Jamaica College rule

November 28th, 2010

Jamaica College (JC) captain, Ashani Walker (centre) and teammates hold aloft the Manning Cup after defeating Waterford High 3-0 in the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel-sponsored final at the National Stadium yesterday. - Ian Allen/Photographer

 Jamaica College (JC) claimed their 21st hold on the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup after registering a comprehensive 3-0 win over first-time finalists, Waterford High, in the final at the National Stadium yesterday. The ‘Dark Blues’, as they are affectionately called, who entered the game as slight favourites, were lifted to victory on second-half goals from inspirational captain and forward Ashani Walker, and midfielders Odane Gray and Nicholas Scott.

“There is nothing much to say about today’s win. I was asked to do a job, and thankfully I was able to deliver,” said Jamaica College coach, Alfred Henry.

“We have a disciplined and dedicated set of players, and I am happy that they were able to pull it off and make the school proud,” he added.

The game promised a lot, given the fact that JC were contesting their third final in four years, and Waterford, who had the best defensive record season, were motivated by the tragic death of one of their players two weeks ago. It delivered little in terms of quality, however, but there was much to celebrate, especially for JC supporters.

After a lacklustre first half, the second half saw a rejuvenated JC, buoyed possibly by a talk from Henry, taking the game to Waterford, a move which paid dividends in 62nd minute when a Waterford defender handled the ball inside the penalty area.

This then brought Walker to the spot, and with a well-placed kick to the right of goalkeeper, Mikhail Harrison, he sent the boys from Old Hope Road in the lead.

Motivated by the lead, and with the heads of Waterford’s players surprisingly hanging, JC then went 2-0 up, nine minutes later when a poor defensive clearance resulted in Gray powering home a torrid left-foot shot from near the penalty spot.

With Waterford down and virtually out, JC then put the game to rest in the 87th minute when Scott, lurking at the post, headed past Harrison, much to the delight of his team’s supporters who stormed on to the pitch after the final whistle.

“This victory really means a lot to all of us, especially me and a number of senior players, who will be leaving this year,” said Walker, who was hoisted by several fans, following the contest.

“I had a number of scholarship offers before the start of the season, but I said ‘no’ I wanted us to win the competition this year, and we did it,” he added.

Waterford coach, Floyd Coke, in the meanwhile, cited the magnitude of the occasion, coupled with inexperience on the part of a number of his players as reasons for their defeat.

Too much

“I think the occasion of being in the final for the first time and playing for one of their former players was too much,” he explained.

“Added to that, a couple of our senior players, who normally stepped up for us, didn’t. But having said that, the experience was good, as now we know what it is like be in a final, and we will be back pretty soon.”

JC, who still have a chance of copping three titles this season, will next turn their attention to third-place finishers Bridgeport High, who they will play in the final of the Walker Cup knockout on Wednesday at Constant Spring Sports Complex.

They will then turn their attention to the Olivier Shield against the winners of the daCosta Cup. Rusea’s High will meet Lennon High in the rural area final.

Earlier, Bridgeport, on a hat-trick from Jamiel Hardware, defeated Norman Manley 5-4 in extra time for third.



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