Fa­mil­iar foes, same venue

STETHS, Len­non clash again

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT -

WESTERN BUREAU: LOS­ING THE Ben Fran­cis Knock­out (KO) ti­tle stung hard, but the sting may just be what de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons St El­iz­a­beth Tech­ni­cal High School (STETHS) needed to keep their minds firmly fo­cused on hold­ing on to the prized ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup.

How­ever, Len­non, still high af­ter stop­ping the STETHS knock­out jug­ger­naut reach­ing a record seven-straight, will, no doubt, have some­thing to say about it when the two meet in what is ex­pected to be an­other tense affair in this af­ter­noon’s 2016 daCosta Cup school­boy foot­ball semi-fi­nal. Kick­off is 2:30 p.m. at Manch­ester High School.

This is a com­pe­ti­tion that the STETHS play­ers and, in­deed, their coach Omar Wedderburn will ad­mit, is the big one, and they will be ready and wait­ing to deny Len­non any chance of deny­ing them a re­turn to cham­pi­onship game.

“All my play­ers are up and ready. This is why we play the game of foot­ball. I made no bones about how sig­nif­i­cantly im­por­tant this daCosta Cup ti­tle is to us. We are go­ing out there to win and move into the fi­nal,” said Wedderburn in his char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally con­fi­dent tone.


A win to­day for STETHS would land them in a fifth suc­ces­sive daCosta Cup fi­nal, but it would mean much more if they stop Len­non of all the other teams from ad­vanc­ing.

“We have the play­ers to do the job. We lost the knock­out ti­tle to them, but we will not sur­ren­der the daCosta Cup. We gave our­selves a tar­get, a mis­sion, which is to de­fend our crown. We are just two games away from do­ing so,” added Wedderburn.

With­out top scorer Jovoney Brown (foot in­jury), it will be up to the likes of Glendo Gopaul, Alex Thomp­son, De­mar James and Chris-An­drew Dixon to de­liver.

Mean­while, for Len­non, it’s a sim­ple equa­tion. Keep James, Thomp­son and Dixon quiet, play hard and com­pact in de­fence, and take their chances.

Last year, Len­non fell at this stage, but buoyed by their re­cent suc­cess, it is ex­pected they will be up for this semi-fi­nal.

“We are hop­ing to de­feat STETHS again and take our place in the fi­nal. I be­lieve we can do it for our school and the com­mu­nity,” said cap­tain Fitzroy Cum­mings.

Len­non’s head coach Merron Gor­don is con­fi­dent his team can de­liver an­other sting­ing loss on STETHS, but warned his play­ers about be­ing com­pla­cent.

“We have STETHS to deal with for a place in the fi­nal. I can tell you, we are pre­pared for it. Lift­ing the KO tro­phy was a great taste of vic­tory. Now we want the big one,” Gor­don rea­soned.

The re­li­able Cum­mings, Kwesi Watts, Tavis Grant and the bril­liant goal­keep­ing of Ty­rone Mullings make this Len­non team for­mi­da­ble op­po­nents. West Indies Women (from left) Anisa Mo­hammed, Merissa Aguilleira, De­an­dra Dot­tin and Brit­ney Cooper.


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