Fri | Dec 8, 2023

McKenzie brace gives Mona edge against St Catherine

Published:Sunday | September 24, 2023 | 12:13 AMOrane Buchanan - Staff Reporter

Mona High School’s Denzel McKenzie  (left) tries to dribble by St Catherine High’s Lavaughn Taylor during their Zone E clash at the Mona playfield yesterday.
Mona High School’s Denzel McKenzie (left) tries to dribble by St Catherine High’s Lavaughn Taylor during their Zone E clash at the Mona playfield yesterday.

A HIGHLY anticipated top-of-the-table Zone E encounter between Mona High School and St Catherine High School lived up to its billing yesterday at the Mona field, with the former edging the affair 2-1.

Denzel McKenzie’s brace (36th and 82nd minute) gave Mona the edge in the affair, while Kadean Young’s 38th-minute effort made things interesting.

Mona came close to taking the lead as early as the 13th minute when Kshaine Gordon’s strike went inches wide of the goal. Six minutes later, Romarion Thomas was gifted a free header inside the box, but his effort was wide as well.

Alarm bells

St Catherine responded to the alarm bells in brilliant fashion for the neutrals, a powerful shot from Jacque Watson in the 36th minute just going over Ackeem Bernard’s crossbar.

In the second half, opportunities turned to goals.

Mona struck first through a McKenzie free kick.

In just 120 seconds, the elation of taking a 1-0 lead was muted by Young’s sumptuous strike, which came off the back of slick passing.

Both teams traded jabs after that, but McKenzie’s 82nd-minute strike proved the knockout blow. Leaving two defenders in his shadow, the solo effort gave a spirited Mona team a 2-1 lead, three points and sole leadership of the zone.

Craig Butler, head coach of Mona, believes his preparations in Europe adequately prepared his charges for games such as these.

“I think that the tour in Europe really taught them a lot in grit, guts, fight and glory. In the beginning, the other team brought the game to us. They knew that we have a good squad. However, the depth of our squad and heart and courage of our team really played through,” said Butler.

Anthony Patrick, head coach of St Catherine, was disappointed to have conceded two goals, but believed the officiating worked against his players.

“Thumbs up to my players. They really fought hard but it was unfortunate. The referees are in charge of the game and they decided what they wanted to. I’m very disappointed to have conceded two goals, but the referees decided the game and that’s all I have to say,” said Patrick.

orane.buchanan@gleanerjm.com

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