‘Sublime’ St Clement retain Trinity Shield

MANAGER Gary Tumelty praised his ‘fantastic’ St Clement parish side after lifting the 100th edition of the Trinity Shield – saying they would be a match for any JFA Combination Premiership team.

St Clement lift the Trinity Shield at Springfield – their third success in a row
St Clement lift the Trinity Shield at Springfield – their third success in a row

An impressive first half display all but sealed their 3-2 victory over St Brelade in the rain at Springfield.

Much of it was down to the neat one-touch combination play in attack between Karl Hinds, Sol Solomon, Jay dos Santos and Mikey Weir.

However, St Brelade rallied in the second half and, for long periods, looked like they might even rescue the tie.

‘When we went in at half-time we could have been two or three goals better off. We always felt that if we didn’t take our chances they would come into it,’ admitted Tumelty.

That said, 2019 champions and holders St Clement were in more clinical mood than they were in the semi-final against St Peter. They were off the mark as soon as the 14th minute. A typically intricate passing passage found its conclusion when Hinds put them ahead with a composed finish, lifting the ball over the diving Jonny Willows.

A minute later, a similar move may have led to a quick second but Solomon hit the post after rounding Willows in a tight area.

St Clement were seemingly in control of the final until St Brelade equalised out of nowhere when Jonny Le Quesne’s weak shot squirmed under ‘keeper Tom Le Monnier. But by half-time St Clement scored two more that would put the game beyond reach. Solomon slotted home after another one-two with Hinds and then, after Ryan Campos was brought down in the box, Hinds sent Willows the wrong way to score the penalty.

The game became stretched in the second half with St Clement’s star attackers unable to find the same rhythm that defined their first half display. This played into St Brelade’s hands and they were given hope ten minutes after the restart when Toby Ritzema stroked the ball home with the outside of his right foot, bending it in from 20 yards.

St Brelade tried to apply more pressure but by this time both teams were looking tired in the last moments of a long and exhausting season. James Quérée might have done better on the end of a free-kick put in the mixer by Luke Lister but an equaliser would prove elusive.

‘It made for an entertaining game,’ said Tumely of St Brelade’s vein hopes to take the game into extra-time.

‘It is a fantastic footballing team,’ he added in praise of the players who turned out for St Clement. ‘The football was absolutely sublime. If only that were St Clement FC’s first team, we would be very happy.’

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