Sports

Faulkland claim Confed crown, ready to do battle in Premier League Play-offs

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Faulkland FC finally won the Jamaica Football Federation Western Confederation Charley's JB Rum Super League title, scoring a come from behind 2-1 win over defending champions Wadadah FC in the final played at Jarrett Park on Saturday.

The team that started playing in 2012 and were in the Super League three seasons avenged their loss to Wadadah FC in last season's final as well as the mid-season final in late February, their only blemish this season.

Ewan Barton, who also won the top scorer award and who scored in every game since the start of the semi-finals, got the winner in time added on in the first half as Faulkland FC dragged themselves back in the game after conceding.

Obrien Robinson gave Wadadah FC the lead in the 27th minute and Radcliff Dawkins, who was named Most Valuable Player, equalised 10 minutes later.

Both teams will play in the restructured Jamaica Football Federation Premier League Play-offs starting today.

Gregory Palmer, coach of Faulkland FC, told the Jamaica Observer that improvements to the attacking and defensive aspects of the team led to their success.

“It's a great feeling... it's always good to win a championship and the objective was met by reaching the final as we wanted to get to the play-offs,” he said.

Faulkland FC were beaten in their last two appearances in a final and Palmer said the difference this season was “based on our style of play”.

“We have been creating a lot of goals and we knew that once we finished those chances we should do well. We also did some more work with the defensive unit... defence wins championships and goals wins matches,” noted Palmer.

He said knowing they were already in the Premier League play-offs did not affect the way they approached the game on Saturday.

“We still wanted to win the Confed trophy, our mandate is to win trophies.”

Daniel Ricketts, the Wadadah FC coach, lamented what he referred to as “basic schoolboy defensive errors that cost us the game”.

“We had the play-offs in mind as we left a few of our more senior players on the bench at the start, as they were nursing injuries and we did not want to expose them. It was better to lose (Saturday) than on Wednesday,” he reasoned.

Key midfielder Tyshan Hill, who was seriously injured in their return-leg win over Hopewell United, came on in the second half, as well as striker Kemiro James and Chad Howell.

Jelani Nicholson came close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute when he headed a cross just over the Wadadah FC goal, but it was the defending champions who took the lead.

Robinson, a former top scorer but who left to join FC Reno in the Premier League before returning in the January transfer period, dribbled past two defenders on the left flank in the 27th minute, leaned to the left and guided the ball wide of goalkeeper Robert Morrison for his first goal of this season.

Faulkland FC got back on levelled 10 minutes later when a ball that was crossed by Nicholson from the right flank,which eluded all the defenders and fell nicely for Dawkins to poke in at the far post.

A slip by a defender just inside the Wadadah 18-yard area two minutes into time added in the first half, allowed a cross from Peter Campbell to find Barton who made no mistake for his 11th goal for Faulkland FC since he joined them in January.


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