Sports

JC, STATHS final

JC, STATHS set up repeat of 2017 Manning Cup final

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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THERE will be a repeat of the 2017 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/ Digicel Manning Cup final after St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) and Jamaica College (JC) registered penalty shoot-out semi-final wins at National Stadium yesterday.

In the first game of the double-header, STATHS and Wolmer's Boys' were locked 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes of regulation time, before the former prevailed 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out.

In damp and cool conditions yesterday afternoon, Steven McQueen sent the Bumper Hallbased St Andrew Technical into the lead in the ninth minute. But Wolmer's, located at Heroes' Circle, were level through Orlando Russell in the 14th minute to set up the penalty kick drama.

The 2017 champions JC beat age-old rivals and 2018 winners Kingston College (KC) in the other semi-final at the venue, coming out on top 5-4 in the shoot-out from 12 yards after both teams failed to find the net during regulation.

In yesterday's opening semi-final contest, STATHS, coached by Phillip Williams, took the lead when a nicely worked corner kick resulted in McQueen meeting a cross with a diving header that nestled into the goal.

Five minutes later, the Alex Thomas-coached Wolmer's hauled themselves level when Russell latched onto a through pass to stroke his effort home. The balance of play stayed even throughout the pulsating first half, and the teams entered the half-time break level.

Wolmer's, who previously claimed the Manning Cup title in 1994, were the more energetic and organised side in the early stages of the second half.

However, STATHS were dangerous in spurts, threatening their opponents mostly with direct, attacking breaks. STATHS lifted their effort late in the game, and by the final whistle appeared the stronger team.

There being no extra time, the game went straight into penalty shoot-out. McQueen, Shemar Daley, substitute Nicholas Bennett, and Tyrese Smith scored for STATHS, while Noel Walker failed from the spot.

For Wolmer's, Dwayne Allen and Shamour McLean had successful kicks, but Revaldo Mitchell and Rushane Thompson could not find the back of the net, sending the STATHS team and their supporters into wild celebrations.

STATHS, losing finalists to JC two years, last won the Manning Cup football crown in 1987. The second contest, featuring the two most recent holders of the urban area schoolboy football title, was competitive, if not overly thrilling.

Though it was scoreless at the interval, the North Streetsituated KC were marginally superior in the first stanza, showing greater efficiency in possession of the ball, and ultimately creating better openings.

The Old Hope Road-based JC, coached by Davion Ferguson, were more composed to in the second half, pegging back KC for sustained spells, but no goal came.

Only days ago they had clashed in the Champions Cup semi-finals, with Head Coach Ludlow Bernard's KC winning on penalties after the score was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation.

Once again, penalty shootout had to separate them. This time, JC were unerring from the spot, as Tyrese Small, Nickache Murray, Omar Thompson, Phillon Lawrence and substitute Tajay Grant all scoring.

For KC, Ronaldo Robinson, and substitutes Christopher Pearson, Ajay Stewart and Michael Allen found the back of the net, but Jahmari Morrison missed his team's opening kick.


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