KO punch

Masterful Clarendon College whip Dinthill 4-1 to lift Ben Francis trophy

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, November 09, 2017

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Clarendon College claimed their fourth hold on the ISSA/FLOW Ben Francis Knockout title when they came from behind to sweep by Dinthill Technical 4-1 in extra-time after playing out a 1-1 score line in full time in a thrilling finale at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex in Santa Cruz yesterday.

Lamar Walker netted in the 101st and 110th minutes to seal the victory after former national Under-17 striker Nicque Daley (55th) and Demario Phillips (95th) brought Clarendon College back into the contest.

Shamari Davis (fourth) had earlier sent Dinthill Technical in front.

The win saw the Lenworth Hyde-coached team breaking a 19-year drought after last winning the title back in 1998, as they also extended their unbeaten run across both the daCosta Cup and Ben Francis KO competitions.

Hyde praised his team for showing their class and quality on the big occasion.

“We are used to these occasions; they kept their composure and they kept passing the ball... we didn't rush and start to do foolishness on the field; we continued passing and we believe in the system that we play.

“Everybody bought into it and put down the ball and played, they are quality players from all over Jamaica and we had them for about three seasons now so the inspiration is there for them now and the sky is the limit for this team,” he said in a post-match interview.

An obviously disappointed Leighton Murray of Dinthill Technical believed his team came up short when it mattered most.

“It is just unfortunate, we gave up some soft goals and it cost us. We didn't do enough to win this cup and we just have to go back and prepare for the semi-finals of the daCosta Cup against the same opponents,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

With two of the most attacking and free-scoring teams in the daCosta Cup competition squaring off against each other in what was their toughest assignment to date, the large crowd had very little time to wait before they got some excitement, as the contest got off to a pacy start.

It was basically a game of two tales with Dinthill Technical dictating terms in the opening half, and it took them just four minutes to break the deadlock with the talismanic Kaheem Parris forcing a save from custodian Benjamin Williams, before Davis followed up to tap in the rebound.

Clarendon College thought they had the equaliser shortly after, when Walker fired home from close range, but the goal was disallowed by referee Karl Tyrell for an infringement on the goalkeeper.

The St Catherine-based Dinthill continued to show the way, but failed in the hunt to add to their tally with the score remaining unchanged at the break.

One could almost sense that it would be hard for Dinthill to keep Clarendon College out of the game for long and so it was as the champions took over proceedings on the resumption, completely outplaying the opponents from the middle of the park.

They were back on level terms 10 minutes in when Daley fired into the roof of the net from close range after Troy Taylor in goal for Dinthill was hesitant to gather the ball from a Phillips cross.

With the equaliser in the bag Clarendon College then displayed their quality with fluent attacking passing and almost found the go ahead goal through substitute Dayne Ewen but his effort was thwarted by a defender, as it ended 1-1 at full time.

It was more of the same in first-half extra time and Clarendon College again wasted little time in their probe for the winner. It came five minutes in when Phillips converted a lovely curling shot from an angle which clipped the fingers of a diving Williams and then the upright on its way in.

It was then time for the Walker show and for Clarendon College to put away the game, as the diminutive player fired home a hard and low free kick from the top of the arc.

And he returned nine minutes later to complete the brace when he arrived at the far post to tap in a cross from Daley in the final minute of extra time.




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