Lightning strike halts Manning Cup clash between Wolmer's, JCTuesday, September 17, 2019
By Dwayne Richards
A lightning strike in the 84th minute of play brought an abrupt end to the highly anticipated Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/ Digicel Manning Cup Group E clash between former champions Wolmer's Boys' School and Jamaica College (JC) at Stadium East yesterday.
Three players collapsed to the ground after the lightning strike in a game that had been affected by inclement weather from as early as the first half.
Two players — Terrence Francis of JC and Dwayne Allen of Wolmer's were taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies, with Francis the more severely affected as he was stretchered off the field unresponsive.
JC's Head Coach Davion Ferguson confirmed the unfortunate situation and told the Jamaica Observer that a second JC player later complained of chest pains and was prepped to be taken to the hospital, also.
The Observer understands that the second player was indeed taken to hospital and later released, while Francis regained consciousness but was unable to talk, even as he indicated feeling pain on his left side.
Before the lightning strike halted the contest fans had been treated to an intriguing game between two of the favourites for the Manning Cup title. JC took the lead against the run of play when a quick counter-attack caught out the Wolmer's defenders and Carrington Baker slammed home from close range to give them a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
JC took full control of the game from there and put Wolmer's under pressure with some slick passing between the likes of Baker, Omar Thompson, Shaniel Thomas, and Phillon Lawrence, but the 'True Blues' were unable to make the possession count.
Wolmer's came into their own as the half wore on, and their impressive Captain Shamour McLean came close to grabbing an equaliser when his expertly taken free kick hit the base of the left upright before Daniel Russell gobbled up the rebound.
The Alex Thomas-coached team kept pressing for the equaliser and were duly rewarded when Orlando Russell headed home from almost under the crossbar as the teams went in 1-1 at the break.
Deshawn Bernard then shot his team into the lead when he beat three players inside the box before slotting home at the near post to make it 2-1 just four minutes after the restart. JC had a great opportunity to draw level, but Lawrence smashed his penalty kick against the crossbar and back into play.
When Omar Thompson received his second yellow card of the contest, in the 59th minute, things became much more difficult for JC as Wolmer's dropped back behind the ball and played on the counter.
With the minutes ticking away and Wolmer's seemingly on their way to a famous and crucial win, the elements intervened with six minutes plus stoppage time left to play.
Tyrell advised that the remaining six minutes of the game would be completed on a date decided by competition organiser ISSA with all conditions remaining the same as they were up to the 84th minute.