GLENMUIR High gained their first lien on the ISSA Wata Champions Cup with an exciting 3-2 win over a Clarendon College (CC) team that ended with 10 men at the National Stadium on Saturday.
Goals by Ja-Son White (27th minute), Kyle Gordon (53rd), and Orane Watson (82nd) propelled Glenmuir High to their first title of the season and a whopping $750,000 winning prize.
Glenmuir remained on course for the coveted Triple Crown of schoolboy football as they will again face Clarendon College in the daCosta Cup final.
Keheim Dixon (18th) and Malachi Douglas (90+4) penalty gave CC hope, but it wasn’t to be as they succumbed to a spirited Glenmuir. They will, however, get a second chance at redemption when the daCosta Cup final comes around.
In an exciting and dramatic final Glenmuir brought the high-riding CC down to earth in front of a decent crowd during what was a Clarendon Derby in Kingston.
Keheim Dixon gave Clarendon an 18th-minute lead, slotting home after a brilliant combination between Christopher Hull and Ateibo Green down the right flank.
But Glenmuir never wilted, and they found the equalising goal in minute 27 courtesy of Ja-Son White, who curled a beautiful right footer from the edge of the box past a bewildered goalkeeper Roshae Burrell.
The red-clad Glenmuir then gained the ascendancy and looked the more dangerous team, spurred on by the outstanding Kyle Gordon who was a handful for the CC players.
Things then got worse as CC were reduced to 10 players in the 52nd minute when Nashon Bolt-Barrett was red-carded after fouling Orane Watson, who would have been clean through on goal.
Gordon stepped up and rammed home the resulting free kick from the edge of the box on the 53rd minute, making it 2-1 for Glenmuir.
But Clarendon upped the tempo once again, despite playing with 10 men, and hit the base of the upright twice, seconds apart.
The prolific Dixon, with three defenders around him, found space for a shot that beat the diving hands of goalkeeper Antwone Gordon and hit the post. Then Malachi Gordon collected the rebound and also hit the upright in the 71st minute.
But just as 10-men Clarendon were getting a foot back in the game, disaster struck. Goalkeeper Roshae Burrell messed up a clearance and gifted Orane Watson the easiest of goalscoring chances and he obliged, slotting home in the 82nd minute, putting the icing on the cake for Glenmuir.
But things were not over as a late penalty by Captain Douglas ensured a nervy finish in which Clarendon got two decent chances to force penalty kicks, but Glenmuir held on.
Winning Coach Andrew Peart appeared calm, true to his nature, but on such an occasion his excitement must have been exploding on the inside.
“It’s a good feeling. It’s a trophy that we have never won before and, given the context of the season… it’s a good first step toward the daCosta Cup final,” said Peart.
“We knew all the difficulties coming into today’s game – and it wasn’t the best start but I loved the desire from the boys,” he added.
Meanwhile, Clarendon College’s Head Coach Lenwprth Hyde was clearly disappointed, and bit his lip so as not to get into trouble with regards to the officiating.
“It was a very good game. And congrats to Glenmuir, a very spirited performance. They outscored us today but I thought we tried our best regardless of the situation, but it just wasn’t meant to be today,” said Hyde.