College rematch! - KC, JC book Walker Cup final date

Senior staff reporter

Sunday, November 05, 2017

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Defending champions Kingston College (KC) and Jamaica College (JC) advanced to the final of the ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup knockout competition with contrasting victories over St Andrew Technical High (STATHS) and Calabar High respectively yesterday inside the National Stadium.

KC edged STATHS 1-0, while JC came from behind and whipped Calabar High 6-1, setting a repeat of the 2016 final in which KC won 2-0. The final is set for the National Stadium on Tuesday.

Former national Under-17 midfielder Renato “Scarlett” Campbell scored the all-important goal for KC in the seventh minute, cutting inside a defender and firing past goalkeeper Jadean White.

The “Famed Purples”, currently joint most-successful school in the Walker Cup history with neighbour's St George's College, with nine titles, stayed on course to defend their title and hunt a record 10th triumph.

But KC had to work hard to overcome a stubborn STATHS team and made life more uncomfortable for themselves by missing at least three clear-cut chances.

Just as they did last week by ending JC's unbeaten run, KC also stopped STATHS's unbeaten run and remained the only Corporate Area school yet to taste defeat this season.

It wasn't the most fluent game by KC, but they once again showed that they have the resolve to grind out wins, and Coach Ludlow Bernard was pleased.

“Surprisingly our leading goals getter Mackison (Rashawn) got a couple in front and he was unusually not composed. It's not like him. But there were others from Grant (Fabian) and Robinson (Ronaldo), and we really could have put the game to bed,” said Bernard.

“This St Andrew team is a very dogged team and they really pushed us to the limit, and I warned my players not to get frustrated about their tactics,” he added.

“But we have to be defensively strong and defence is what is going to make us win championships this year, because we have been scoring goals,” Bernard pointed out.

“It's a good look going into the game against Jamaica College, and we are really looking forward to that one,” he added.

STATHS, who could meet KC again in the Manning Cup semi-final if they get by St George's College, fought hard, and Coach Philip Williams was pleased with the effort.

“We went down early to a good KC team and that set us back and threw off our game plan. We had to push the game more than what we are used to, and we got chances in the first half to pull ourselves back. The second half chances were far between, but the team played well and I am very proud of them,” said Williams.

Meanwhile, in the curtain-raiser, Calabar High, roared on by their drum-beating supporters got the perfect start via an own goal in the second minute. A floated free kick was innocuously headed into the net by JC defender Nathan Hunter.

But JC would soon find their stride and a goal in the 10th minute as Malik Howell, who was in the right place at the right time, rammed home from a corner kick.

JC then quickly netted their second in the 16th minute courtesy of Tyreek Magee following a brilliant build-up play that started at the back and dismantled the Calabar defence.

Then the towering Hunter redeemed himself with a powerful header from a corner kick in the 60th minute that hit the wind out of Calabar.

Substitute Gavin Thorpe, with his first touch of the game, fired past a bewildered goalkeeper Deandre McCoy in the 71st minute. He grabbed his brace, latching onto a through pass and firing home in the 76th minute.

Norman Campbell put the icing on the cake scoring JC's sixth goal in the 90th+5 minute for an emphatic win.

It was by and large a one-sided affair as Calabar had no answer for the “Dark Blues” of Old Hope Road and they only looked dangerous from set plays.

However, JC lost key defender Delverone Simpson to a red card late on and he will miss the crucial final on Tuesday. He had an altercation with Calabar's Navardo Thomas, who also saw red.

JC, with Tyreek Magee pulling the strings in midfield, seem to be rounding into the kind of form that saw them dominate schoolboy football in the last decade.

Winning coach Miguel Coley said his team's decision-making was good resulting in their massive win.

“We were able to put the ball in the right areas; we still made some mistakes, but were a bit more clinical inside the box,” said Coley.

Coley revealed he was happy for the win but not so easy. “Not by the scoreline, but in terms of how we played, but we are happy to take six goals, especially heading into the final.”




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