Captain Shavon McDonald taking Champions Cup success in strides

Monday, November 26, 2018

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CATHERINE HALL, St James — Saturday's ISSA Champions Cup final provided sweet redemption for Cornwall College's Shavon McDonald, as his first-half goal took his team to a 1-0 win over Jamaica College and into history as the first daCosta Cup team to win the all-island knock-out title.

McDonald was a member of the 2016 team that also created history by being the first rural area school to qualify for the final, but missed a sitter that would have given Cornwall College the lead late in the game after he entered the field as a substitute.

On Saturday he took the team by the scruff of its neck, taking charge of the midfield and late in the game dropping back to safeguard the win.

He was almost speechless after the exhilarating game. “I don't have words to express how I am feeling now,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “The feeling that we have made Montego Bay, our school, and our families proud is a very good one.”

However, he was not getting too caught up in the euphoria, being very aware that the job is not yet done. “It's not over yet. We have more work to do and there is a big job to come Saturday against Clarendon College that we need to win,” he said about the upcoming ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup final.

He was well aware of their place in Jamaica's schoolboy football history, as the first school outside of Kingston to win the title. “We are really glad knowing that we created history today, but we know we have more to do before we can rest.”

McDonald, who also scored the winning goal in the 2016 daCosta Cup final against St Elizabeth Technical High School, coming off the bench, said they never lost sight — even as he watched his shot cross the goal line in the first half.

“We were not thinking one goal would be enough against a tough Jamaica College team; we thought we had to score more goals and try not to concede against them,” he said.

Late in the game the team captain said he dropped back into a more defensive posture. “We knew they would be coming at us with everything and I just wanted to make sure we had players behind the ball.”

He picked up two individual awards after the game — man of the match for the game and MVP for the tournament. “My hard work is paying off and it makes me want to work even harder.”

—Paul Reid

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