Webster hat-trick powers STETHS into D'Cup 'quarters'

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth – Ronaldo Webster's superb hat-trick carried St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) to a 4-1 win over Vere Technical High and a place in the quarter-finals of the ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup.

The STETHS triumph on their home turf in Santa Cruz on Saturday followed a 2-0 win over Vere at Juici Park in Clarendon in mid-week, which meant the margin over the two-leg tie was 6-1.

Before a packed crowd on a drizzly afternoon, Webster scored with free kicks in the 23rd and 50th minutes, and from open play in the 56th, while the fourth STETHS goal came from Shemar Murray in the 77th minute.

The Vere Technical number nine Shawn Thomas netted his school's lone goal in the 26th minute.

Vere's goalkeeper Nicholas Frater probably blamed himself for the opening goal after seeming to misjudge the flight of Webster's curling left-footed free-kick from an acute angle – the ball lodging in the 'keeper's right-hand corner.

Any thoughts that Vere would lie down and die soon disappeared. Three minutes later, the powerfully built pair of Thomas and Garrington Baker combined down the right to leave the STETHS defence in disarray for Thomas to slot the equalising goal past 'keeper Devonte Clarke.

For the remainder of the half Thomas and Baker were a constant threat, twice forcing Clarke to make spectacular saves.

Apparently benefitting from the coach's talk at the break, STETHS came out for the second half, moving the ball about with quick, short-passing combinations. The tactic reaped dividends after five minutes with Webster's second goal from another free kick as pressure took its toll on the Vere defence.

This time Webster's powerful, curling, left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box, down the attacking right, was unstoppable – dipping under the crossbar just inside the goal-keeper's right-hand post.

Webster got his third six minutes later. He tormented the Vere defense with twists and turns in the inside left position, before hammering his left footer into the roof of the net.

Vere kept trying but STETHS finished off the afternoon in style with Murray bravely diving at the feet of defenders to head home a left-sided corner kick.

—Garfield Myers

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