The Day's Play

Author: 
G. St. C. Scotter
Date Published: 
1947-02-10
Source: 
Jamaica Gleaner
Page: 
14

Naturally it was difficult to estimate the real strength of the Trinidad side on Saturday's match against the schools; it was the visitors' first match, and even though their climate and playing conditions are very similar to ours, they must need a little play to get accustomed to the ground; then they were playing what may be termed their second team, and with six replacements on the tour this leaves them plenty of leeway.

But what perhaps made the most swinging in from either wing will be difference was the type of game played by the schoolboys, any amount of pace and bustle, but not much position, and it took the visitors some time to size up this attack; we shall have a far better chance of estimating how they are likely to get on against Jamaica when they encounter the fire-breathing Dragons from Winchester Park this afternoon.

Conditions for the match were perfect; there was a fine crowd present, and if, as seems likely, the series against Jamaica is going to be close, we shall undoubtedly see the largest gates ever drawn by a football match in this country. A pleasant feature was the presence of the Jamaica Military Band, when beguiled that slow half an hour before play starts with their usual delightful selections.

How The Side Looks

Trinidad revealed themselves as a big and fast side; though they had not the pace of the schoolboys, nor perhaps quite that of the Jamaica forward line, they are in the very pink of condition and went through the 70 minutes of fast play without turning a hair. They use very little W—double on the forward line, preferring a straight away short passing game varied with long ones to the wingers, very similar to the tactics Jamaica used before the Major came on the scene.

They have two admirable wingers in Stollmeyer and Lynch—Stollmeyer's lounging stride being most deceptive in pace, while Lynch is a real sprinter of the "White Knight" type—they might easily have used Lynch a lot more in the second half. Stollmeyer in the first half was practically living off side but corrected this miscalculation of position going up the hill. Both centre beautifully, and their accurately judged passes swinging in from either wing will be one of the biggest hazards Jamaica's backs will have to encounter.

Opportunists

The three insides, Galt, Gomez and Burnett, did not show very great ability to break through the defence individually, in fact none of the three was ever in the clear for a free shot throughout the match; but they are admirable opportunists, anything they do got a foot, or head, to is going to cause trouble, as shown by the fact that they had little more than three opeings in the game and scored with difficult shots off all three—two beautifully judged headers and a real professional foot flip by Galt out of the crush.

The biggest surprise of the day was the defence; we had heard it was weak compared with the attack, but there was nothing weak about those six stalwarts.

Pryor Jones is in the great tradition of centre halves—cool, tireless, always in position and an excellent distributor of the ball. Dopson is a really great back, a fast and sure tackle and a beautiful clearance kicker—very reminiscent in style of "Crusty" Roberts. The goalie looks very good but had nothing to really test him; and the rest of the defence is sound and hard-working.

Hamilton, of J. C., gave a magnificent defensive exhibition; he was supposed to be playing centre half with a third back assignment; but as he spent practically the entire match in the left back's legitimate position, where he gave this grand display, he might just as well have been placed there from the start, in which position he must certainly have caught the eye of the selectors if, and when, changes are needed on the Jamaica side.