End of an era

North Street battle to decide 2018 Manning Cup champions

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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St George's College brought Jamaica College's five-year reign as Manning Cup champions to an end with a 2-1 win, while Kingston College defeated St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) by a similar scoreline as both teams advanced to the final set for November 30.

For the first time since 2012, the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Digicel Manning Cup will be contested without Jamaica College (JC), but the stage is set for a mammoth clash between North Street neighbours St George's College (STGC) and Kingston College (KC).

Following a tepid first half, substitute Chanthomoi Taylor broke the deadlock in minute 59 for his 16th goal of the season. Then Damani Harris sealed victory firing home in the 72nd minute for his 15th goal of the season.

Interestingly, both goals resulted from errors by two players who were excellent all season: Captain Nathan Hunter and Richard Thompson.

Saqlain Waul scored a consolation goal for JC with the last kick of the game in the 90th+4 minute.

It was an unusually lukewarm display by JC as they crashed out without much fight.

But all credit to the “Light Blues” of North Street who didn't allow them to play and, in the end, ran out easy winners.

Earlier in the curtain-raiser, it was sweet revenge for KC as goals by Shaquille Smith in the 51st and Dwayne Atkinson in minute 72 helped them to a comfortable 2-0 lead before Jevoney Johnson replied for STATHS in the 76th minute.

KC, who have not won the Manning Cup since 1986, are into their first final in 18 years when they lost 1-3 to Norman Manley High in 2000.

It was a cagey, tactical game by both KC and STATHS in the first half, but the second half really got going when KC brought on the wily Dwayne “Busy” Atkinson at the start.

Immediately Atkinson combined well with Arymanya Rodgers and released the Ugandan but his effort went wide.

But KC would break the deadlock after a brilliant run by Rodgers down the right channel, and his cross was slotted home by Smith under the diving Jeadine White.

With the normally defensive STATHS now out of their comfort zone, they had to open up in search of that equalising goal and KC used the opportunity to double their lead as Atkinson tapped home on the second attempt after good work down the left channel.

But STATHS pulled a goal back just four minutes later as Johnson scored the goal of the match with a beautiful strike from just inside the penalty box to trigger hopes of a comeback.

KC however, were never really threatened late on and held the advantage quite comfortably to the end to evoke wild celebration among the KC faithful.

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