Glenmuir win inaugural Knox Cup
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — As coach Warren Simpson admitted in his post-game interview, it is only a pre-season trophy.
But, in the same vein, he noted that it could also go a far way in shaping their campaign in the upcoming schoolboy football season. And, befitting their exploits on the field, they celebrated this success like they would any other.
Over two days, the central Clarendon-based Glenmuir High dominated the inaugural staging of the Knox College Summer Tournament, claiming the Clifton 'Dove' Williams trophy along with two of the five sectional prizes that were up for grabs.
They pipped host Knox College to the top prize, on goal difference, after both teams finished on six points. Kingston College (KC), the only Manning Cup representatives in the four-team competition, were third with four points, while the injury-plagued Muschett High earned a solitary point.
"This victory is good for the morale of the team," Simpson said. "It shows that we can draw on each other for support and work as a unit in challenging situations (playing three games in two days)."
He added that their ambition for the coming season is to challenge for major honours, noting that "we are hoping to be there -- at least in the top four."
Glenmuir, three-time daCosta Cup winners, opened the competition on Wednesday morning with a 2-1 win over Muschett, before suffering a 3-1 defeat to the Lenny Hyde-conditioned KC. They rebounded with a 2-0 victory over Knox in what was effectively the championship game on Thursday evening.
Knox achieved their feat with 1-0 victories over KC and Muschett, who played out a 1-1 draw in their encounter -- the only stalemate in the six-game series.
Integral to Glenmuir's triumph were the tricky Ricardo Dennis and David Givans, who picked up individual awards for the best midfielder and the leading goalscorer, respectively. Givans actually shared his honour with KC's Jerome Coombs, who also scored two goals in three games. Coombs teammate, Jazeal Thompson (best defender), David Swaby of Muschett and Knox's Hogarth Henry (Most Valuable Player) copped the other individual awards.
"In relation to what we set out to achieve, I think the tournament was a success," organiser Courtney Jackson told the Jamaica Observer.
"Based on conversations I had with them, the coaches were able to assess their teams' progress going forward.
"Even for my team," he added, "it was very good. The aim was basically to expose the players and I think this tournament was a good (workout) for them."
In spite of the success, Jackson said they are already eyeing improvements for next year's Knox Cup. "We are definitely looking to invite a few more teams," he said. "We also want to do some more promotion to get some corporate support so that we can give the winners and the runner-up cash incentives."