Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Early games coming after lightning halts KC-Hydel clash

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2023 | 12:12 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Kingston College’s Alex Hislop attempts to dribble by Hydel High School’s Dontay Stewart during a Manning Cup match at the Stadium East field yesterday. The game was later postponed on account of lightning.
Kingston College’s Alex Hislop attempts to dribble by Hydel High School’s Dontay Stewart during a Manning Cup match at the Stadium East field yesterday. The game was later postponed on account of lightning.

COACHES OF Kingston College and Hydel High have called on the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) to look at starting schoolboy football matches much earlier after lightning forced their top-of-the-table Group A game at Stadium East to be called off after 30 minutes, with the scores still tied at 0-0.

After waiting for nearly an hour for the match officials to come to their decision, Vassell Reynolds, coach of Kingston College, and assistant coach of Hydel, Oshane Tomlinson, argued that at the time of day the games start, it is likely that they will be affected by rain, and lightning. With that in mind, the two believe starting games much earlier will be beneficial to the competition’s schedule.

“We are getting to that time of the year, so you may have to look at starting games an hour earlier. We know these (players) are schoolers and we might have to take them out of classes, so there are a lot of factors to weigh in. But certainly, it’s a time of the year when there is a little concern about the backlog of some games and that might take its toll on the youngsters. But ISSA will assess and make the right decision,” Reynolds commented.

Tomlinson believes that providing proper equipment can make the referees better prepared. However, he said the logical solution is to begin the games at an earlier time.

“They could do much better with that. I didn’t see where the ref was prepared in terms of having equipment to measure the lightning. It was after the fact. But in terms of the lightning and rain, more can be done in terms of scheduling, like the time of the match could be started a bit earlier.

“From my observation, the rain always starts at a particular point of the day, at 3:30 to four o’clock. So if they could start earlier, it would be better overall as the Manning Cup will flow much smoother, in terms of getting games out of the way and not having to reschedule every minute,” said Tomlinson.

President of ISSA Keith Wellington revealed that the schoolboy football organisers will be starting games at an earlier time, beginning with Group J matches in the da’Costa Cup today.

“We are starting games earlier, as a matter of fact we have some games starting at 11 (a.m.) tomorrow (today). The problem is that we have referees who are not professional referees, they work and they can’t just leave their work to come and do a match in the morning. That is the greatest hindrance we have now. But we have actually reschedule some games for the morning and we are looking at getting in more and more early games, especially over the next two weeks, before the start of the other round.

“So this is just to complete this round, so we can ensure we get all the games played. But depending on where they (matches) are playing and the weather pattern in those areas, we will adjust the time,” he said.

He added also the the backlog due to the postponements of games has been minimal thus far.

“We do not have a big backlog. We have rescheduled games and what we did with the fixtures is to have a blank week at the end. That would allow for games to be replayed before the start of the next round,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an evenly contested game, where Hydel had the better chances and even hit the bar, both coaches were disappointed with the premature end.

“We wanted to continue the momentum that we have garnered, and we figure the Hydel team had some questions to answer,” said Reynolds.

Tomlinson also expressed similar sentiments. “We just wanted to keep a momentum going because it has been about 10 days since we played our last game. So that’s what is really disappointing because we wanted to keep that momentum and that winning spirit.”

KC continue to lead the group with 15 points, followed by Hydel and Calabar on nine each.

A number of other games around Kingston and St Andrew and St Catherine had to be postponed yesterday as well.

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