports Complex.

Then the three little midfielders, who are blessed with good technical abilities, took matters into their own hands.

Five minutes into extra time Phillips, the captain on the day, picked up a short pass from a left-sided corner and the wily player set himself up before unleashing a beautiful right-footer which curled inside the far post off the upright, despite the flailing hands of goalkeeper Benjamin Williams.

Then Walker chimed in on the act, driving home a rasping 25-yard freekick which barely left the grass in the 101st minute, and he closed the show with a tap in the last minute of play.

“I'm so very happy to know that I did it for the captain Ricardo McIntosh, who was out on red card suspension, so we did it for him. And also goalkeeper Benjamin Williams who lost his mother, we did it for them,” beamed Phillips at game's end.

The three diminutive players, as they did against St Elizabeth Technical High School on Saturday, exhibited genuine composure and technical qualities in their play, scheming their way past the Dinthill Technical defence to set up opportunities for Daley.

Phillips told the Jamaica Observer that their style of play is now commonplace.

“We have been playing for about two to three years now and at club level also, so we gel together and know that from we move the ball quickly nobody can stop us,” he offered.

For Walker, it was all about playing to the coach's instructions.

“I just played to what the coach said and put out the hard work. It was hard because we were not pushing a lot, we were lapsing, so we just corrected that,” he noted.

Meanwhile, technical director Lenny Hyde was left beaming after guiding his team to their first Ben Francis Cup in 19 years, and he was also extremely pleased with the performance of his midfielders.

“Yeah, it's a joy to coach players like these. With their technical abilities it is easy,” he said.

— Ian Burnett