STETHS reach fifth straight daCosta fi­nal

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Paul Clarke Gleaner Writer

Chelsea’s Pe­dro (left) bat­tles for the ball with Tot­ten­ham’s Mousa Dem­bele dur­ing the English Premier League match at Stam­ford Bridge sta­dium yes­ter­day. Chelsea won 2-1. WESTERN BUREAU: T EL­IZ­A­BETH Tech­ni­cal (STETHS) hur­dled a tricky semi-fi­nal matchup at Manch­ester High yes­ter­day to oust Len­non High 2-1 and book a spot in the fi­nal of the ISSAFLOW daCosta Cup against Corn­wall Col­lege on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 3.

The Santa Cruz-based STETHS made sure they took the time to ex­act some amount of re­venge against a Len­non side that pipped them to the Ben Fran­cis Knock­out ti­tle a week ago.

A goal in each half, the first from Tah­jae Palmer in the sixth minute and a 78th-minute strike by Nick­alous Gayle, fired the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons to the win. Ray Camp­bell was on tar­get for Len­non in the 43rd minute as the teams went into the half-time break at 1-1.

It was a pre­dom­i­nantly mid­field-dom­i­nated game, with Len­non’s Kwesi Watts hav­ing a good game on the right.

Demar James, the STETHS striker was busy, hav­ing four shots at goal, but none man­aged to beat Ty­rone Mullings in the Len­non goal. How­ever, when James was brought down 30 yards out, a Ru­jay Robin­son free kick was blocked by Mullings into the path of Palmer, who tucked it away for the open­ing goal.

Len­non found the equaliser when Camp­bell spot­ted STETHS goal­keeper Ken­roy Wal­lace off his line and he ap­plied a clin­i­cal fin­ish from 30 yards, lob­bing the back-ped­alling cus­to­dian two min­utes be­fore the half-time break.

Af­ter the break, Christo­pher Randall was within a whisker of

SSt El­iz­a­beth Tech­ni­cal’s (STETHS) cap­tain Chris-An­drew Dixon (left) is chal­lenged by Len­non High’s Cachje Jack­son dur­ing yes­ter­day’s ISSA-FLOW daCoata Cup semi-fi­nal game at Manch­ester High School. STETHS de­feated Len­non 2-1 to ad­vance to a fifth straight fi­nal.

scor­ing a se­cond goal for Len­non, but his header floated over the cross­bar off a right­sided free kick.

DE­FEN­SIVE SE­COND HALF

Sens­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of the game go­ing into ex­tra time, nei­ther team pro­vided much ad­ven­ture in the se­cond half. Both were con­tent to sit back and pounce on the counter-at­tack.

On one such counter-at­tack­ing move, Gayle was sent clear and his shot gave Mullings no chance. STETHS then held the lead for the fi­nal 12 min­utes to reach a fifth straight daCosta Cup fi­nal.

“I can­not com­plain. To­day, we showed the met­tle of true cham­pi­ons. It was a given that Len­non would come at us, but once our play­ers played to the plan, it was hard to get the bet­ter of us,” said a clearly de­lighted Wen­dell Down­swell, STETHS’ tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor.

“These play­ers are a good bunch, an ex­cel­lent set of young­sters. Now they can re­ward them­selves by re­tain­ing the daCosta Cup ti­tle,” he added.

In con­trast, Len­non’s skip­per Fitzroy Cum­mings and sev­eral of his team­mates slumped over in tears in the driv­ing rain at the

end of the game. He said it was a big loss as he wanted the win to reach the fi­nal in what is to be his fi­nal chance of lift­ing ru­ral area’s school­boy foot­ball big­gest ti­tle.

Len­non’s assistant coach Shel­don Len­non la­belled the sea­son as suc­cess­ful even though they failed to ad­vance to the fi­nal.

“Yes, we wanted it re­ally badly, but there can only be one win­ner, and STETHS had the bet­ter of us to­day al­though we dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion. It was an ex­cel­lent ef­fort here, but we still have the Ben Fran­cis Cup,” Coach Len­non stated.

PAUL CLARKE/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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