Trinidad win soccer opener 1-0

Alva Ramsay
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner



FORTY-FIVE seconds from the final whistle, inside left Ron Gray nodded a corner from Lovelace into the net to give Trinidad a 1-0 victory over Jamaica in the first of three soccer "Tests", before the Hon. Dr. Eric Williams, Chief Minister of Trinidad, and 10,000 fans at Queen's Park Oval this afternoon.

After an even first half with the Jamaican forwards looking the better organised of the two lines, Trinidad began a series of dangerous raids which kept Selvyn Murphy very busy. Midway through the half the ball had begun to run so well for Trinidad that the visitors were being pushed well and truly into their own half.

It was in the closing 10 minutes that Trinidad's outside left Lovelace having eluded the defence, ran down the wing to the goal line, and dribbled along the goal line to centre from close in. On the first occasion he was brought down before centring. The second time his hot to goal was stopped by Murphy, who, however, conceded a corner.

From the resultant kick, Gray got between two defenders and headed in.

Thus Trinidad won their third victory over Jamaica in Port of Spain, the two previous matches were in 1947 going to them 6-0 and 1-0.


Rain fell intermittently throughout the day, rendering the field somewhat soggy. Yet, surprisingly enough the ball was coming off fast and the visitors quickly settled down to conditions. The forwards, well led by Ken East, were clicking and Trinidad's defence had to work hard.

What made matters worse for Trinidad was that their big centre forward, Franco, was off colour, which enabled Alexander to give more attention to help holding the [illegible] Ron Gray, thus throwing the Trinidad van out of gear. It was left to Son Baptiste at inside left to supply Trinidad's few [illegible] and shots to goal.

Kicking up field at the start of the first half, Baptiste let through Hamelsmith who tested Murphy, but the ball was cleared and Jamaica's right wing men, Smith and Hill, drew cheers with their clever short passing.

Trinidad cleared and Hamel-Smith sent away Franco, and Murphy saved twice in quick succession.

For a spell Trinidad maintained the attack with Baptiste much in evidence, but the Jamaica defence stood up well except for one anxious moment when Gray grabbed up a straying ball and for a precious second had only Murphy to beat, but he hesitated and Alexander brought him down to save what seemed a certain goal.


A few more Jamaica raids and Cax Baptiste made the save of the match. Bobby Williams at outside left took the ball down and centered to East who headed in from point blank range only to see Trinidad's keeper beautifully anticipate and save.

With play quickly switching ends, Hill eluded a defender, pushed through to East who shot first time, but Cax Baptiste was there and he competently dealt with the resultant corner. This had come shortly after Franco's pass was snapped up by Son Baptiste who shot outside.

Franco improved in the second half and Trinidad's entire forward line looked immediately better. They began taking long shots or bobbing the ball over the defence in an effort to unsettle Murphy.

With the quickening of the pace the Jamaican's seemed to have lost touch and were not moving the ball around as much as they had done in the first half. This gave Murphy some extra work to do.

Once Gray sent away Lovelace and only an offside by Gray stopped the dangerous movement.

Shortly afterwards Franco winged to Lovelace who shuttled it back to the burly centre forward and for what seemed an age Franco had only Murphy to beat, but Murphy beautifully cut down the angle and brought off a good save.


With the pressure relieved, Denzil Lue pushed to Hill who passed to East who cracked a shot from the better part of 30 yards that nearly scored.

The midway mark in the half had now been reached with play now in favour of Trinidad, their whole forward line rather overrunning the Jamaica defence with only intermittent raids by Jamaica.

In one of these raids Williams gave to East who was brought down just when he was well positioned to score.

Our forwards played well, but must shoot.

Hon. Eric Williams opened the series by kicking off after the teams had been introduced to him.

Line up for Jamaica: S. Murphy; W. Chevannes, A. Lowe; K. Largie, F. Alexander (captain), F. Lewis; D. Smith, A. Hill, K. East, D. Lue, B. Williams.

Trinidad's team was: R. Baptiste, W. Ridriquez, B. Hills; F. Gamaldo, N. Daniel, D. Griffith; R. Hamel-Smith (captain), Son Baptiste, C. Franco, R. Gray, H. Lovelace.

The next "Test" will be on Sunday next week at Queen's Park Oval.