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Goalkeeper’s heroics gives Clarendon College all-island title

By December 07, 2019
Clarendon College players celebrate winning the 2019 Olivier Shield. Clarendon College players celebrate winning the 2019 Olivier Shield.

Prince-Daniel Smith’s name may take on cult-like status by the end of the weekend after the goalkeeper led the way in making a 4-1 penalty shoot out win possible for Clarendon College in the Olivier Shield at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday.

Clarendon were beating Jamaica College (JC) to the title after the two played to a 1-1 draw in regular time with goals from Smith (90+5) and Oquassa Chong’s (88th minute) punctuating the affair.

After a game of half-chances and missed chances from Clarendon, who could not get it right in the final third, it was JC who would go ahead in what should have been the dying embers of a game that was good, save for there not being a goal.

With time running out on Clarendon, who could find no way through, they inexplicably began to make mistakes in the back, and JC should have scored earlier.

In the 83rd minute, Isaac Scott booted an easy chance well over, after Clarendon skipper Earl Simpson, had his pocket picked while attempting to shield a ball out for a goal kick. The resulting grounded cross fell to Scott who had all the time in the world.

That trend would continue when Tajay Grant was through on goal in the 87th and found Smith’s large frame too daunting to pick a side. His shot struck the outstretched leg of Smith and the score remained 0-0.

A minute later, Chong, who had come on as a substitute in the second half, found himself in front of goal with a tap-in after Scott, who should have scored from where he was, shot towards goal, scuffed it, and it ended in front of Chong.

Chong tried to side-foot the ball home but the lack of pace from the shot-turned-cross meant he was too early and only ended up toe-ending it towards goal. Unfortunately, Smith had been going the wrong way and the ball trickled over the line.

The game went back to being all Clarendon after that, but with just four minutes of time added on, the title looked as if it was headed to Hope Road.

It wasn’t.

After conceding, Smith had ceased to use his gloves and was, for the most part, the furthest man forward for Clarendon.

The minimum four minutes for time added had already elapsed when Clarendon earned a corner. The delivery was too close to JC goalkeeper Daniel Russell and he should have had an easy time of collecting it, however, Smith leapt to head it just in front of him and he lost sight of the delivery.

Russell’s fumble fell to the floor and Smith was quickest to it, poking it home to give Clarendon a most famous lifeline.

On to penalties and Clarendon were buoyed by Smith’s heroics. Their spots were perfect, Richard King, Andre Fletcher, Simpson and Andre Nicholson all scoring against JC custodian, Tarique Barrett, who had replaced Russell for the purposes of penalties.

JC, on the other hand, missed right away, Tyreese Small skying his effort. Chong’s penalty was brilliant to keep JC in with a chance but when Richard Thompson’s side-footed effort failed to hit the target, the writing was on the wall.

Nicholson was composed, taking the last penalty and made no mistake in helping to complete the story of his goalkeeper’s heroics.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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