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Smith urges YMSC not to dwell on Shield heartache

Moving on: Young Men’s Social Club coach Michael Smith has urged his side not to dwell on their Shield final defeat to Paget in order to fulfill the club’s First Division promotion aspirations (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Young Men’s Social Club coach Michael Smith has urged his side to move on from their Shield Final defeat and refocus on fulfilling the club’s First Division promotion aspirations.

In an entertaining final at Somerset Cricket Club on New Year’s Day, Social Club threatened a late fightback against Paget with goals from Jinairo Johnson and David Jones Jr giving them a glimmer of hope, having giving themselves a mountain to climb after going 3-0 down, but Paget withstood late pressure to clinch the title.

Despite the obvious disappointment among the squad, Smith has challenged his side not to dwell on the loss and switch their immediate attention back to the domestic campaign, with promotion still the ultimate goal come the end of the season.

“I told the players whatever happened that we would have to look beyond it and focus fully on the league again,” said the coach, whose side sit fourth in the table, just two points adrift of leaders Wolves.

“If we would have won, of course we would have enjoyed the moment but promotion was always the main ambition for us this season and we are still in contention.

“We’ve been in good form so far this season and that bodes well for us. I think we are in good shape, even though this result definitely hurts right now.

“We will learn from this experience and we’ll bounce back from it in no time.”

Reflecting back on the match itself, Smith admits he was left particularly disappointed with the first-half performance but is adamant that on the balance of play that there was little separating the two teams.

“I can’t be angry with the fightback but unfortunately we really didn’t stick to the gameplan from the beginning,” added the coach, who is already relishing coming up against Paget again in the second half of the season.

“I was really disappointed with our first half display. The effort and energy was definitely lacking and that was a hard pill to swallow. One of their goals was a brilliant strike and with that you have to just pick the ball out of net and say fair enough but we had to respond better. Paget played well but I thought overall we were pretty evenly matched.

“We drew with them earlier in the season and narrowly lost this one so it looks like it’s going to be a battle whenever we face one another. We’re looking forward to the second league match coming up.”

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Published January 03, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated January 03, 2023 at 11:53 am)

Smith urges YMSC not to dwell on Shield heartache

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