Morally Trinidad Are Winners Of Series

G. St. C. Scotter
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Defeat In Last Test Climatic, Psychological

Jamaica undoubtedly got one of the great surprises of her sporting history in Trinidad's tremendous victory in the last match of the series—not that we were confident of victory; for looking at the condition of the ground it was evident that it favoured the visitors; but we certainly never expected six clear goals, when neither in this present series or the last time Trinidad was here, has there ever been more than the margin of the odd goal between the two teams.

What were the reasons for this complete bouleversement? It is, of course, easy to be wise after the event, to say this and that should have been done but wasn'; but while some criticism of Wednesday's selection and of individual players is justified, the main factors in the great victory were climatic and psychological; Trinidad got a ground that in pace exactly suited them; they rose to the occasion in splendid style, playing better football than they have shown in any match of the series; finally, they got the terrific moral uplift of three goals in the first five minutes, which alone would be apt to take the heart out of any team.

The Matter Of Selection

Now for the individual factors that contributed to Jamaica's defeat—had McLean been in Jamaica's goal in place of Dujon I have no hesitation in saying that of those three disastrous first goals two would have been saved, which would have been a very different state of affairs to a three-nil lead.

We could not have McLean who is still suffering from leg injury, but why not have used the brilliant school-boy goalie Williams, particularly in view of the fact that Dujon had lost us last Saturday's match through his unalterable conviction that a Goalie's place is up among the backs rather than in his own goal line, a belief that again proved fatal to Jamaica on Wednesday.

I think is was a mistake to have replaced Delgado by Shakespeare — the form of the Dragon Back it is true is somewhat uncertain, but so is that of Shakespeare, and Delgado has the happy knack of playing his best when most needed, and in a tough spot such as our defenders found themselves in would probably have been at his best, bobbing up in all sorts of unexpected places to upset the smooth rhythm of the Trinidad attack.

Lastly, as I have said before, I would have preferred to see LaBeach in the line instead of Alcock, though this would not have made much difference as things went, since the whole forward line might as well not have been there for all the good they did—Allen was completely useless against a Prior Jones at his most brilliant, and such attacks as were engineered by Alcock, McMorris and Dudley Smith were easily dealt with by Dopson, also in magnificient form.

Trinidad's Brilliance

So much on our shortcomings, now for a more pleasant subject, the brilliant form shown by our visitors.

I have throughout been puzzled by the fact that Gerry, obviously a thoroughly sound and experienced player, was somewhat ineffective—well, he must have been saving up his real form as a treat for us in this last match.

Prior Jones, whom I ranked as in the tradition of great centre halves after his first game here, also played right on top of his form in this game, completely dominating half line play and making up for the absence of "Big Chief" Seale who had an injury.

Dopson gave a grand display at right back, his kicking to his forwards from all positions being particularly impressive, in marked contrast to the ineffective clearances of Jamaica's Backs.

These players were outstanding on the day, but the whole of the Trinidad side were right on top of their form combining fast foot work and accurate passing to achieve a great victory that makes them the moral if not actual winners of the series.