It’s oh so close!… JC place one hand on historic treble after slim Olivier Shield advantage

December 9th, 2010

Jamaica College's talismatic captain and playmaker Ashani Walker celebrates at the Constant Spring Playing Field yesterday after scoring his team's only goal against Rusea's High in the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Olivier Shield first-leg clash. - Ian Allen/Photographer

Manning Cup champions, Jamaica College (JC) registered an exciting 1-0 victory over daCosta Cup winners, Rusea’s High, in the first leg of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Pepsi/Digicel Olivier Shield play-off at the Constant Spring Playing Field yesterday.

The win means that the Urban area kingpins now have one hand on the coveted symbol of schoolboy supremacy, going into this Saturday’s second leg at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay, St James.

Inspirational playmaker and captain Ashani Walker got the all-important goal for JC in the 11th minute from the penalty spot.

Ian Forbes, manager of the Old Hope Road-based JC, who are seeking to capture all three senior schoolboy football titles on offer for the first time in their history, was very happy for the victory.

Workmanlike performance

“I think it was a workmanlike performance from the boys because they played with a lot guts and determination,” said Forbes. “We are going to take it one game at a time because the aim is to win all games and so we are very grateful for this result.”

Forbes added: “We know that the second leg will be a very tough game, but our boys are very prepared by coach (Alfred) Henry, and they have a lot of guts and determination and so we are going there (Montego Bay) with a positive mind.”

The Dark Blues began the match very confidently, and were awarded a penalty 11 minutes into the game when Andre Messam’s left-sided cross was handled inside the 18-yard area by Rusea’s defender Nakeedo Lewis. Walker stepped up to fire home the spot kick past custodian Lamoy Graham.

Two minutes later, Messam thought he had doubled his team’s advantage, but his curling 20-yard free kick was cleared off the goal line by a Rusea’s defender.

Rusea’s best chance

Miguel Jones received Rusea’s best chance of the first half, but his powerful close range header was cleared off the goal line by Andre Powell on the stroke of half-time.

Rusea’s stepped up their game in the second period, and were awarded in penalty in 63rd minute. However, Brian Brown failed to covert the kick as he fired a left-footed shot high over the crossbar. Moments later, Rusea’s Anthony Walker’s close-range effort was denied by the crossbar.

The daCosta Cup champions were then reduced to 10 players in the 77th minute, when Jones was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

Anthony ‘Follies’ Williams, coach of the Hanover-based Rusea’s, was very gracious in defeat, but is very confident his charges can bounced back in the return game.

“I knew that this was going to be a very tough game for us because the JC team are used to playing on this ground and so we took some time to adjust ourselves to the conditions here,” said Williams.

“However, I think that we were more dominant than them in second half because we missed a penalty and we also had another chance that was denied by the crossbar.”

Williams added: “I don’t think JC can take too much comfort coming to Montego Bay and come Saturday, we will be in a different and better frame of mind. Based on what we have seen here today, we are also not too perturbed and if this is what they have to over, then it is going to be a very long night for them in Montego Bay on Saturday.”


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