Rookie forward shines for Cavalier
In the absence of four senior players, leading scorer Collin Anderson, Ronaldo Webster, Dwayne Atkinson, and Shaneil Thomas, Cavalier’s 17-year-old forward Omarion Henry rose to the occasion. He netted a brace to give Cavalier a 3-1 win over Dunbeholden in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex yesterday.
In a game where both teams were reduced to 10 men, Cavalier struck first through Henry after 16 minutes. Then Ronaldo Robinson doubled their lead a minute later.
Stephen Barnett pulled a goal back for Dunbeholden after 33 minutes, but Henry added a third in added time to seal the win.
Dunbeholden’s Zackiyu Willis was ejected in the 54th minute, while Cavalier’s Gadiel Irving also saw red after a second bookable offence.
Nevertheless, Cavalier’s coach, Rudolph Speid, was left singing the praises of his club’s development system and the exploits of young Henry on the day.
“I told him earlier in the season he was going to be the marquee player for Cavalier. But the reason we can do this (play without four regulars) is that we play a system not players. Once a player comes in, they know what to do,” Speid said.
“I have too many good players to choose from, but it is a good problem to have.”
The result put Cavalier level on 36 points with Mount Pleasant and Arnett Gardens, and he was pleased to put the pressure back on his two rivals.
“We now have 36 points like the other two, but we have our points on the table already, so let us see what the other two can do,” he added.
Meanwhile, Henry, a Hydel High student, was overwhelmed by his first JPL brace.
“I just feel overwhelmed. I have been working hard in training, and the coaches tell me they believe in me, and I came out here and delivered.
“This is my first start, but I played five games before, and the coach had faith in me, and I just came out and played my part,” he said.
FOCUSED AND BELIEVE
“I am just going to stay focused and believe in my coach because my coach believes in me.”
Both teams started well and had good openings, but it was Henry who struck first.
They added a second almost immediately when they stole possession from the kick-off and Robinson turned his marker and slotted home.
Dunbeholden worked their way back in the gam,e and Barnett turned home a cross to reduce the deficit on 33 minutes.
Cavalier had a great chance to add to their score, but Dwayne Allen blasted over the top from the penalty spot.
“It was a disappointing result, but up to the last 10 minutes, we were in the game, but losing a player never allowed us to capitalise,” said Dundeholden assistant coach Craig Thomas.