STATHS IT!

… Set Manning Cup final date with JC after dumping KC

BY HOWARD WALKER
Observer senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, November 23, 2017



Defending champions Jamaica College (JC) and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) advanced to the final of the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup football competition with exciting wins over Holy Trinity and Kingston College (KC), respectively, inside the National Stadium yesterday.

JC showed their championship mettle with a hard-fought 3-2 extra-time win over Holy Trinity and booked their spot for the fifth consecutive year.

Later STATHS turned in a workman-like performance to defeat KC 2-1 and book their spot in the final for the first time since their historic triumph in 1987.

JC and STATHS, who opened the Manning Cup season in Montego Bay on Saturday, September 9, will bring the season to an end in their third clash of the season in the final set for Friday, December 1 at 6:00 pm.

In the curtain-raiser, Gavin Thorpe gave JC the lead in the 19th minute, ramming home from close range following a neat cut back by Norman Campbell.

JC missed another chance immediately and Holy Trinity pulled level when Phillon Lawrence latched on to a through ball and fired home in the 23rd minute.

In the second half both teams battled hard and created chances to win it all, but the clearest of chances went to Holy Trinity in the 86th minute. Dillion McEnnis found himself inches away from goal and somehow skied his effort over an empty goal.

That miss kept JC in the game and in time added, Norman Campbell should have sent the champions through but shot straight at goalkeeper in the 90th+3 minute as the game ended 1-1 in normal time.

With 20 minutes of extra-time, it appeared that Holy Trinity would end JC's four-year reign as champions of the Manning Cup when Omario Cole shot them ahead in the 95th minute. His low shot took a deflection on its way in.

But like true champions JC roared back as they were not about to relinquish their title just yet with two goals in two minutes.

The outstanding Norman Campbell was on hand to fire home from close range in the 98th minute before Shaniel Thomas found the winner in the 100th minute, again firing home from close range.

Meanwhile, in the second of the double-header, STATHS remained on course to end their 30-year Manning Cup drought and prolonged KC's 31-year wait for the Manning Cup title.

Following a cagey first half, STATHS took the lead from a penalty, which was put away by defender David Smith in the 60th minute. Then, with KC throwing everything at them, the Bumper Hall-based school doubled their lead in the 66th minute, poking home from close range.

But with KC's captain Javain Brown abandoning his defensive duties, his presence was felt up front and KC rallied and reduced the deficit in the 72nd minute, as Ronaldo Robinson bundled home, setting the stage for an epic last few minutes.

With six minutes of time added, KC pressed for that vital tying goal, but STATHS remained resolute to the end to send the competition's favourites crashing to their first Manning Cup defeat of the season.

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