Half-time team talk made the difference, says Wedderburn

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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When St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) defeated Charlie Smith High 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association Champions Cup on Saturday, they qualified for the semi-final round of the competition for the fourth time, making them the best-performing DaCosta Cup team in a competition yet to be won by a rural area school.

But the win for STETHS wasn't a straightforward one as they were forced to come from behind when they conceded in the first minute of play to overhaul the former Manning Cup champions.

Trailing at half time would not have been a part of the plans of the DaCosta Cup kingpins, but according to Wedderburn, the half-time team talk made all the difference. His displeasure at conceding a goal that they shouldn't have was turned into joy after his boys played the kind of game he expected in the second half.

“Honestly, I am not pleased (with the first half) because I think that goal (n the) first half is actually a goal we talked about, because that is the way that Charlie Smith play. We worked on it several times in the training, so we never expected that goal to score on us.

“The changing room made a difference because Charlie Smith is very strong in the air we could see that. But we put the ball down on the ground and actually get to do what we want to do with the ball on the surface,” he revealed.

Next up for STETHS is the first winner of the Champions Cup, Jamaica College (JC), who earned their spot in the semis, also with a hard fought come from behind 2-1 win over Holy Trinity High.

While not saying much about that game, Wedderburn will be ready to take on the defending Manning Cup champions in an effort to make their second final in the competition.

“As you know preparation starts from now, the rest of it is Friday evening,” came his curt response.

While Wedderburn and his players will be contemplating how to get by JC, Charlie Smith High coach Eugene Williams was left bristling at the end of the game. Williams felt extremely hard done by while he praised his players for a valiant effort.

“I am very disappointed, not in my players, I am disappointed in the officiating. The referee decided the game tonight,” he stated vehemently.

The Charlie Smith coach believes that the penalty decision that led to the first goal for STETHS was harsh, while his team should have been awarded at least one penalty for a trip on his forward in the box.

“I am proud of them, I can't complain about their performance. We got the chances, yes, but the referee decided the game,” he repeated.

— Dwayne Richards

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