December 2nd, 2010
Pepsi's Marketing Manager, Carlo Redwood (holding trophy), presents the Walker Cup to the jubilant Jamaica College (JC) after their triumph over Bridgeport in the final yesterday at the Constant Spring Field. JC won 3-1. - Ian Allen/Photographer
Manning Cup champions Jamaica College cemented their status as the top Corporate Area schoolboy football team after whipping Bridgeport 3-1 yesterday at the Constant Spring Field to capture the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Walker Cup knockout title.
It’s Jamaica College’s (JC) second lien on the trophy they won for the first time last year.
The Old Hope Road-based school, which carved their 21st lien on the Manning Cup last week, got their goals from Ashani Walker (60th and 90+) and Nicholas Scott (63rd). Jamiel Hardware (85th) got Bridgeport’s lone goal from the penalty spot.
JC’s coach, Alfred Henry, was naturally very proud of his young charges.
“I think the guys worked very hard this year and they are deserving of what happened today,” Henry said. “We are just playing good football and that’s what made the difference,” he added.
This was the third meeting between the two schools this season and JC have triumphed on all three occasions, including in the Manning Cup semi-final.
The Portmore-based Bridgeport started out the better of the two teams and came agonisingly close to taking the lead in the 30th minute. Hardware was allowed space to run into, which he accepted before hammering a 25-yard shot, which cannoned back off the right upright.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 60th minute when JC’s influential captain, Walker, struck a 25-yard free kick, which went all along the ground and crept in at near post past Bridgeport’s goalkeeper Robert Johnson. There minutes later, Scott notched his 15th goal of the season to give the ‘Dark Blues’ a 2-0 lead.
Just when it seemed JC were cruising to a comfortable victory, some life was breathed into the game in the 85th minute when JC’s Linsworth Daley handled in the box, resulting in a penalty being awarded. Hardware stepped up and though his first effort was blocked, he converted after the kick was ordered retaken.
Bridgeport went in search of the equaliser, leaving themselves open at the back. It was a critical mistake which was capitalised on by Walker on the stroke of full time when he made a solo run into the area and fired home his 17th goal of the season.
“I am very disappointed with how the season has gone for us,” Bridgeport’s coach Anthony Patrick reflected. “Two titles up for grabs and we played well right up to the semi-final and final and we threw them away through indiscipline,” he added.
JC will seeking to capture the triple crown when they play in the Olivier Shield, symbol of all-island supremacy in schoolboy football, on December 8 and 11 against either Lennon High or Rusea’s High. The two schools meet in the rural schoolboys’ daCosta Cup final on Saturday.
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