Clarendon College to contest second final after blanking Hydel 2-0 in Champions Cup semis

By November 28, 2023
Clarendon College players celebrate a goal against Hydel High. Clarendon College players celebrate a goal against Hydel High. Sports of Jamaica

Clarendon College continued their impressive vein of form, as they booked a spot in a second final for the season with a 2-0 win over Hydel High in the ISSA Champions Cup all-island knockout tournament semi-finals at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Tuesday.

The reigning daCosta Cup champions, who will defend their rural area crown against Clarendon neighbours Glenmuir High, are well and truly on course to secure the coveted triple crown, as they now wait their opponents for the Champions Cup showpiece.

Clarendon College’s ever-reliable and prolific front man Keheim Dixon, again did the damage for Chapelton-based team with a brace in the 19th and 87th minutes.

Though in the perfect position to achieve the triple feat, Clarendon College’s Head coach Lenworth “Teacha” Hyde downplayed their ambitions.

“The boys definitely went out and had fun, especially the first half, we had an excellent first half, but I didn’t like the second half because they brought back Hydel in the game. However, even when Hydel had their moments, we defended well, and our goalkeeper came up big today also. So, it was a nice performance, I wanted more but what they give me at this stage of the season, I’ll take it,” Hyde said in a post-game interview.

“We are working, so when the next match come, we will deal with it. I don’t talk about triple crown I am just playing the games as they come along,” he added.

With both teams coming of penalty shootout victories in their respective daCosta Cup and Manning Cup semi-finals encounters, the physical and mental toughness of both teams were expected to be tested, and so it was.

Both teams were spirited at the start, but it was Hydel finding that signalled intentions first when Dontae Brooks broke into a one-on-one situation with Roshae Burrell in goal for Clarendon College, but the goaltender came up trumps with a big save to deny the attacker.

Clarendon College took heed and replied with a flurry of attacks of their own, the best of which came in the 19th when Dixon slotted home from just inside the 18-yard box, after Deandre Gallimore’s initial effort came back off the crossbar.

They almost doubled the lead four minutes later as Dixon’s shot from deep inside the box, was charged down and Jahmelle Ashley’s attempt from the resulting corner was cleared off the line.

Hydel enjoyed a decent passage of play in the latter stages of the half, but their hunt for the elusive equalizer proved fruitless at that point, as Clarendon College went to the break 1-0 up.

With their backs against the wall, Hydel came out pressing on the resumption and had a few opportunities to claw their way back into the contest, the best of which came in the 65th. This, when Omario Henry rounded Burrell, but failed to make it count.

From there, Clarendon College once again took charge of proceedings and inevitably found a second when Christopher Hull played provider for Dixon, who rifled right-footer past Kingston College’s goalkeeper Tajarie Lee for his 27th goal of the season.

Hydel’s Head coach Devon Anderson rued defensive errors which proved their undoing.

“The team that made the least mistake came out the winner. We made two critical mistakes in front of goal, and we paid, so credit to Clarendon, it was a hard-fought battle, we threw some punches, and we gave our best. So, we will lick our wound and then get ready for the Manning Cup (final),” Anderson said.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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