We Under-Estimated Them In The 5th Test

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

I had hoped it was a nightmare! But on awaking yesterday morning the first thing my wife spoke to me was about it, which was also the topic for the entire journey of the car in which I received a lift down to work; then there was my own report of the match in black and white literally staring out of the sports page at me to force me to realise that Jamaica were really beaten 6-0 by Trinidad, on Wednesday afternoon.

My chagrin is not due to the fact that we were defeated, but how we were defeated; Trinidad undoubtedly deserved their victory then. But time will never be able to dim for me the memory of the spectacle of that debacle. One footballer told me that the remembrance of it caused him a sleepless night. And I am certain that he was not the only Jamaican who did.

Yet our very reputable sporting crowd on Wednesday, on a whole, demonstrated anything but sympathy with the Jamaican players at who they were actually at one stage laughing. Our crowds are reputed for their appreciation of anything good, whether it is turned in or performed by their own representative or by the visitors.


Far be it for me to ever suggest that it is not the right spirit. I, like every other sporting Jamaican, am proud of it, but I was taught that charity begins at home. How encouraging would it not have been to these eleven players, who were defending the name of Jamaica in football, to have received on really genuine shout: "Come on Jamaica" from their people on the sidelines at Sabina Park on Wednesday.

Whatever might have been the direct reason (and we have already discussed that in a previous report) for our defeat, one other was the underestimation of our opponents. Although the first three Colony Matches were close affairs up to then, there was no doubting which was the better side, if really we have not played anything like football since the first "Test". Our game in that match was really "class," as the J.F.A. President would say.


In all the games, however, Trinidad always demonstrated a better understanding and if lacking the individuality as compared with Jamaica, always played more as a team, as they demonstrated in no uncertain manner on Wednesday. When they got their short-passing, which can be interspersed with long winging passes, going, they always had our defence on the run and only poor finishing or shooting ability did not make them a more match-winning factor.

Under-estimation undoubtedly cause Jamaica to slack in that fifth Test, plus the knowledge that we could not lose the "rubber" and no doubt augmented by Melbourne winning a good match 2-1. However, as I know, they were always biding their time; hoping for the day the rain (which was always hovering around) would fall on match day, and so it did.

I will discuss the tour from the individual angle in a subsequent article.

[photo caption]

MEMBERS OF THE TRINIDAD FOOTBALL TEAM wave farewell to friends at the Palisadoes Airport Thursday morning, as they boarded a KLM DC-4 airliner homeward bound. Prior Jones, captain of the team, is seen in front (third from left), and beside him is Jeff Stollmeyer.