Serving superior tactics - Titchfield coach points to preparation after winning all-island title
Titchfield High School's eccentric coach Samuel Lamont said superior tactics made the difference as the rural champs defeated urban-area winners Kingston College (KC) 3-1 to retain the ISSA boys' Under-19 table tennis title at Excelsior High School yesterday.
Lamont, a national coach, said KC had no answer for their preparation and strategy coming into the contest.
"We have a silent assassin, Tarique Thompson, and we sent him out first, as we knew we could take KC out. They (KC) have a very good team, but we were better prepared and we have a lot of tactics, so we used that and our team prevailed," he said.
Thompson defeated the experienced Dennis Daniels 3-2 in the opening contest, before Tyreak Thompson got the better of Kevin Daley 3-0 to give Titchfield a 2-0 lead. KC's Ricardo Hayles then beat Kimoy McEwan 3-0 to bring the score to 2-1. But Malique Rose stopped Romaine Kelly 3-1 to seal the title for Titchfield.
Lamont noted that a bet between a set of overseas-based old boys of both schools played a major factor in their win this year.
"After losing the girls' Under-19 (final), I knew we had to retain the boys' Under-19 title, as there was a bet between the KC old boys and Titchfield old boys abroad, and it's a title (U-19) we have had for a number of years now. But hats off to KC, because our rivalry has been going on since I was a schoolboy and it continues, and now that I am coaching, we are still winning," Lamont said.
BASKING IN VICTORY
"KC is coached by a youngster (Colin McNeish), who was one of the most brilliant young players. But when I became an oldster, I became a brilliant oldster. So now you have quality coaches competing (for both schools), so the Titchfield-KC rivalry continues and we are happy that we have been winning. We know the time might come when KC wins again, but for now, we bask in the victory."
Meanwhile, Ardenne retained the girls' Under-19 crown with a 3-1 win over Titchfield. Campion College also retained the boys' Under-16 title with a similar 3-1 win over Glenmuir, while St Jago are the new girls' Under-16 champions, after they beat Westwood 3-0.