Grandison breaks jinx with RSPL crown
... Former Lennon star rebounds after D'Cup disaster
WHEN Portmore United finally lifted the Red Stripe Premier League trophy on Sunday at Ferdie Nieta Park, young midfielder Ewan Grandison was among the players breathing deep sighs of relief.
It was his own goal that delayed Portmore's 'champagne moment' by a week when Boys' Town claimed a dramatic 2-1 win at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex last Monday night to move within three points of the leaders with a game to go.
Not that he could have done much to stop the goal, but Grandison's body language after the final whistle painted a picture of dejection and disappointment.
Daemon Benjamin's long-ranged free-kick took a heavy deflection off his outstretched left foot as he tried to block the shot, which temporarily denied Portmore their fifth championship.
Had that moment proved to be the deciding factor in this season's title race, the young man would have surely been devastated, perhaps thinking the jinx of his last big Cup final was back to haunt him.
Grandison, 20, was the captain of that wonderful Lennon High team that was denied a maiden daCosta Cup lien in 2010 when Anthony Walker's 'hand ball' extra-time goal decided the final in Rusea's favour.
Another moment of misfortune in an important title decider would have certainly been a cruel blow for a player who was one of the revelations in this season's Premier League.
A national age-group player, Grandison is a top holding midfielder in the making, with his assured presence and sporadic goal threat belying his limited experience.
His two goals against Sporting Central on November 27, which gifted Portmore a 2-1 win at Brancourt, epitomised his power, drive, and willingness to join attacks, as he bulldozed through a cluster of players to get his first top-flight brace.
However, it was his 40-yard 'screamer', a Goal of the Season candidate, which gave Portmore a 2-1 win over Waterhouse at Drewsland on March 18 that earned him rave reviews in local circles.
"He's a player that one has a lot of time for," KLAS Match of the Day analyst Stratton Palmer said recently.
"He came up from schoolboy football not too long ago, but looks like a natural fit as if he was playing in the Premier League for a long time.
"He wasn't really a fixture in the team because of the rotation at Portmore, but he has certainly made use of the opportunities that he got. He looks like a player with the right mental attitude to make it in football if he continues on this path," Palmer added.
Grandison's ability to sit in front of the Portmore back four and execute crucial tackles allow the likes of Ricardo Cousins, Andrew Vanzie and Ricardo Morris the freedom to go forward without hesitation.
He is not a ball wizard or a speedster, but his ball handling skills also makes him a useful central midfielder.
Despite having recently earned a number of invitations to the senior Reggae Boyz squad, Grandison is yet to make his full internal debut. However, one gets the feeling it will only be a matter of time before the promising midfielder works his way into Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore's team for the long haul.