Defence meets attack in cup Manning final

November 27th, 2010

Jamaica College's captain Ashani Walker (left) and Waterford's captain Rohan Daley. - file

After months of preparation, 10 first-round games, three second-round games and semi-final victories, Jamaica College (JC) and Waterford High will meet today at the National Stadium to decide the 2010 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup urban area senior schoolboy football champions. Game time is set for 3 p.m., following the third-place match between Norman Manley and Bridgeport at 1 p.m.

 JC will be going in search of their 20th title but this is the St Catherine-based Waterford’s first trip to the big showdown. The two have met on two previous occasions this season, having been placed in the same preliminary-round group. The first meeting, which was played at the JC grounds, ended in a 1-1 draw. The return leg saw Waterford emerge 1-0 victors; their first ever over their Old Hope Road rivals, and in the process topped the group.

“When we lost to Waterford, that match wasn’t really important but now it is important,” JC’s assistant coach, Delroy Brown, said. “The boys are in high spirits, they are saying it is revenge. We are playing on better field conditions now than when we played at Waterford, so it is going to be a totally different game,” Brown pointed out.

JC, who have been the most prolific team in front of goal this season, finding the back of the net on more than 50 occasions, needed penalties to get by Bridgeport in the semi-finals.

Good frame of mind

Brown, however, expects his team to continue in their usual attacking vein.

“The frame of mind of the boys is good, we are quite ready. We are an attacking team, so we are going to be attacking.”

JC’s semi-final victory came at a cost as two of their players – Odane Greensword and Junior Fleming – were red-carded and will miss today’s final.

“It is a team effort, we would have loved for them to play, for their own personal reasons and the team, but we will have to adjust according to the persons we have available,” Brown said. “It is really for us to lose because we have been the most outstanding team in the competition,” he added.

Waterford should be bubbling with confidence and should be a well-motivated unit coming into today’s final. The players, who have already created history by making it to the final, will be looking to go all the way.

The school suffered a terrible loss leading up to their semi-final meeting with Norman Manley, as one of their players, Okeeffe Lewis, died in a fire at his house. They took the semi-final encounter 1-0, courtesy of an 87th-minute strike from Andre McFarlane.

“They have decided that in memory of one of their own (Okeeffe), they have to do it (win) and they will be doing whatever it takes,” Waterford’s coach Floyd Coke stated. “I don’t think any other squad can be more motivated … they are very upbeat right now,” he added.

Waterford have conceded the fewest goals this Manning Cup season and Coke anticipates a close encounter.

“It is two equally matched teams, I believe, and one goal will separate the two teams. We are all fit and we are prepared to run the entire time, however long it takes.”

Source: Jamaicagleaner

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