JC look to rebound after Champions Cup loss

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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Having had their Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Champions Cup run end in disappointment on Saturday, Jamaica College (JC) have found themselves in a make-or-break situation, as the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup now represents their only shot at silverware this season.

That said, the challenge for Davion Ferguson and his Jamaica College side, if they are to have any shot of reclaiming the urban area schoolboy football crown, is to turn the tables on their Champions Cup conquerors Kingston College (KC) tomorrow.

In torrential rain on Saturday, the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time before KC won 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out.

Though the semi-final loss was a tough pill to swallow, Ferguson relished the challenge of the contest, which tested his team's mettle right to the very end.

They had to come from behind to draw level in regulation time, but later misfired three times from the 12-yard spot in what was a heart-wrenching shoot-out.

“I think it was a very good tactical game by two well-coached teams and two giants of schoolboy football going at each other. The weather really robbed the fans of potentially a really exciting game, but we fought back in the second half of regular play and could have had it won in the penalty shoot-out.

“But such is life, a penalty shoot-out is always a gamble and the luck just didn't go our way in this game,” Ferguson said in a post-game interview at National Stadium.

With their backs against the wall, Ferguson and his side are plotting to ensure they extend their season beyond the Manning Cup semi-final stage, where it also ended last season.

Ironically, that run resulted in Ferguson being brought in with the hope of returning Jamaica College to the top of the pile.

But reigning champions Kingston College are Ferguson's first hurdle in the stretch run to handing the Old Hope Road-based school their 30th lien on the prestigious Manning Cup trophy.

As such, the tactician is cognisant that the physical and mental recovery from their Champions Cup meeting, coupled with tenacity and tremendous will power, will be key if they are to prevail.

“Well that is the season on the line for us there because [if] we lose that game our season is over. We normally prepare at Jamaica College for the season to [last] int0 the latter part of November, early December, so we really have to get these boys recovered. Psychologically, we have to get them in a very good place,” Ferguson reasoned.

“As it stands both teams are yet to be separated over 90 minutes, so it's still an even game and we are definitely going to try again on Wednesday [tomorrow] and hopefully we can get a positive result this time,” he added.

Ferguson's tenure at Jamaica College was always expected to be under rigorous scrutiny, but the tactician is pleased with how things have gone so far in his first year.

“I am definitely pleased with how the team has responded in this my first year, but it would be good if we could go one or two steps further, and so we're definitely aiming to end the season with some form of silverware. So that is something that we're definitely trying to see how we can finish the season on a high,” he ended.